In May 2020, I showed a small note to Govindacharya Ji in which I had written my plans connecting Mission Tirhutipur to Vyavasth Parivartan. Govindji liked the idea but he had a doubt. This doubt had nothing to do with my plans. Instead, he cautioned me on the resource front. He said, “Your financial condition is not hidden from me. I am also not in a position to help you. Considering all this, how you are going to execute this ambitious plan”.
I replied, “just like the German army did, under the leadership of General Seeckt.” When I said this, I thought about the lecture I had shown Govindji in December 2017. The lecture was shown on a Projector in the Delhi flat of the then Rajya Sabha MP Shri Basavaraj Patil Ji. The lecture – German Army Mechanization by Dr. Louis A Dimarco is still available on YouTube. When I mentioned this lecture, Govindji understood what I meant and he approved my decision.
Let me make it clear that at the foundation of Mission Tirhutipur, there are ideas like dialogue, consensus, and cooperation. It has nothing to do with any kind of war and violence. But on a personal level, I am deeply interested in the history of wars and the theories associated with them. I use them in every aspect of my life.
This fascination with Military history and its principles is not restricted to me. Nowadays the whole corporate world is imitating the principles which emerged out of wars and conflicts. Most of the corporate planners refer to books like – The Art of War by Chinese General Sun Tzu, The Book of Five Rings by Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi, and many more. There are dozens of war books that all students in business schools are asked to read. If that is the case, then the fact that I have read these books and applied their principle to Mission Tirhutipur should not come as a surprise.
In May 2020, my position was similar to the German army of 1920. Lack of resources was the point where both of us shared the common ground. To be honest, the situation in the German army was worse and more desperate than mine. The Allied Powers had paralyzed it in the Treaty of Versailles. It was not allowed to keep tanks, fighter aircrafts, warships, and heavy artillery. The numbers of soldiers and officers were reduced drastically. Even the famous Academy of German General Staff was closed. To make things worse, the economy of the country was on the verge of collapse. Therefore, there was no scope for any significant financial help from the government. In such an environment, everyone had assumed that the glorious German army of the past would now be reduced to a toothless police force.
But we all know that the German Army proved everybody wrong. General Seeckt, the Chief of the German army during this period, ordered his officers not to think what others were thinking. He urged his men to think differently from others. The commonly held belief during this period was that wars are fought in trenches. It was how the First World War was fought and everybody thought that the next war would also be fought that way. But the German army decided that not only would they not prepare for this type of war but they would not even discuss Trench warfare. The German army knew that it didn’t have the resources to improve the army. So, it decided to focus its limited resources on inventing a new type of warfare that no one could think of. All sorts of restrictions on the German Army continued from 1920 to 1934, but no one can stop it from developing a new style of warfare which is now known as Blitzkrieg. The novelty and the effectiveness of this warfare were such that when the Second World War began, no one knew how to respond against it. It was the Blitzkrieg that was responsible for the great success which the Germans had in the initial years of the Second World War.
The example of the German army was before me. So there was no need to mourn over my financial condition. With a renewed fervor, I decided to use the Corona lockdown effectively. Thereafter, I spent almost 5 months with a complete concentration in the company of paper, computer, and books. I worked on the roadmap for Mission Tirhutipur, using whatever knowledge I had from the Indian and Western sources. In this process, the well-known principles of military planning proved particularly useful to me.
Using military terminology I can say that, during this period, Govindji was my Commander and I was his staff officer. Here it is important to mention that, in military parlance, the word ‘Staff’ has a special meaning attached to it. The concept of Staff Officer was developed mainly by Prussia (Germany). It was in 1810 when Prussia opened a Military Academy that only trained Staff Officers. There is plenty of Military literature that explains the concept of Staff officers. But briefly, we can say that a Staff Officer plans how to achieve the military objectives that are set by his commander. He then converts these plans into Commands and communicates them to the army. The staff officer also collects all sorts of information that are needed by the Commander to take appropriate strategic decisions.
As far as my commander Govindji is concerned, his goal is Vyavastha Parivartan. As a staff officer, I had to work for this. It was not possible to meet him due to the lockdown, but I remained in touch with the phone and internet. I was getting his regular guidance. He used to see the draft of all documents and make corrections where ever found necessary. This process continued for 5 months. By the end of September, a road map of 654 pages of Mission Tirhutipur was ready. It had a detailed but very flexible action plan for the next 7 years.
Vimal Kumar Singh