Culture and Society,  On Management

An Indian Irony

The numerous instances where we witness the arrogant westerner showcasing the ‘real’ India, an anglophile Indian cribbing about the systems we have here, people with money being apathetic and more. What does the term ‘real India’ even mean? Is it the same sad story again?

The Same Old Sad Story without the statistics

When we write about our nation, it becomes a downmarket sad story that a privileged few prefer to ignore and the sufferers laugh at the sheer repetitive nature of it. We always state the number of starving people; ask a load of questions and sit back to stare at some dumb television show. All remains forgotten. The country gets to be run by rascals of choicest criminals and we sit back, and we enjoy, and we actually pay to enjoy things that are totally irrelevant.

We have the huge shopping malls buzzing with activity. And we have the poorest of the poor villages that do not have enough rice to eat every night. We have regional diversity that is often politically misused, world class apathy to vouch for and some brilliant cases of brain drain.

Sadly, the sad story can always continue. We are way too many people on this sub-continent. A voice is often raised to change things, and that voice is often dampened by those of fools.

The Balloon and the Pin

I have an inflated balloon and I don’t want it to burst at all costs.

Now I pierce the pin into it and it bursts.

I take an inflated balloon made of a stronger material and pierce it again. It bursts. I make a decision. I try to pierce the pin into another inflated balloon in various different ways and angles. The darn thing bursts every single time. I don’t want it to. But it does.

I have an option of not handling the pin at all. No divine voice has asked me to use the pin. If I don’t want the balloon to burst at all costs, why do I keep stabbing it with the pin?

A human mind is like a balloon while the current society with all its established systems is like a pin. Our behaviour is highly controlled by the forces of the societal discipline. When a human makes mistakes, he is punished. Note that we try hard to change the human being while no effort is made to change the societal rules. We attempt to hide the smoke without killing the fire. Are we being sensible? Really? Or simply practical?

The Real India

We’re a nation of a billion people, half of them starving for lack of adequate resources. These include food, shelter, clothing and water. It also includes electricity, education and awareness of apt issues. A society cannot be termed ‘upcoming’ by handing over cash and cell-phones. The minds should start speaking. And that is yet to happen.

The Sad Sad Attitude

We are, generally speaking, complacent. We take pride in our ancient civilization while failing to notice that the nation is not in a condition to be proud of. We laugh at jokes and bask in the past glory. We stay rooted to the past beliefs and silly notions, failing to understand the true wisdom behind everything there is. We build pathetic buildings, have no road manners and spitting-in-public is a daily pastime. The top of the pyramid fails to understand why they need to extend their hand and pull the other parts up, beside them. If they don’t do it, who will?

Why a Pyramid at All?

I do not like the shape of it at all. Not while we describe societies. What are we, predators? Why is such a low percentage on the top? Why is the ‘top’ existent at all, if it doesn’t help others climb up and make a flat world in broad terms?

You might say that it is easy for a society to function with that structure in place. Alright, but for that we do need a strong base. Here in India, we see the top leaching out stuff from the bottom, laying down fat and snug on top of them, self-sustaining themselves and their whims without caring for others. We often spend a man’s monthly income in an hour, with a swipe of the card. Why can’t we all do the same thing? Why is someone left with a piece of dry bread while we enjoy caviar and risotto?

Fat Market

We might be the country with the largest young population, at this pace. Can we afford to waste the opportunity? No. We have tremendous potential and huge markets that can benefit the millions of poor Indians. Even providing them with basic needs can be made into a for-profit business model. We can have numerous companies doing all sorts of activities, employing and reaching out to many people across the country. We need drastic steps to provide education and resources to the population. And we can have a dedicated workforce at hand.

Hurdles & Corruption

What can possibly be the hurdles? Not corruption. There are ways to ensure that basic facilities reach the population without the mental disease of corruption coming in the way. Once the money factor is taken care of and all the interests have been taken care of too, no one will have a problem in doing some good. Politicians are not bad people. They are often corrupt and criminal-minded for a reason. They are not evil, they are greedy. If we take care of them, they will take care of us. Understand that corruption cannot be rooted out. You need to pet the dragon and understand it.

Corruption the Dragon

Again- it is a mental disease, not exactly an activity done for pleasure. It is probably the easiest thing to get things done. We would not feel the need to pay a bribe if we get things easily. Lesser the efficiency of the system, higher is the corruption rate. If we generate wealth for everyone, at least a satisfactory amount, corruption is not something we would have to worry about. It is not a plant that can be rooted out. It is a dragon whose slaying might require an unnecessarily obscene amount of resources. Rather- let us provide for it, pet it and make an obedient dog out of it.

We the People

We are here for a reason. And that is to create a better world- for us and others. To fellow aspiring entrepreneurs, I humbly ask you to build amazing companies that channel their juices in building this nation (and the world), in numerous ways. Let us change the way we view ‘development’. Let us create alternative energy sources, instead of blindly following the lead of consumption-driven west. We have the man-power and a government that will willingly help, if we show them what’s in it for them. We can bend to their whims for the time-being. We can call the shots later.

As Steve Blank says, the person who does it first need not be the market leader.  However, the first best follower often is. Let us decide who we are. Let us captain this ship.


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