You must be able to recall a story of Ramcharit Manas when Hanuman Ji was going across the ocean to Lanka in search of Mother Sita. On his way, he met Sursa who was eager to make him his food. In the beginning, Hanuman Ji tried to defeat her by taking a form larger than her mouth. However, Sursa was also doing the same. She was making her mouth double to the size of Hanuman Ji. Tulsidas Ji says that when Sursa expanded her mouth a hundred miles wide, the son of the wind god assumed a very minute form, plunged himself in her mouth, and then swiftly came out of it. This incident of Ramcharit Manas has a great impact on our Road Map.
It is very much clear to us that the present system can be controlled and changed only by an initiative that is small and subtle. The alternative of a complex system does not arise overnight out of a single cause, event, or effort. The root cause behind every big change is always very small. With the passage of time, circumstances play their role and make each next cause more important and bigger than the previous one. This can be understood very well by the Butterfly Effect (Chaos Theory) propounded by the famous mathematician Edward Norton Lorenz.
The same thing has also been explained in the famous book of John Gall – ‘Systemantics: How Systems Work and Especially How They Fail’. In this book, John Gall says that if you want to create an alternative to a complex and huge system, then you should not try to create another complex and huge system parallel to it. Such an effort can never be successful. Its failure is 100% sure.
John Gall further says, “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.”
In short, the main strategy of Mission Tirhutipur is to be subtle and simple in the initial phase. We intend to develop a working module of village development that will be small, simple, and effective. This module will be geographically limited but it will contain almost all the dimensions of rural life. These dimensions have been divided into 9 sectors which are as follows- 1. Media, 2. Events, 3. Infrastructure, 4. Organization, 5. Education, 6. Agriculture, 7. Non-agricultural Production, 8. Trade and 9. Service Sector. There are different projects in each sector, the number of which is more than 100. While encapsulating all these sectors and projects, the first module of the Mission will be like a banyan seed- very small in size but hiding the potential of a huge tree inside.
The roadmap of the Mission has a plan of action for seven years. The methodology that will be adopted during this period is called OODA Loop (Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Action). It was originally developed by John Boyd, an American pilot, but is now being used everywhere. In this method, the above four actions have to be repeated again and again in a time cycle (loop). In the context of our Mission, this loop will be of three types – fortnightly, quarterly and seven yearly. In other words, we will be using a clock where the needle of the second means 7 days, the minute is equal to 3 months and the hour consists of 7 years.
As a matter of convenience, I am mentioning here only the loop of seven years which will start from Dussehra of 2020 and will be completed by Dussehra of 2027. The timings of the four constituent activities under OODA Loup of seven years have been mentioned below. However, the possibility of overlapping in this context can’t be ruled out.
(A). Observation- (2020-22)- The first objective of the Mission is to see, understand and communicate with the village in its totality. This process will start from Tirhutipur but gradually more and more villages across the country (including your own village) will be covered in it. During this period, Mission will not only confine itself to the role of a journalist and researcher, but it will also play the role of a scientist who conducts many experiments before reaching a definite conclusion. Small experiments of the mission have been designed in such a way that they could offer a platform for testing the core assumptions of each project. In this phase, Mission will follow the principles laid down by Peter Sims in his famous book ‘Little Bets’.
(b) Orientation- (2022-24) In this period of two years, the ideal module of the Mission will be implemented in its entirety. Efforts will be made to execute different projects related to all 9 dimensions under the umbrella of one module. By this exercise, we hope to attain the goal of System Change at least in the context of a village Panchayat. If there will be testing of various projects in the observation phase, the orientation phase will witness the testing of the whole module. This experiment will be limited to Tirhutipur and some nearby villages. In this period we will not show any hurry to scale up this module far from Tirhutipur.
(c) Decision- (2024-25) By the end of 2024, all sorts of testing and experiments related to the beta version of the Village Module will be over. Once the efficacy of this model is proved in Tirhutipur, Mission will take all the necessary decisions to scale it up further. This period will be marked by an increased level of dialogue with all the stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels. Alliances, collaborations, and partnerships will be our core objectives in this phase.
(d) Action- (2025-27) During this time, efforts will be made to implement at least one module in each of the 127 Eco-Agro Climatic Zones of the country as a pilot module.
The above timeline and prospects are in line with the latest management principles. However, it is relevant here to refer to the famous quotation of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, the first Chief of Staff of Germany (Prussia), in which he says, “No battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy”. That is, as soon as we implement a plan, its shortcomings appear, and we are forced to add or subtract something in the previous plan. The roadmap of Mission Tirhutipur is flexible enough to accommodate this truth.
Vimal Kumar Singh
Convener, Mission Tirhutipur