Sunday, October 4, 2009

Five point some views!!!

My friend Bharathi wrote an excellent post - ‘The Indian dream’ a few days back. I request you to read it first for a better understanding of what's going to follow.

Bharathi's remarks on the political leaders and on our country are pretty intellectual but i kind of disagree with some of them. The aberrations in our opinions are not only restricted to the points of ‘corruption’ or ‘whom to blame for country’s situation’ but they also extend to the more subtle points like ’IST’ and ‘Whether Indians do their job whole heartedly or not’.

I have got so many thoughts running through my mind right now, so, instead of messing them up I will like to write them down into 5 points.So, here I go:

1) Comparison with the UK:

Let me start with this – First of all I don’t think that comparing a developing nation with a developed nation is a wise thing to do. This is because the differences between them are vast and often the root causes of these differences are never addressed.

The question of political corruption, the question of infrastructure, the question of good behavior, all of these have one common answer to them – ‘Money’. Developed nations have enough money to keep their citizens happy and the developing nations don’t. And I don’t need to reveal where they got all that money from J. Even the poorest there would be richer than his counterpart living in a developing nation. The problems that make a developing nation ‘developing’ can hardly be found in a developed nation. So one should not fixate his thinking on why this happens here only and not in the developed countries. You need to think deep to answer this. There is no comparison. The two categories of nations are at different levels all together. It’s like comparing a cat with a mouse and thinking when the mouse will actually be able to walk abreast with the cat. 

But yah, what we can do is that we can compare two rats together. Like two giant rats ‘India’ and ‘China’. Then we can figure out what these two are good at and what we should learn from them in order to achieve our goal of becoming ‘Developed’. That will be a better comparision in many ways. This is because it’s more likely that the two developing nations face similar problems. Thus, by learning how one of them finds a way out of the issues, one can help the other nation in pragmatically solving the similar issues. Our objective is to become better in our own ways. All the developed nations on their path of development were actually competing with each other and that’s how they became developed :). Same trend we should follow.

2) Our political leaders:

Bharathi in his post said that our leaders are no different than us –

I feel politicians and corrupt officials are not born straight from sky. They indeed originate within us. They reflect the culture and practices of our entire nation. When we are pointing fingers at corrupt politicians, can we tell that our common people are free of guilt?

Absolutely true Bharathi. Neither do the politicians come from the sky nor is the common man free of guilt. But leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, Jawahar lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastry (and the list of great leaders go on..) also existed with us. Leaders are those who make people follow them, who are considered as idols, who are respected and loved. They are not the ones who follow what a common man does. They are those who bring reforms. They are not the ones who leave their nation and society as it is. Common man needs someone to lead him. A common man’s thinking can be changed by his leader. Leader has to be influential rather than being a dumb listener. Just like Raja Ram Mohan Roy who went against the Indian society and culture to abolish ‘Sati’ system, a political leader’s role is to improve the society by bringing reforms and not to merely accept the society from where he has come from. So, I don’t think that a leader should reflect the culture and practices of the entire nation. If our society is wrong then leaders can only correct them. The sad part is that in India the kind of people who volunteer in elections are not actually made up of leader’s material but are merely representatives of people who don’t even know them. Do you think we have any strong leaders now?

3) We don’t mind litter the space when we are out of our home:

I can understand that this happens due to two reasons-

a) India is still highly uneducated.
b) India doesn’t have appropriate infrastructure.

There is a difference between literacy and education. You can earn well, you can speak well if you are literate but literacy doesn’t guarantee ‘good behaviour’. Sometimes in Delhi I feel that richies are less educated than the middle and lower class. I guess our education system has failed to provide proper education to not only to the children of poor but also of wealthy people.

The other point is that those who are educated and understand that keeping places clean is their fundamental duty, actually land up littering a place cause they can’t find proper arrangement for that. I can hardly see dustbins on the roadsides and public conveniences are rare species too. How can you imagine someone controlling his pee for more than an hour in a search for a public toilet?? How can you imagine people walking miles on the roadside in search of dustbins that never exist??

4) Job inefficiency:

That’s a very important point that you picked up Bharathi. But if you dig deep into the reasons as to why most of the Indians are not that job efficient then you will find that – ‘Indians are not usually happy with their jobs’. Not because it’s paying them less but because they are least interested in the kind of jobs that they do. Now why will someone take a job which will not interest him much? The answer is ‘Family’ and ‘Society’. Indians are wild social animals. And our culture defines our duties; Duties like taking responsibilities of your family, earn some name and respect in the society. You don’t always have a freedom of pursuing what you want to.

I am working in IT industry (no surprise there) and I can see that 70% of people in IT don’t actually like what they are doing. They are doing it just because jobs are in IT sector and nowhere else. They are killing their interests for the sake of money. How do you expect someone to work efficiently with something that he doesn't like doing. People who took biology in their PUC land up becoming an engineer due to their parents' pressure. And no wonder the same logic applies in the govt. sector. The main reason of inefficiency there is that people jump into the govt. offices regardless of the job profile as they are offered permanent jobs. That means tension free life.

Thus I feel that IST is also a product of our job inefficiency. Those who do the things that interest them never actually get late in finishing it. But for others it’s always Indian Stretchable Time.

5) ‘What you can give to the UK’:

As of now what you can give to the UK are the condolences and sympathies from the Indians, directed towards their cricket team :). After all their largest past time colony or what I should say ‘Slave’ is currently the ‘King’ of the game that they invented centuries ago. What else can you give to them??? Just kiddin’ :p.

Well this was a long post. I think I have made my views really clear. Feel free to disagree :).


Jennee said...

Great post Ashish! I see a lot of your points even though I don't understand all of India's politics. World wide, we are people with free will and like you said "A common man’s thinking can be changed by his leader" but we are still individuals with different priorites, visions and beliefs...and this is something I have the hardest time understanding. So whether our leaders are good or bad, it doesn't determine the outcome of a country even though it may give an image of this or that. Ok, I'll stop now because when I "talk" politics I contradict myself or confuse myself or am totally way off my original point. lol

Nitin said...

Once again a great post with lot of good point and arguments. Also I like your style of putting up the points. There are few things which I want to say through your post:
1. The question you have asked about compression of developed and developing nation is very much true and I think comparison should always be between the two things which are at same plane.
But I don’t agree with your this statement “The question of political corruption, the question of infrastructure, the question of good behavior, all of these have one common answer to them – ‘Money’”.
Man just lack of Money not the only root cause of all the bad things we have in over country. There are several other reasons.

2. Job inefficiency: What you have wrote is 100% true man, most of the ppl just hate their work but then they are doing it just because they have some kind of responsibility.
Once again, congratulation for such a nice blog. And Yaa Sorry I have taken to much of space in writing comment.

Ashish said...

@Jennee: I am always honored when you comment on a post like this :). I feel great when i see you so interested in my political, social and most of the times pessimistic, posts about India.
B/w i feel that what society thinks is not always right (though u r free to think wat u want to think). At that time a reformer, a revolutionary and a great leader has to direct them towards the right direction.Tht's whr i gave an example of Raja Ram Mohan Roy who abolished 'Sati' system in India. (if you don't know what it was : It was a funeral practice among some Hindu communities in which a recently widowed woman would either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. This practice is now rare and outlawed in modern India.)

Ashish said...

@Nitin: Thanks for liking the post :). I actually love it when someone posts a long comment (that proves that he read the post with full interest ;)).
As far as you disagreement goes, all i will say is that just wipe out all the money from a developed country's 'khazana' and you will see them becoming like us :).

Bharathi said...

First of all I am very very sorry for responding late to such a beautiful post. I found little time to think and that is the reason I didn’t comment even though I read your post the very first day you posted it.

@ Comparison: I know we can not compare India and western countries. I agree with that view point. My intention in the post was not to compare two countries. It is more like bench mark to know where we should reach.
I also agree money is the main reason for development. But what is money? It is nothing but work of a person. National income is work of all nationals. If we identify the demands of current world and render proper work, we too can earn more money. History of the development of Singapore is one of the good examples for how people can change a country’s fortune. (I know that is a small country compared to India. Here my point is to prove how people can change a country)

@ Leaders: I too like all those leaders you mentioned. I again like to have leaders like them now. My point is that, the current ignorance of people is not allowing them to select right persons. Do you know, the great leader Kamaraj lost election once in Kanchepuram for which even the opposite leaser Anna felt sad. Such is the ignorance level of people.
We have approximately one percent of nice enlightened persons among our population. Our chance of getting them is also one percent I suppose. But that one percent were not able to survive in current money politics.

@ Education: I agree with most of your points here, but I still feel virtues cant be taught through general education.

@ Job: I somehow cant accept this excuse for inefficiency. The choice is ours. We choose what we want. And so we should be blamed for that too.

@ Point 5: :- ). That was a friendly chat with my then British colleague. I have few Brit friends who feel what they did then to the world was wrong.

Ashish said...

@Bharathi: Thanks for commenting on all the points that i made. I feel the problems that we face are far more complex than what other developing nations face. Be it about leaders, development, education or anything, the solutions are not straight forward. but still i feel that the most impeccable solution is to provide proper education to all. Things can't get better without it.

Bharathi said...

If you read my post 'teachers aaj kal, you would know how much importance I give to education and my opinion on that.

Ashish said...

@Bharathi: That was the 1st post that i read on ur blog. It was really nice. I remember u pointed out that instead of bombarding the plethora of knowledge from the ocean of trivial fields, it would be better to teach about the things that will be practically more important in one's life. And i agree with u on tht.

aditi said...

Gawd youve got on quite a debate here!
But its always refreshing to read your post. However my stand on India is highly biased thanks to my Defence background. :P

Ashish said...

@Aditi: Haha.. welcome back aditi.. gr8 to see your comment .. and thanks for making me open my blog after one month of hiatus ;). May be i will start writing again :D