Our Identity – Part I

अक्टूबर 13, 2006

I have complaints, complaints against this whole world. What did you say? ”why?” Have you ever stepped outside India and been to another developed country? No? Then you’re saved from notoriety. For these are the developed countried where children, after a certain age, need to take an appointment to meet their parents. And yes, its not considered necessary to meet parents. These are the countries where children, if scolded by parents, file law-suits against them. Yes, so where was I? I have complaints. Complaints that many people of these developed countries do not respect India. Although they do call India ‘A unique country, a colourful country, a country of numerous languages’, yet if you spend some time with them you realise what they truely think of you. At this stage, I’d like to divide the readers into two categories. One, of those who believe that whatever those people (from developed countries) think, we follow our own paths without paying heed to them. To such good people, my sincere request is to kindly stop reading this article. The other category is of those people who have similar complaints as I have been mentioning. So come along, my complaining brethren! Let us probe some of these things in detail. Let us start with a few questions and answers, shall we?

So, the first question. Why,at the first place, should the whole world respect us? Some people would respond with, ‘what do you mean, why? Look at our cultural wealth, look at our temples, look at our unity in diversity! Did you know that the concept of zero was first founded in India? Did you know that the famed Pythagoras theorem was discovered 250 years earlier by Bodhayan? Did you know that the iron pillar of Delhi is standing tall for 1200 years weathering the rain, wind and sun without getting rusted? Scientists around the world have exhausted themselves trying to find this unique metallic mixture. Have you heard of Bhaskara, Aryabhatta, Panini and Sushrut? Centuries ago, Sushrut carried out the first plastic surgery! The rishi Kanaad talks of the ‘anu’ (atom) thousands of years earlier than people from other lands. The Vedas and Gita were written here. The first Universities were founded in the Indian sub-continent.’ Alright, we get the point, but these are ancient things. What is happening now? What are we today? Now, we again divide our readers into two categories. One category of those who say, ‘You are right. The present condition in India is deplorable and it is all owing to our greedy politicians. That is the reason why we have left India to settle here.’ or ‘This is the reason why we are trying our level best to send our son to America so that one day, we’ll be fortunate enough to leave this terrible place. Of course, once we reach there, we’ll begin a blog praising India and highlighting its greatness.’ Such people are requested not to waste their precious time by reading further. Their time would be better utilised standing in the long queues outside the American consulate. If you go rightaway, there is a chance that you might get a visa. Goodbye and good luck. So, are there any folks left in the other category? Yes, there are a few. Thank you. For, you are our country’s hope. Lets move ahead and talk of the present times.

There was a time when I too was quite disappointed with India. But now, things are looking up. In 1991, under the leadership of the prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, the then finance minsister, Dr. Manmohan Singh started the economic reforms. The people then, were sceptical and believed that we were headed towards slavery again. It was thought that every Indian company would be bought by a foreign company. And this did happen. Look at the examples of brands like, Kelvinator, Limca, Goldspot. But what is happening now, 15 years later? To answer this, let us look at the results of a survey carried out, not so long ago, on 5th Sept 2006. Within a span of 6 months, from Jan-Jun 2006, 255 foreign companies were either taken over or majority of shares were bought by Indian companies. And most of these foreign companies belong to the developed nations. The total cost of this shopping was around 17 billion dollars. Last year, around the same time, Indian companies had shopped for 6 billion dollars. This is a whopping 175% increase in one year. Today, India is ranks third fastest in buying out foreign companies. What does this signify? To understand this let us look at the following instance. When we buy a cold-drink manufactured in India by some foreign brand, the profiting amount doesnt go to India, but into the pocket of the owner situated outside India. Similarly, the profit earned by the Indian companies through the (‘taken-over’) foreign companies will be invested in India and will contribute towards India’s prosperity. Some of India’s biggest problems are turning out to be advantages. Foremost problem: population. Today, the average age of an Indian is less than that of many countries. This means that in the coming 20-25 years, India would have relative younger and more-active hands, whereas in other countries, the old people would outnumber the young. Second problem: doing business in India is a risky proposition. But precisely for this reason, the Indian businessmen can face challenges more easily than their foreign counterparts. For example, in France today in the field of business management, it is considered a plus-point if one has had a work experience from India. Many large companies are managed by Indians. Today, India’s economy is increasing at the rate of 8 to 9%. Not only companies like Tata, Reliance and Videocon but even smaller companies are becoming multinational. Apart from the private companies, the public sector enterprises like ONGC are also spreading out in the world. Of course, one cannot forget the fields of information technology and pharmaceuticals where India is renowned world-wide.



7 टिप्पणिया

  1. The reason why foreigner’s hate about india is still we have typical traditional image. Most of the foreigners complins about overcrowding and dirty places. There are hardly clean places over India. When you go metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi or Bengalore, first you come across with beggers and pollution. Even though we are progressing very fast these things still keep our ‘Typical Indian’ image.

  2. I will not agree 100% to what Shashi has mentioned.

    1. Foreigners love India for its Traditional values.
    2. All that they do not like about India or for that matter any other developing country is the sheer divide between the poor and the rich. One of my Danish friend after his tour of South East Asia commented that ‘It is tough to digest that beautiful places in Asia has such poverty, I am unable to comprehend. It is hard for many Europeans and Americans to see such misery’.

    We Indians are a thinking society. It is better to act than to comment on poor infrastructure. We choose our local government, we are liable for our own misery 😦

    Vande Mataram!!!

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