IN RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
By the time this issue reaches you, I will have relinquished the positions of Director of Common Cause and editor of this journal. I am, therefore, taking the liberty of striking a personal note in my last leader. I crave the indulgence of the readers of this journal for this departure from the established norm of devoting the lead article to an issue of topical interest.
I have had the good fortune to enjoy the confidence and unstinting support of the members of the Society and its Governing Council in the ongoing process of consolidation of the legacy of the Founder Director, Shri H. D. Shourie. In these eight eventful years, we have been able to transform what essentially was an individual initiative into a collegial, research-based, systems-driven and net-worked organisation.
My association with Common Cause has been a highly rewarding and enriching experience for me, and I deem it a privilege to have been given the opportunity to serve this great organisation during a crucial phase of its evolution. It is a matter of immense satisfaction for me that we have been able to dispel the unwarranted impression held by certain sections of civil society that ours was an organisation preoccupied with issues of concern to the middle classes and to reclaim our place in the vanguard of the campaign for people-centric governance reforms and probity in public life. Our initiatives in policy advocacy and public interest litigation have focused on issues of preservation of democratic institutions, environment conservation and protection of human rights, particularly of the disadvantaged sections of society.
All this while, we have steadily grown as an organisation. We have been able to streamline our processes, create the nucleus of an effective work force, and build issue-based civil society alliances to extend our impact and reach. We have adopted information technology, expanded and modernised our work place, and put our financial position on a firmer footing.
Only one thing remained to be done: we needed to put in place a plan of succession in order to avoid any hiatus in the functioning of the organisation and ensure a seamless transition at an opportune moment. As my first term as Director approached its end in 2011,I tried to locate a young and energetic person with an established record of public service and the willingness to take over the reins of an organisation like Common Cause.