The “D”fault !!!

Though “2G” is the one which is hogging the headlines these days and raking in the bucks (for the news channels this time), this blog of mine is not about 2G but rather “2D“. I was casually watching an interview of a very famous Indian personality the other day on TV where he was asked a very serious question (for a change!). The question somewhat went like this. “Though our country has so many inherent strengths, natural resources, a long history,…why do you think we are still lagging behind many other smaller countries and still facing a lot fundamental problems like poor health conditions, poverty,.., … ?. The answer came in a flash which was –  “Discipline. We Indians lack discipline. That’s what pulls us back. Nothing else. ”  My 2D here is about “Desh and Discipline”.

Traffic

It’s an undeniable fact that as Indians we abhor discipline. Hence it’s not a big surprise that Oprah quizzed if red lights in signals are for entertainment in India during her 1st visit to India couple of weeks ago ! Our Jay Walking may become the next joke in Jay Leno’s programme ( or …may be not after the recent brouhaha!)

We take pride in not keeping our time commitments and keeping others waiting. ‘IST” for long time now has become the Standard acronym for “Indian Stretchable Time”! While we come up with any number of excuses for not turning up on time for business meetings, we somehow manage to be on time in the movie halls! The trailers cannot be missed you see. That’s another matter.

In Mumbai, I notice that the Government is spending crores of our Tax money for building Foot over Bridges in major roads. But people’s feet are still always over the roads and not over the bridges a safety nightmare and also in the process slowing down the slow traffic.FOB

More often than not you will see pictures of Gods and Goddesses in obscure corners in the stairs of buildings, inside lifts,…in  Mumbai. This is an ingenious way human beings have thought of to prevent spitting in the walls inside buildings, inside lifts,… We literally paint the town red – day in and day out ! It’s high time Paan is sold with a convenient spitting pan as a package.

Spit

Forming a single line is simply impossible for us. When we are asked to form lines, they always end up resembling snakes that too with 5 heads!!! In all my travels, its only in the boarding gates of India bound flights I see so much of ruckus when boarding is announced to get on to the plane 1st. Fear factor that the plane may leave without us !

snake

This list is endless. The same “WE”, when we step out of our country observe traffic discipline, timeliness and all that. So what’s the difference? One is the severity of rules and their implementation in other countries. But the main difference is ” What we see others doing”

And when I say all this about our countrymen I don’t mean to exclude myself at all. I’m as much party to many of the above acts as others. So what’s this ranting all about?

If we as a nation with 1.2 bn + people, plenty of natural resources, proud history, functioning democracy also add “Discipline” to our resume, I’m sure we will soon become the super power we yearn to be. The moot question is how do we become a ” D Company” , I mean a Disciplined nation ? After we got independence in 1947, the priorities for that generation were nation building, setting up institutions, fighting famines, ..,… I guess the priority was not given to instill discipline in children,…,…  Now I believe that the time has come. Attitudinal shifts in a country do not happen overnight or not even over months or years. They happen over a generation.  And becoming disciplined is one helluva attitudinal shift. Can WE bring in this shift in our children? By being demonstrative? By being disciplined?

This piece has just ended up with more questions than answers and that was the point. Let me now pause this piece and go to bed so that I’m on time for my gym in the morning!

P.S: The famous Indian personality referred to in the 1st Para is famously called as “The Superstar” and it is said that “If He Kant, nobody can”!!!

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13 thoughts on “The “D”fault !!!

  1. Ashwin says:

    Anand-san………….as always very informative ! Guess you already have an alternate career lined up post retirement (or before that ) 😉

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  2. praveen gopinath says:

    I agree totally with you.
    Some time back a Korean group was here in a party. They asked the host what was the drinking limit in India. They were surprised he was consuming alcohol without knowing the laws. That tells the difference between us and them. Our speed limits are totally impractical, and no one heeds them. We make laws to break them.

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    • Thanks for your comment. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do” goes the popular saying. We Indians typify that. When in India we do as the Indians do – just dont follow rules !

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      • I am slowly going to operate from the here on a few bits on rural development like health and education …I do have a good team in all walks but more of a strong political barrier which makes thing go slow..if you like to publish your articles on janasakthi pls do all means…or send me a mail …

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  3. You hit the nail on the head. Can’t agree more. Until we as a nation embrace discipline the super-powerdom is a pipe dream.We need a religion of Discipline, a leader to show us the D word in every walk of life. I am in the US for a 3 year stint after having spent 30 years in India across 5 cities. This country prospers, rocks and does well just because they have made Discipline a way of life.

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  4. Navika says:

    You being very considerate in saying we follow what we see. Even in lands beyond our shores some is leave our mark as not being from a ‘D’ nation citizen.
    Believe me

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  5. Historically, our wealth of natural resources as prevented us to organize ourselves. The weather is moderate throughout the year, genarally abundant crops let us be indisciplined and still lead a fairly satisfied life. In case of famine, people would just moved from place to place and don’t bother about discipline.

    With more money, we will only be more indisciplined. Considering the predictions made by economists, I think we can only be more indisciplined.

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