Archive for the ‘india frustrates’ Category

Farewell Articles

(via nytimes) Anand Giridharadas after a four and a half year assignment in India heads back to the U.S. He writes two articles which are well articulated and overlap with my experiences here. I also returned 5 years ago but am not going anywhere for now.

But India is a place for seeking, not concluding, and here the chasm between what I wonder and know has widened with time. So I decided instead to write down the questions that still haunt me after 2,000 days here, about justice, love, culture, power, freedom — questions I hope someone abler will answer someday. Once Clear Thoughts are Clouded >>>

Indians don’t crave our mayonnaise and khakis anymore. They no longer angrily berate America, because they are too busy building their own country. Indian accents are now cooler than British ones. No one asks if I feel Indian or American. How delicious to see that unconcern. How fortunate to live in a land you needn’t leave to become your fullest possible self.And how wondrous, in this time of revolutions, to have had my own here. I grew up in America defining myself by the soil under my feet, not by the blood in my veins. The soil I shared with everyone else; the blood made me unbearably different. Before I loved India, I loathed it. But that feeling seems now like a relic from a buried past. I leave now on the journey’s next stretch, with sadness and with joy, humbled by India, grateful to have been at the revolution and to have known the revolutions within. Farewell to an India I hardly knew >>>

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A few old school mates met up last Sunday and were discussing the current economic and political situation. I commented, that in a few years, 50 families will rule this country, economically and politically. There was silence and for a change everyone agreed. The reason, that few families will control this country implies that we are not a meritocracy based society but one of patronage. India will forever demand but never command in the globaleconomy. Below are a few reasons why we will never be a super power.

Rich Poor Divide : The disparity between the rich and poor is widening. The average quality of life is deteriorating. It is not about the poor having a cell phone but about living without fear. The fear of hunger, exploitation, lack of choice and uncertainty. This rich poor divide is what is proliferating the naxal movement across the country. Addressing the naxal movement is only addressing the symptom not the root of the problem.

Corruption : The British set up a system of governance which enabled extraction of resources in a structured manner. When the British left the transfer of power shifted from white people to brown people. They continued to extract benefiting a few families and this trend will converge to the benefit of the 50 or so families that will ultimately rule this country. Unless the bureaucracy and politicians are made accountable this country has no future. Our public servants were rated the least efficient in Asia.

Legal System : The legal system in India needs to be completely re engineered where the focus is to render justice. The nexus between lawyers, a corrupt judiciary is making it difficult for a common man to get justice or  business to run efficiently. It also becoming impossible for the poor to seek justice because of the high costs.

Right to Education: Still 50% of our country remains illiterate. Every educated citizen should be drafted to educate the rest of the country. Just like many countries have compulsory military service why not we have compulsory teacher service.

Decline of key professions: While in school, I was reminded to always tell the truth to one’s teacher, lawyer and doctor. My general experience with all 3 of them has been notorious in the last 3 years. There are some exceptions, in general, one has to to be lucky to find them. Teachers hired by the government don’t do their work, those in private become inaccessible to the common man. The same situation applies to doctors and lawyers also.

There are many other issues, but if we start addressing the above with a 25 year plan and a mission where a billion people participate. The world will notice us not because of the number, we are, but the large number focussed on doing the right thing, that will be ideal momentum.

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Having worked in India and China, I share Gurucharan Das’s view that we are better setup for success. For that, we have to reform, if we reform, “a big if”, then we have a good chance. For all of us who run businesses the govt is an impediment not supporter, which is captured well in the statement, India’s GDP grows when the govt sleeps … read more >>>>

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India is ranked 122 amongst 171 countries in doing business business by World Bank. India lags behind most South Asian countries Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Why this low ranking ? anybody who has done business in India will not be surprised. India has done nothing to cut red tape that includes simplification of business regulation, strengthen property rights and enforce contracts. We have lot of business going on but the quality of business is very low. One should enjoy and have fun doing business. Build great products and services to enlighten customers. Half the time you are fighting or entertaining government officials, depending on what you prefer. Can only say this ranking should be a surprise to those working in a shell.

So friends can we be an effective nuclear power when we cannot be a desired business destination.

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(via Indian Express) There is no magic like customer pull. If voters—in the group where the voting volumes lie—demanded better public amenities and services, then the supply side would change. And when there is no hope, then sab chalta hai, as in chalana he padega. When we see better, and there is hope, then patience and tol-erance levels decline. That’s what the consumer goods experience has been.

Creating active citizenry has been a problem so far. That’s because there are many pieces of the effort that have to link together, and most efforts that are being made but not working too well are because only one link in the chain is being changed. Creating active citizenry needs very sophisticated and ubiquitous communication that ener-gises and awakens people with the absolutely right message.

Only citizen groups can put processes on the ground. Leave the politician out of this, he will come on board when he has votes at stake. >>>>

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