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Dr Sai Giridhar

Thursday, August 27, 2020 12:06 PM

GOPIO members in large numbers cutting across every continent have raised their voice against its leadership and the election process for the following reasons:-

1) The minutes of the Varanasi GBM held on January 20, 2019 was manipulated by the Chairman and the Secretary in an ingenious manner. The Secretary has admitted that he did not record the minutes of the Varanasi GBM citing personal reasons. It appears that it was an alibi to setup scope to manipulate the minutes and avoid ratifying the actual GBM decisions. This is where the voices questioning the leadership and the sequence of events started. 

2) It is an admitted fact that it was decided at the Varanasi AGM that nominated members should not have voting rights in the EC. Shockingly, the minutes was manipulated by the Chairman to provide voting rights for them also, like Rajeev Mehta (Secretary) and Kewal Kanda (Treasurer).

3) There is no latest correct version of the GOPIO constitution available. The GBM decisions on amendments do not reflect in the latest constitution. The only version presented is the one that negates the GBM decisions. 

4) The Berlin GBM decision was to hold corporeal elections in May 2020 in Belfast, UK. Immediately after the Berlin Convention, the then Election Committee Chair Mr. Ram Gadhavi declared Mr. Mehen as President elect unopposed in complete disregard to and in violation of the Berlin GBM decisions. Why was it done in such a haste? This desperate effort to seize the presidency of GOPIO has led to suspicion in the minds of many GOPIO members. 

5) Their efforts to somehow conduct elections by online voting inspite of repeated objections from several members in the EC begs the question, ‘why are they so opposed to corporeal elections?’ There should be some benefit for them in doing so. We are not against online elections. But we oppose it because we can see some pattern in their efforts. It appears that online elections is only a means to achieve their objective

6) This whole picture shows clearly that the conduct of elections is far from being free and fair. It is like a match fixing. Their idea is that they can ensure their desired results only if elections are conducted online and that they cannot achieve it if elections are by physical voting. This has led to further deepening of our discontent and distrust on these people.

7) Dr. Thomas Abraham does not treat all members equally. His ways show that he keeps a group close to him and puts them in EC positions. They do lot of work which we all respect and recognize. But, there is a subtle silent agenda that we can figure out.

8) The appointed members in the EC should be balanced in their regional representation. But the present EC has only criteria- allegiance to Dr. Thomas Abraham’s agenda. As per byelaw US can have 5 voting members in the EC, but there are 11 members in the EC today, imposing an overarching majority. The EC is thus used as a convenient tool to bulldoze and intimidate non-US members or anyone who does not hold allegiance with the chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham; by moving ad hoc motions without approved agenda which is passed anyways. You can never get your way through them, however correct you are. 

9) There is lack of transparency and secrecy regarding the GOPIO administration activities. No one except Dr. Thomas Abraham knows the complete list of GOPIO members, their status, and such details. This is unbelievable in any organisation. Every member is entitled to know such information. Again, this secrecy may be a tool for manipulating and not leave any chance of questioning by anyone.

10) There are repeated episodes of email battles, insults and overtures, blame games, disrespectful exchange of words, acrimonious remarks etc. And in parallel there are also animated appreciations, back patting, praises, and verbal tributes which look fake and biased. This has become the cultural fabric of GOPIO. Genuine recognition for good work, plans and progress, vision and ground work- these things dont take even the remote corner in the GOPIO communications.

11) Anyone who raises their voice against this command structure are treated like obstacles and are ganged up against, isolated, insulted and even unilateral punitive actions taken by using this EC and its ill formed majority to take decisions in total violation of democratic procedure, and the byelaws. Just move a motion and its passed and anything they want is done.  In simple terms, this ingenious leadership of GOPIO is smartly designed to satisfy their autocratic and selfish desires.

12) The GOPIO constitution is used as a tool, the selective members given selective position in EC is used as a tool, The GOPIO news bulletin is used as a tool, the deliberate lack of transparency and secrecy is used as a tool, the chaos and confusion is used as a tool. But who is the one who is using these tools so effectively? Take a guess

13) It is obvious how several members who have understood these matters could not accept such organisational mishandling and have raised questions on several occasions. In June 2020, GOPIO has received injunction orders from a Bangalore Court, to stop the current online elections, following a suit filed by a GOPIO life member, questioning the legitimacy of the online elections that is being pushed through. It is shocking that after initially holding back, they are proceeding with online elections, and ignoring the contempt proceedings already initiated. It appears that their desperation has no boundaries.

14) Please review all the above points, and you can see a pattern. One can derive and conclude firmly that-

A. GOPIO is not functioning as a democratic organisation
B. GOPIO is not functioning as a global organisation
C. GOPIO is not a relevant organisation and some bunch of members are just going round and round on something we cant understand.
D. From all this nonsensical chaos, emerges a pattern- that it is always the same few who got away and reaped from this chaos. This chaos is intentionally created to keep everyone busy so that some of them can continue to do what they want. Thats a good strategy. It has worked for that few of them so far.
E. Any challenge to disrupt it is met with severe accusations and insults. Then you have no choice but quit, or be silent.
F. No one is interested in actual strategic growth of the organisation. No such plans are ever discussed.
G. A large part of the organization is not even aware of what happens inside the organization except the news bulletin which only Dr. Thomas sends out. 
H. GOPIO is America centric and has failed to make global impact.

15) Therefore, we have some suggestions to make this organisation better:-

a) If nothing changes, then GOPIO must change its name and stature to be an American Indian organisation. 
b) GOPIO must be administered through an externally appointed official till the point the organisation proves its democratic credentials.
d) All GOPIO members should be notified and their valuable suggestions taken.
e) There should be a permanent end to the one man show.

Best regards,

1.  Dr. Sai Giridhar, Life Member and Former Secretary
2.  Advocate B.L.Sanjeev, Life member
3.  Advocate Manu Kumar, Life Member