Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Do We Indians Have A Leg-Pulling Nature In Our Genes ?
Many educated Indians keep on joking about themselves by telling the story of the Indian frogs in the well. They can never come out of the well because they keep pulling the legs of others from escaping the pit that they are in.
There are many such jokes about India and the Indian nature and attitudes.
Even the westerners keep advising their citizens who wish to visit India about the cultural shock that they might face in this country.
But even while we are able to detect our own follies and attitudes, we seldom collectively or individually do any thing to overcome such attitudes and behaviours.
Quite unaware to us, retrograde nature of ours come out and create problems to every one.
A joke about the Indian 'babus' (administrative personnel in the government) is very common. They are very infamous for their negative notes and observations in 'files' (internal office memos moved for approvals from competent authorities).
The government employees hold various forms of strikes and protests for getting certain perks for them. Finally some minister asks the concerned secretary to move a note for the approval of the cabinet.
So a paper is initiated by some department. It moves from one department to other. Some babus keep writing such notes and observations that ultimately the note gets additional note papers attached for every babu to write their points, counter points, study notes, etc etc to eventually become a big file bound by a red-tape. It never reaches the authority concerned for giving a final approval !
Even when it was for their own benefit, it is never done in time ! Otherwise why should they take so much time in finalizing their pay and perks and the so-called pay commissions and the like ?
When this is the situation for some thing that gives benefits to them, what to talk about other issues ?
But I am not blaming those in the government departments alone. It happens everywhere in India when we Indians carry out our work collectively.
It is the habit of Indians to routinely oppose a good idea mooted by some one else. In the first place a good majority of Indians do not have any good idea how to go about in a particular case. But if some one of the intellectual thinking type proposes a well thought idea, all the others become all of a sudden too wise to find many alternatives and modifications to the original idea that it becomes impossible for any one to proceed further to act on it.
Naturally, it is good reason to think that some of them who twist the case are having some vested agendas.
But it is not always very true. The fellows who keep doing everything in their arsenal to twist a proposal are not with any hidden agendas. They do it for the sake of doing it. That is in their blood. That is the Indian nature !
During my professional career, I have got the opportunity to study this behaviour of my colleagues.
Quite interestingly, these same fellows might give a very positive opinion about a thing which they happen to oppose or twist collectively.
I had successfully employed a tricky technique for achieving a collective positive momentum for successful implementation of certain ideas.
That is the technique of getting the swines in the cargo ship ! If you pull the animal from the front it would try to go backward. So what did they do ? Pull it from the back keeping it facing the ship's ladder. Then the animal tries to move forward and climbs the ladder to reach the ship's deck !
So in India, if you have to get any good idea to get implemented, it would be necessary to employ many such tricks.
Imagine the difficulty of any government in India to get some ideas implemented !
The opposition is bound to oppose it. If they do not, some one else would do it. If they do not oppose it entirely, they would oppose it partly. Or suggest some new idea. Or suggest some thing else.
Remember, the original proposal have been worked out by experts who have studied all aspects before putting forward the most suitable proposal !
But no, that way things cannot be done in India. Every Indian has the right to pull or push the way he or she likes.
It is not important if that kills the original idea collectively thought as the best for all.
I keep wondering why such a thing happens in India. Why do we keep doing things which prevent us from implementing ideas that is good for the society and the country.
There are several ways for implementing a project or a plan. But if we keep on pondering over each and every issue endlessly we can never go forward.
We have to decide fast and move forward. Decisions could be wrong. But taking decisions and moving forward would be better than not taking any decisions.
We have to abandon our habits of beating around the bush always.
Whether it is for deciding for the FDI (foreign direct investment) for retailing or deciding who would lead the Kochi Metro Rail or how to allot the telecom spectra or things like that big and small, we have to abandon our attitudes that are similar to the frogs in the well.
We, Indians, have to master the ability to support others who are trying to do some thing for us.
We have to learn how to trust others.
Even when it might not be the one we personally like, we should learn to trust our elected leaders.
Give them a chance to act. If they fail, it is better to take actions of correction later than to keep arguing and counter arguing on an issue endlessly.
Remember, the world is moving forward quite fast.
We are already late to catch up with them.
Let not our Indian attitudes and behaviours make us lag behind them for generations !
If this is a collective genetic disorder, we may have to think individually to do some thing to remove this negative quality of ours.
Do you see the point I am making ?
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