PUBLIC MEETINGS

One of the most powerful medium of shaping public opinion and policy-making has been the public meetings and the prominent amongst them were the ones addressed by the legendary Mr. Nani Palkhivala on the Union Budget during 1958-1994. He first spoke on the subject in March 1958 before an audience of about 800. The size of the audience gradually increased forcing the Forum to shift the venue. In 1983, it was shifted to the
famous Brabourne Stadium where cricket Test matches used to be played for many years. The attendance at this venue was in excess of 100,000 in the last three years before Mr. Palkhivala stopped speaking in 1994 due to his failing health. It is believed that this attendance has no parallel anywhere in the world on an economic subject.

Bombay also was among the first cities to hold public meetings on the Union Budget every year. Forum itself was involved in arranging about eight to ten meetings in different locations in and around Bombay. Many of these were arranged jointly with a dozen or more public service and other organizations. What was heartening was the attendance in all these meetings. Some of them were held even on Sunday mornings. Even now these meetings are held in the suburbs, though the number of such meetings has come down, thanks to lively debates on the subject in the electronic media. Forum is also approached by several colleges and organizations to provide suitable speakers on the subject every year.

CHANGING SCENARIO

The economic reforms, that are being pursued by successive governments since 1991, are a vindication of policies advocated by Mr. A.D. Shroff and others since the Forum was established in 1956. However, still so much more needs to be done, especially in the area of efficient economic governance and at a faster pace. One only hopes governments in power will overcome all hurdles, including political, in continuing to implementing such progressive policies for the benefit of the nation.

Having succeeded in convincing the government to change its economic policies, the Forum turned its attention to building good and active citizenship by way of conducting various youth activities around the country. The activities include elocution competitions, leadership training camps, career guidance sessions, et al. Workshops are also being organized for teachers. Importantly, a majority of these are held in small towns and cities since in these places the younger generation do not get enough exposure. Over 7400 elocution competitions, over 600 leadership training camps, and several hundred self-development programmes and career guidance sessions have also been conducted. The response and feedback on such initiatives have been heartwarming.

Since early 1970s Forum has, till date, arranged over 260 programmes for company executives, professionals and others in which taxation, company law and other legislations relating to the corporate sector are analysed and discussed. These help the company executives and professionals to update themselves on matters relating to corporates.

Bhogilal Leherchand Memorial Lectures

Since 1988 Forum has been organizing the Bhogilal Leherchand Memorial Lectures. The list of Lectures delivered so far is given below:

 

Year Speaker Topic
1988 Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari The Social Responsibilities of Business and Industry
1989 Pujya Panduranga Shastri Problems of Modern Mankind
1990 Pujya Chitrabhanu Meditation, Businessmen and Social welfare
1991 Dr. Karan Singh India in the Nineties
1993 Pujya Swami Sachhidanand Daan-Shudhi Se Karma Shudhi
1994 Pujya Satyanarainji Goenka Samriddhi Ho Par Sukh Shanti Bi Ho
1995 T.N. Seshan Regeneration of India
1996 Dr. G.R.S. Rao Corruption, Economy & Society
1997 Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade Ethics in Business and Industry
1998 N. Vittal, I.A.S. (Retd.) Ethics in Business, Industry and Public
1999 Nanaji Deshmukh Development Pattern for our Country
2000 Dr. L.M. Singhvi, M.P. Moral Norms as the Foundation of Society
2001 Dr. B.M. Hegde Is Practice of Business Ethics Possible in a World of Corruption?
2002 Azim H. Premji Leading in Turbulent Times
2003 Adi B. Godrej Corporate Governance
2004 A.K. Purwar Value Systems in Public Services
2005 Arvind Inamdar, IPS (Retd.) Public Governance - Falling Standards
2006 Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta The Weakness of Liberalism in India
2007 Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan Can Economic Prosperity and Declining Public Standards go together?
2008 Dr. Indu Shahani Social Entrepreneurship
2009 Shailesh Gandhi Some Simple Solutions to Get Good Governance
2010 Maja Daruwala Accountability
2011 Jay P. Desai Accountability: Angst, Awareness, Action
2012 Rohini Nilekani Water Futures – It’s Everyone’s Business
2013 Dr. Y.K. Hamied Access to Medicines at Affordable Prices
2014 Ramesh Ramanathan India – 50% Urbanised: Perils & Possibilities
2015 Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudev) In Conversation with the Mystic on Eternal Enterprise
2016 Dr. R. Balasubramaniam Refashioning India’s Development Narrative