[FSUG-Bangalore] Mass movement - not for profit companies - ngos

Senthil Sundaram (sensunda) sensunda at cisco.com
Sun Nov 23 10:46:17 IST 2008

These are my views..i have very high respect for some people in certain
ngos . I am also not doing this naive discount of ngos..not for  profit
I am saying this after understanding the significant contributions and
struggles different ngos / not for  profit companies / political parties
have made to struggle in free software..and other political and social
However its very clear to me that the free software movement is not a
single 'foundation' or 'ngo' or 'non profit company'  or a single
'party' - but all of them can be part of the movement 
many times - they democratically elect their leaders rather than by
nomination  : Gandhi was not nominated into leadership of the freedom
movement nor was Medha Patkar ...
I remeber what the rural journalist P Sainath said .. "Freedom Struggle
in India didnt happen because of NGOs"
Details below.
Freedom Struggle of India - Is a mass movement : it had everybody in the
country in it...from slum dwellers, village folks, artists,
intellectuals, teachers , students..the Dalit movement in India in the
last decade - is a mass movement..The Narmada Bachao Andolan - is a mass
movement .. 
       - Mass movements have a sort of democratic structure, large
number of people from different walks of life participate - and ellivate
their consciousness - it represents some sort of churing of the society
- and cannot be appropriated by one party, one company , one
organisation , one ngo .....
A single non-profit company or NGO  or political party is definitely not
a mass movement.....though they contribute to it..
 OD : As a rural journalist what are your views on N.G.Os and

P. Sainath : You can not find a single body called NGO, because there
are many. The word NGO does not represent any single organization or
entity; its amourphous. There are many good NGOs who are highly
responsible for their people and there are some NGOs who are lagging on
this regard.

OD : But on an average what is your view about them? 

P. Sainath : On average I will say that many of them are not working
sincerely. There are bad people in good NGOs and good people in Bad NGOs
and bad people in bad NGOs too. But some of them are working in
important areas and fields and potential is there to work. But I would
like to see that if the NGOs, in stead of working on behalf of people,
promote the spirit of self dependence among people, then its more an
effective way.

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