Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Obsession with the West

It is interesting to watch meetings of the intellectuals of our society. It will rebuff any theories of well they understand our society. The most recent one I attended had unending discussions of, guess what- Sarah Palin and other intricacies of the American election. If I were to ask them about the upcoming Assembly elections and its implications on the country’s future policies, they would fall short.

We seem to be a society taking up problems which are easy to solve and in fact, do not require our direct involvement. We are happy pointing fingers and solving all levels of issues, sitting in our embroidery-covered sofas for problems that are half a world away from us!

So few of us stand up and take up the issues that surround us that it is appalling. Every week I meet people who complain about the trees in Bangalore being cut down- but we don’t see any effectual protest being done beyond living room cribbing. The most shocking of people who follow anything the government throws at them is that of the ‘Pub City of India’; Bangalore has become such a boring city that dessert places also try closing down by 10pm for lack of customers (Corner House being an exception).

The loss of business due to the 11:30pm deadline, by my uninformed guess, would be in the range of Rs 500 cr per month. There is a definite loss of young people (which might be overshadowed by the inflow of small town kids flowing in) who prefer Delhi or Mumbai where at least they can spend a bit of their easy-earned money. I am not even counting this block on the economy- the slowed growth due to less flowing money.
The point however remains that the city which prided itself as the pub city of India is now a dead city. And no one raised an eyebrow. This city, the home of Kingfisher breweries produces sales at just a bit better than a nearby small town. And not even the king of Kingfisher pushed his political clout.

This indifference or the lack of guts to stand up what our rights makes me wonder how we ever even got our independence. It does explain a few things though- like how most of the leaders of our freedom fight were educated outside of India. Even Ambedkar, now the symbol for political usage by a party catering to the most uneducated and downtrodden of our people, spent multiple years getting educated in the west.
This indifference and the ability to merge whatever is thrown at us is a good thing too; in a country of such vastly different vested communities, where states are divided by the language people speak, where there are streets of people of only one community, we still manage to be tolerant to our neighbours, we still have relatively negligible community clashes to how many should have been. We are still one country. 17 national languages. And we are still one country. We don’t inter-marry. But we are still one country.

But coming back to the original point, we prefer solving other people’s problems because on one hand the issues are too big for us to do something and on the other hand we have a sab-chalta-hai and a swalpa-adjust-madi philosophy on life. A philosophy, that has saved our skin and also been our downfall.

On the personal front, I would just like a few intelligent people to be able to talk to about my own damn country.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A consequency of the BPO economy...

...laymen judge company value by the number of employees.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Do you?

I know my life's work; do you?