I must say I am really excited about all this criticism going around about India. Muwahahha! (I think I must do more of this evil laugh when I blog). Anyway I read this comment which says it all and I think it needs a post of its own:
India is really a sad country, most of us are immune to this, we’d rather not face it. When I first came here as a naive 16 year old 10 years ago the poverty even in a city like Bombay shocked me, there is too much suffering here.
In villages the caste system is alive and well with lower castes living on the periphery and not sharing even the same resources like water. In cities you don’t see it untill its time to get married, then even the most educated Indian becomes caste conscious. We are very religious as a people but not moral, for us sex and public posturing is more about morality, as individuals we have no integrity which reflects in the massive amount of corruption, how other Indians less fortunate than us are treated. For instance you could be praying all day and yet have little qualm in mistreating the people who work for you. The state and its various arms have no respect for the people, unless you are someone important even the most basic decencies are not extended.
This is everday life, there is a VIP culture, a culture of servitude which means that no rules are followed, no system adhered to, anything goes if you have the right connections. Thats why the environment is a mess, and administration ineffective. Whatever little resources is available is wasted.
And you can’t run away from a population of 1.3 billion ever increasing. Even the most talented and commited administration can’t solve this over the next 100 years. We can’t have a welfare state and provide even bassic amenities. We will always judge ourselves by standards that are significantly lower than any western country. I think Europe at the moment is the good example of how to get things right. But indians will point to morality, as if they have a monolopoly on things like family values and caring for kids, what about trying to give people a decent chance at having a life, that’s not important in the face of pretension and posturing. So every small success is magnified. We are insecure so any response to this article can only be defensive. But if we don’t recognize the problem we can’t solve it. We are inadequate, the systems and laws are there but we can’t implement anything because of a overwhleming lack of integrity.
On the business side, the IT revolution has definitely made life better and its another small step. Companies are profesionally managed nowdays, no bosses wife intefering in your work. People are better paid. More people earning means more spending and this has a roll on effect. But we are not innovating, india has not innovated. BPO and IT services is the most boring work in the world, there is money but no challenge at work. We don’t have a culture of R&D, taking a risk, making a product, and taking it to market, we don’t have the appetite for that sort of invstment with no guarantee of returns, so much easier to to mop up service contracts, hire people here and refine a process and take the money. No risks. So don’t compare this to Silicon Valley, thats a bit of a joke. The pharma industry have a similar business model, and here things could get dangerous especially with no effective regulation and human testing.
The entire world is living on science and technology that really picked up with the renassiance. We should not be shy to acknowledge this. Western civilization is the moden world, its a massive achievement for as as humans and as cultures we should learn form this human achievement and not try to posture about our failures so far.