IAD started off as a group by me called as Demon-2016 on 29th November 2016. In fact you can still see that name in the group name URL of Facebook.
The group quickly grew to around 35,000 members by December end and we had our first physical meeting among the members on 8th Jan 2017 at Dadar and simultaneously some members met in Delhi and Hyderabad.
Some RSS members tried to infiltrate the group and destroy it by trying to take over the group in the meantime.
A call was sent out to form a National Executive of group and self-nominations were invited in the background.
Around 105 people responded to that call and a NE of 105 people was constituted. Then there was a call for bio-data of the NE members. Only 65 people sent their bio-data. The NE shrank to 65 members. After this the NE has met thrice since then and to cut a long story short is now at 29 active members.
The name of the group was changed to India Against Demonetization in the meanwhile.
We had a protest on Marine Drive on 29th January 2017. Around 35 people assembled for the only on-the-ground protest against demonetization held anywhere in the country!
The group had three NE meetings on 25th Feb 2017, 19th March 2017 and 6th May 2017.
In these meetings important decisions were taken and an off-line organization created in the name of ‘Indians for Actualization of Democracy’ and accordingly the name of the group was changed from India Against Demonetization to Indians for Actualization of Democracy.
But there were difficulties in registering the name as Government does not allow any entity with the word Indians in it. Thus it was decided to change the name to Individuals for Actualization of Democracy.
A Memorandum of Association was drafted and adopted by the National Executive in 6th May 2017.
In the 3rd NE meeting it was decided, bowing to popular sentiment, that we also form a Political Party, that will allow those members who want to take active part in the politics of the country could switch over. Azad Bharat Party (proposed) was formed.
In the meanwhile a website for the group was started in the name and style of actualdemocracy.in.
A bank account was opened to receive paid membership for Individuals For Actualization of Democracy via the website.
Thus it was decided that IAD will be a two tier organization with IAD remaining as the ideological mooring for the political wing ABP.
IAD would decide on people centric agenda and give it to ABP for execution.
IAD remains a small group, although at 91,000 it looks like a large number on social media but as compared to the population of the country and it is a minuscule group.
But we have very active members. We have average engagement of 65000+ members on a daily basis as per the statistics available via Facebook!
Which brings me to now.
In going back over the timeline, we have achieved a lot in the short span of 8 odd months since we started, but we have miles to go.
We are now having a much clearer understanding and alignment within the group on the way forward and have gone from ‘Problem Definition’ Stage to ‘Providing Solutions’ Stage.
We have announced an agenda for ABP on its website abp.org.in and are now gearing towards creating road map for rolling out the agenda. This road map will be based on hard facts and figures and we will demonstrate to fellow citizens how we can achieve all that we are promising or all that is on our agenda. We will thus ask others to Lead, Follow or Get Out of Our Way!
Bottom line is that;
We realize that the current political system is highly corrupt and that almost all party’s are corrupt and therefore they don’t have any incentive to kill corruption. And that this corruption is taking away money that can be otherwise used for development.
We realize that if we keep looking up to political parties to provide an alternative, they are most likely to fail us either before or after the polls based on the fact that almost all of them are corrupt.
We realize that we may not be able to make much of a difference in the political landscape in the country in 2019 but even if one item on our people-centered agenda gets taken up by any political party because of the pressure and reports that we generate, it would be a big win for us.
We realize that good people should take the bull by the horn, people who have no political past and therefore can’t be black mailed into submission are the need of the hour.
We realize that there is grave and present danger to the idea of India as the secular fabric of the country is under attack, as the constitution of the country is under attack, as the basic directive principles of the constitution on which our country stands as a republic are under attack and individual rights are under attack. And therefore it is the duty of every citizen to stand up to this attack and be counted.
We realize that change will be slow and painful and that the well entrenched corrupt system will fight till its last breath against any one who tries to disturb their apple cart.
Yet, we have decided to march ahead.
And we will be nothing without mass participation of the citizens of India who believe in our cause and our way forward.
I on behalf of the National Executive appeal to you to add your friends and relatives to this group and also if they are and indeed if you are interested to become part of the ABP (Azad Bharat Party).
Together we will rise!