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.
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:
|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|
|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|