Sunday, April 09, 2006

India Everywhere

After a bout of negatively toned posts, its time to spruce up our spirits and hopes, and realise what we can be. I believe the clip below has been around for a while, but its worth watching it many times over. I did. And I felt so good. I hope the same applies to each one of us, Indians.

India Inspired! : A Billion Reasons to Care

On my way home from the airport last week, the cab driver told me his story, about how he began his life as a cabbie and his family. He said he had two daughters and now wanted a son. Assuming the usual, I began scolding him for wanting a son. Then he told me it was not that he considered or treated his girls any less, but just wanted a son so that his daughters and wife will have "someone" even if something happens to him. I told him nothing will happen and to just give the best to his two girls. He also went on to tell me how "eju-cashion" was so important and he is ensuring that his girls get the best available. He told me the "eju-cashion" he is giving his girls now will guarantee they will never have to go hungry.

I was inspired, yet again.


Jiby said...

when you see and hear things like that u feel positive abt india really progressing...i always think that all the blood that our martyrs shed can never go wasted and we'll be a power to reckon with like America is in another 20-25 years.

from the rich to the poor the message is spreading everywhere...even if you have money and loads and loads of it, it doesnt help if you arent educated well...maybe it could be in social standing or it could be in self-confidence, etc. the 2 gals i am sure will show the taxi driver that not having boys didnt make any difference at all.

quills said...

You are right! This is a feel good post. And I am so amazed and pleased to see the change in opinion and perspectives people have for India.Not only us Indians, but what outsiders think of us. Now everyone wants to come to India, to be a part of the boom. In some spheres, we no longer aspire to beat the West rather they are trying their level best to learn some best practices from us. I come across this almost every other day working for an IT company, on how the Indians are doing this and that and how we need to learn from them. I feel so good just hearing that. It is great to hear that the optimistic outlook and thoughts like education for women is spreading across the masses.

silverine said...

You are flying around with that hand? I wish the doctor in you will ground the patient till he is completely healed :)

Even my maids kids are studying.I think apart from the construction laborers most of the people try and send their kids to school at least in the city. It is a beginning. Lets hope for the best.

Shinu Mathew said...

Well, reason to say double cheer. But if you happen to see this post, you will feel depressed again :)
I am not a pessimist but can't close my eys against the truth and feel jubilant because 1% of indians earn in crores per annum and about 35% lives under a shelter. The rest, is the real India.

Jiby said...

Shinu, it is easy to criticize...cant you look at the odds staring at the democratic govt in the world has a population of 1 billion plus and 250 million plus people below the poverty line to fend for...we inherited virtually nothing from the british at 50 years we have achieved a lot like building up of capital industries, telecommunication and infrastructure and white collar jobs for the educated middle class though people look at the darker side and still find nothing to cheer about.

If you look at recent govt policies you find they are dissociating themselves slowly from the industrialization process and strengthening the tax base and focussing on social and rural problems like NREGP and PURA. We will get there slowly and steadily...the evils which have persisted in India for centuries cannot be rooted away in a fortnight...your complaint about people making more money has been bandied for ages...stymying their talent and potential is not the way to gun for development.

silverine said...

It's true that there are many people who live below poverty line and for these people getting a meal everyday is a stroke of luck. But there is a growing sense among the poor that they need to educate their children. I think the Child Labor laws has helped a lot in this regard.
The housekeeping boys in my place of work are all studying and working as their parents are too poor to fund their higher education. These boys come from the rural hinterland. Some are even paying for their siblings education back home. But the important thing is that these people are educating themselves.
I think this govt has put in programmes that will penetrate to the weakest.Lets hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

yes yes

great to see sensible people around now n then,,

Babin said...

Timely post Mind. India's brand image has been skyrocketing over the past 3,4 years.... thanks especially to all the desi Techies.

Like MMS said about the emergence of India, quoting Victor hugo- " No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come". This is absolutely true about the future of India.

Education is every disenfranchised people's best shot to get to an equal playing field. Glad more and more poor parents realizing this. But the question is do students realize the power of education before it is too late? Will they stay in school for 10-15 years
without receiving any immediate benefit??

Whatever the harsh realities, i gotta appreciate the central government's recent policies in providing incentives for students to stay in school. During the last budget, Chidamparam announced government will deposit RS 3000 in the personal account of every girl child who passes 8th standard and enroll in a secondary school, which they can withdraw after they reached 18 w/ interest.
This scheme should provide a strong incentives to poor students to stay in school like the Meal a day program. Another smart move from UPA.

Shinu Mathew said...

Well, I chose to differ here, I don't know how you guys are talking things such as people sending their children to school however poor they are. Ever been to the interiors of Maharshtra? Or Bihar, UP, MP and Assam? What about Tamilnadu? All these empowerment of girl child and importance of education is still lingering around metros and may a few educationally advanced states like Kerala, but the rest of the country is still in dark ages. What I meant to say is it is ludicrous to talk all these India flying and India shining things when the majority of people lives under extreme situations. I wasn't critisizing for the sake of it. It is a reality in the rural part of the country.
Second, it is true that India has managed to get the attention of biggies in some areas such S/W or BPO field. But in other areas we still lag miles behind other developing countries. A rescent study put India at an abysmal 102 of 116 nations surveyed in terms of Quality of life. Talk about public health, per capita income and life expectancy, a few standards to guage a country's well being.
For decades, many people put the blame on our exploding population and to an extend it is true. But those who were at power are equally guilty. What have they done to check it or at least make people aware about it? A mere suggestion of disqualifying legislatures who have more than 2 children was shot down mercilessly. Think about setting examples like Lalu Prasad Yadav.
India's biggest burden and the biggest asset is it's people. We have this extra ordinary workforce that is fuelling the growth of the nation. Don't forget that too.

Brijesh Nair said...

Things are definitely becoming good in India

Mind Curry said...

@ jiby - absolutely truly inspires me every day to see such scenes and feel that energy in the youth.

@ quills - every day i hear about atleast one family returning to india. though i wish that was the case with kerala too. but nopes, people are returning to the big cities only.

@ silverine - yes, the power of education is being realised by everyone. and that is the only way forward.
:) hand is ok, still withholding the surgery.

@ shinu - agree that rest is the big part of real india. but there has to be a beginning somewhere. and i truly believe this is the beginning. and the effect will percolate to the poorest sooner than later. and with the schemes like EGS, it has to be quite soon.

@ jiby - i agree. this is a point most people miss, and communists uphold in their quest to project themselves as righteous and pro-poor. wealth has to be created somewhere for it to percolate to the poor. for years we have stuck to the mentality of a closed up market and we just made ourselves poorer.

@ silverine - surely, even every person, well to do or not, ensures the best education for their children. i see it as a heartening beginning. surely it will spread all across india with time.

@ aashik - yes, atleast there is a track forming now :) thanks to our PM and FM in many ways.

@ rocksea - bad boy! :) well..we have to believe in the system when it shows promising signs, i am sure india will be numero uno soon. i certainly am.

@ babin - i was so happy to read that info on chidambaram's 3k promise. wow..that certainly is something. amazing!

@ shinu - i certainly agree that all is not well and there are lot more downsides than things to cheer about. but what i mean is there is a certain positivity in EVERY one in india, poor or rich. and like i said, we have to begin somewhere. and it is only natural that wealth has to be created somewhere and then be percolated to the poorer regions. and the way things are going, there is every reason to feel assured it will, and be proud about it.

@ brijesh - 100% :)

Shinu Mathew said...

You may be correct in beginning somewhere. But the distribution of wealth is something highly arguable still.
I am being portrayed as a pessimist by myself I guess. Only time will tell which one of us was prophetic. But as one who saw the both extremes, one end spending lakhs of Rs in a night joint in one night and the other end, commiting suicide because he couldn't make both ends meet. I think the first one belongs to an exotic breed of human animal where the other is the real face of india.
I saw no reason to cheer buddy!! Sorry.

13 said...

The Kerala Congress (Joseph) has put up a blog at
I think this is a first for any political party in the state, please have a look and let me know what you think.


Mind Curry said...

@ shinu - i guess you have your views due to many experiences in life. anyway lets hope the best for india atleast.

@ goodlookin! - most political parties have full fledged websites (most have TV channels!)

i personally have no clue about this joseph or his opponent. but just because his opponent has money, it is not a disqualification in MY opinion. anyway as i said, may the best get elected always!

aria said...

I hadn't seen the clip so thanks for the link . .. :)
My previous maid had 5 daughters and they all went to school .. she had a son too - the yongest. As far as I have seen arnd me - ppl do send their daughters to school but still do wish to have a son. And family planning - they just don't care!
I still remember as kid - sometimes me n my sister travelled with mom .. (without dad!) and some fellow travellers shot strange qs to my mom like "you 3 are alone?" LOL .. as if you can only be not alone - if you were with a man. Lots of relatives wondered why my parents stopped at 2 daughters. But tht was long bck -I'm sure things are changing slowly but surely ... or may be I'm not sure .. even some educated ppl manage to surprise me with their conservative outlook ..

Mind Curry said...

@ aria - thank you :)yes there is hope and things are definitely changing. i feel there is a part to be played by every single indian to ensure we succeed and the change changes the lives of every indian.

Unknown said...

This craving for a son is something that will stil take time to change! The result is obvious in the sex ratio which is alarming.

Good to know you are contributing in your small way!


PC said...

I agree with Shinu here. I have lived, studied and is working in US for the last few years and I know why India would NOT be another US in the next 25 years (or may be next 250 years). India is booming because of the huge population and young population. As for industries, it is all copy cats of western technology add with it glorified body shoppers like Infy and Wipro, we get the hype of the millennium. I am Pro-American and I make no qualms about it. I would rather be in US and regret being in India than be in India and regret being in US. BTW if we are all Indians, why do we have south indians and mallus and gujjus and so on and so forth....

Mind Curry said...

@ random thoughts - thanks so much rashmi..good to see you here.

@ PC - i dont think shinu meant anything that you mentioned here. anyway the point is, the majority, atleast the indians in india share a sense of pride and energy that can, and i believe it will, transform the country. there may be few who find it difficult to believe considering the odds, but that doesn't matter.

like you said, it is the mighty youth that is going to be at the forefront of this transformation. i dont think india is trying to be like usa, we are just going to be developed india.

its true we have keralites, gujaratis, north indian, south indian, christian, muslim, hindu and what not in india. isnt that the beauty of this country?

I would rather be in US and regret being in India than be in India and regret being in US.
i am not sure what you meant, but anyway i know it sounds very sad. may you be happy wherever you are :)

PC said...

I apologize for all the typos in my comment. It was a sleepy saturday night and though yours was the zillionth blog with links to the video and I couldn't help but comment.

"it is the mighty youth that is going to be at the forefront of this transformation"
Mighty is a good adjective, but "cheap" would have been better. Of late I have noticed that calls made to toll free numbers go to Philippines and not to India. Well they speak English as much as we do and also we get 52 Pesos compared to 45 Indian rupees.

"isnt that the beauty of this country?"
Very much yes when you learn it in a fifth standard text book. Where is the fun when a trainful of people are burned alive and as a retaliation a whole community of Muslims were killed. Didn't you read about the bombings at Juma Masjid and how the police is "clueless" about the incident. It happens only in India.

"i am not sure what you meant"
It is a typo. Read "I would rather be in US and regret NOT being in India than be in India and regret NOT being in US. Gotcha?

Mind Curry said...

@ PC - yes, i am always delighted to see comments, so thank you. but its becoming like a one on one thing here now between us :)


but "cheap" would have been better.
so what if it india is cheaper compared to any other country, even pakistan? thousands here are getting employed, millions are eating three meals a day and so on because of these new jobs. it is that which is more valuable for indians, and not whether we work out cheaper. its because we are cheaper the work has come to us in the first place. as time progresses, and if we maintain quality we will get paid more.

Very much yes when you learn it in a fifth standard text book.
lol..that was a funny one..i dont know if its just me, but i still feel proud of the fact.
and violence and terrorism happens everywhere..dont know why you think it happens only in india.

It is a typo. Read "I would rather be in US and regret NOT being in India than be in India and regret NOT being in US. Gotcha?
gotcha now :) but it still sounds sad to me. and may you be happy wherever you are.

Flyaway Mind said...

feel life is getting brighter a lot of coments out's true in india, there is that wide gap btw the haves & the have's happening out there in all developing countries's just a matter of time , before we overcome this gap & attain the balance.development'z not an overnight process.but can we just kill a booming software sector, just bcos the other sectors r not looking's been hardly 60 yrs since independence...india is rising up..

Shinu Mathew said...

PC,As much as I respect your point of view, I disagree with what you said. I would rather be in India. After all even if my mother is ugly, I wouldn't abandon her for a beautiful lady. This is My country, my motherland.

Mind Curry said...

@ flyawaymind - absolutely..IT is transforming India and now suddenly everything else is also looking up. Thats because IT has provided the much needed thrust to the economy in terms of jobs, foreign exchange etc. now the govt can focus on other sectors.

@ shinu - thanks, thats the whole point.

starry said...

That was a beautiful post. Its so nice to hear of fathers wanting their girls educated.and also just not wanting sons. Time has changed and it is for the better.

PC said...

You said it right, this discussion would take us nowhere. So lets finish it once and for all.
My problem is that (and I think this holds true for a person like you too) I a concerned about what is happening. And as they say "If you are not concerned, then you are not paying attention". A similar boon happened in 2000, college grads were hired by software companies in dramatically huge numbers. All my friends became geeks overnight by doing 3 month certificate courses. And then the big bust came. Everyone lost jobs.Think of this situation. All animals in a region become ill at the same time, and all doctors abandon their profession to become vets because it pays well. As a doctor, how will you feel? These incidents have helped me take things with a pinch of salt.

I am a world citizen. If I were patriotic, I would first be labelled "a jerk" because in my working place there are people from 25 different countries. If you are a true Indian (sorry, I am not), then have you heard of "Vasudaiva Kudumbakam" (the world is a family), and "yetra vishwam bhavatyeka needam" (let the world be like a bird's nest), both of which originated from India. Its fun to have the world as a family, try doing it some time.
Now to answer MC's question, I am extremely happy, and I was never otherwise. But I think that has more to do with the state of mind.

Mind Curry said...

@ starry nights - yes..its so nice to note that there is better sense prevailing even among the poor and uneducated regarding these things.

@ PC - if all those college grads were unemployed and never got a job if not for the boom in 2000 would you have been happier? i am sure atleast a big percentage of them are still employed somewhere because of their experience in those software companies. i know plenty of such people.

if a medical doctor finds better opportunity in treating animals, and if he chooses to do so then its cool. but a doctor is not unemployed in the first place. we are talking about the unemployed getting employed.

i also cannot figure out how being patriotic is equivalient to being a jerk. we can all be world citizens and global players or whatever, that doesnt have to take away any love for your country. maybe you feel like an american because you are in america - i dont know how long that will last.

If you are a true Indian (sorry, I am not),
thats quite confusing i must say.

anyway like you said, you have your own views and i have my own. so lets keep it that way as long as it works for both of us :) i love my india, thats all. and that has never stopped me from being comfortable in any country i have travelled to.

PC said...

I rest my case. I think all of us have had enough brain massage. Rock on.
P.S: I am not American either. FYI

Shinu Mathew said...

Heavy dose of intellectual debate here!!!
Time to bring up another great post.
You are doing great pal.
Keep it up.

Keshi said...

I think he's a father stuck in the old days where they feel a man is necessary to look after the family...poor guy tho..I admire his love for his daughters...reminded me of my dad.


Anonymous said...

@Maind Curry

I noticed the sense of belief you have in the people of this country in transforming it's own destiny. you said "mighty youth that is going to be at the forefront of this transformation".

But in one of the previous post's comments you said

"i am unable to start my own "company" in kerala because of the peoples attitude. everything is opposed. and even if you manage to cross all hurdles you end up with unions and strikes creating havoc"

isn't there a contradiction?
don't tell me that India and Kerala are different. Aren't you one of the mighty youths who can transform India? Then why when it comes to Kerala, you are losing your faith?

Mind Curry said...

@ PC - lol :)

@ shinu - thanks shinu..yeah i think its time for another post..babin, aashik, arjun, quills, bmj..arent you listening?

@ chaayakada - ah, finally your comment..

yes i do believe in the youth and its power..and i do love india. about kerala and india..its like a family..kerala has to be outstanding for india to achieve its full potential, and like kerala every state. it doesnt mean when i talk for kerala i hate other states or its people.

kerala has a lot of flaws and thats what i gather from my experiences in other states and people. the whole idea of this blog is to interact and create awareness. if i bring out the flaws in my state it is in the hope that there will be other people who see the good in my statements, or correct the wrong in my thoughts.

if you ask me, there IS a difference in many ways between india and kerala..this i have compared in many of my posts.
and some of the differences are good while others are bad.

as i said, i do believe in the youth of india..and by this blog i am trying to mobilise the like minded progressive ones in an unified direction. i dont lose faith, but do get disappointed when some of the younger generation people also behave and think like 65 year old regressionists, afraid of change and thereby impeding progress.

Mind Curry said...

@ keshi - hi the end i kind of admired that guys belief and faith in his daughters..and i could see his struggle is focussed on one intention - a better life for his children.

Anonymous said...

@Mind Curry

You're Right at many points. Don't want to comment more.

Time for next article

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