26.2.06

Everybody has problems

There is no country in the world that boasts of a perfect life. Crime and corruption are everywhere. Yeah... I agree. Nobody may have a judiciary that is as fucked up as ours. But hell... there are some who have dictators!

But all that is IA. Not Indian Airlines but internal affairs. Like everyone we have our issues. More or less. But where do we stand as a country?

2 years ago ‘India Shining’ was a four letter word.
You were looked down upon as a bag of air that went bust.
Some accused it. Some chose to ignore it.
All in all the writing was on the wall. India was not shining.


But can a failure of an advertising campaign hide some basic truths?


Before you hear this year’s budget, please give a thought to the following.

~We went from 6000 on the stock markets to 10000 in record time.
~The who’s who of the Forbes top 100 have business interests in India. Take the top 500 for that matter.
~Foreign nations choose to buy defense aircrafts from India.
~The world runs its business processes from India.
~Global carmakers are falling all over themselves to hit the Indian roads.
~When the heads of state of France and India meet, they talk about an Indian steelmaker.
~The purchasing power of the average middle class Indian has skyrocketed.
~India said no to aid when hit by Tsunami.
~India stood aid to Pakistan when the earthquake struck.
~The Indian cricket team is finally a team.

Consider these, and decide for yourself. I’ve already made up my mind.

India is shining.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

thought-provoking man. Good stuff.
-n2

AB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Noojes said...

Harjee,

India is shining...I never thought otherwise...

As much as I may bitch about this country, at the bottom of my heart it is home and I love it...

:)

-Noojes

AB said...

Harjee,

No, am not scared of my own opinion:) Most of my research is focussed on the Indian Economy, and I feel that most economic indicators in India are seemingly misconstrued and misrepresentative of the 'real' story.

However, after a re-read i realised that you were not talking about India Inc. shining. The essence of what you wrote was slightly deeper than that! Like you said, not that it matters.....

And: yes; thank you for stopping by. Have a gd one! I really like what you wrote, especially, your rebuttal to Anonymous's comments on the Panty Story !

Spazsim Chasm said...

India rocks, and for all you foreigners who still think we live in trees and go to school on elephants... HA.

Harjee Kapur said...

well said SpaZe'...

jai hind!

Anonymous said...

There are more than 2 crore people in India who go to bed on a hungry stomach every night, when chances are that you and I would be groaning that we “just can’t move” because we’ve overeaten. There are farmers who commit suicide every month because they cannot repay their debts, when chances are that a corporate head honcho’s wife would’ve spent that same amount of money on a day out at a spa. There are young graduates who take to selling vegetables because they cannot find a more suitable job, while there are MBAs from the IIMs who reject about 6 job offers a day during placement time. There are only 5 girls for every 10 boys born in Punjab, the rest of them "disappear". We have the second highest number of people living with AIDS, in the world.

And I use those clich├ęs, just to skim the surface.

I’m not trying to spoil the party, and I'm not PMSing either, but it does surprise me that educated Indians, especially Indians in advertising, believe that India is shining.

Get over it. For starters, stop reading the Times of India. Then, take off those rose tinted glasses, step outside the city and take a closer look at what’s happening. India resides, not in the top 10 metros that make up our media plans, but in the thousands of towns and villages whose names we can’t even pronounce. India is not shining there.

Corporations all over the world have interests in India because a) we use condoms very sparingly b) we offer cheap physical and intellectual labour and property c) someone came up with India Shining and spent crores of taxpayers’ money advertising it, and people are still falling for it

I’m an Indian and like all of you, I love India more than any other place in the world, in spite of all its problems. I suppose that's what they call patriotism, or some such.

Harjee Kapur said...

Dear anonymous…
Very strong thoughts I must say…would have appreciated a name though. Because you don’t sound like the other anonymous. He sounded really dumb.

I am aware of the problems that are prevalent in India. Trust me. I come from a village in Punjab close to a city called Jallandhar. I cleaned cow dung probably around the time you were doing something better with your hands.

So the real India preach was out of line.

But then again the point here is that India needs to change. How do we change all this?
By providing economic stability to the lower classes. And how do we do that in crude ‘real india’ terms? We give them money. And where do we get that money from? The upper classes. Because at the end of the day it is taxpayers money.

Rich India is growing. Bringing in whatever little it can to filter down to some people who are lucky enough to get it. You know…it is not India shining or the CEO’s wife who need to me mentioned as an example. They probably worked hard to get where they are. ‘Real India’ is being screwed by the people it elects.
1000’s of Sikhs still await the compensation for the members of the family who were slaughtered in 84. I’m sure there were some future CEO’s and spa trips there. But today the kith and kin struggle for a square meal. As per the government exchequer the money is already dispersed. So where did it go? Recently a lady was asked to prove that her husband was burnt alive by putting flaming tyres around his neck on moolchand flyover. Can you imagine?
So who screw real india? The people we elect.

I don’t mean to be rude. Or ignore the truths. All I am saying is that I know there is shit in India. And it stinks real bad. But in all this pile of shit there is one good thing and that is a promising economic growth. Let’s not stop the one thing we have going for a million bad ones. Let the money flow into India. Someday we will be able to better utilize it. one day these bastards will die and hopefully a better educated and more human set of people will run this country. In the meantime whatever economic and intellectual wealth we can build and accumulate is good. Don’t point a finger at the people who do well and pamper themselves. And don’t stop them. They pay their taxes.
And do not ignore the money. Let it come. Do not cut off your head if your feet are infected.

Anonymous said...

I come from a small town and was raised in a city. All I know about India's problems is from reading about them. And I'm sure I was doing something better with my hands when you were cleaning cow dung with yours.
I'm not pointing fingers at the rich. I'm glad they can afford five cars, six meals for twenty at seven star hotels, expensive european holidays, versace shoes and harvard educations for their children. I'm also glad you're optimistic that some day the poor will get a chance to afford two meals a day. All I'm saying is, just because the rich are getting richer today, does not mean India is shining.
For all the reasons you quoted, we still have a long long way to go for India to shine.
And who screw real India? The people we elect. And people like you and me who choose to do nothing about it.
Anyways, I'll be the last person in the world to ignore the money. Yes, please let it come. And please let some of it come to me.

Harjee Kapur said...

i agree we do nothing about it.
and then we point a finger at those who are managing to do something for themselves atleast.

and yes, let the money come. i need it too...

Isha said...

India is rocking. but for a select few. what happens to the countless out on the street without nothing to wear in the middle of winter and no place to sleep at night.
India is shining is a middle class sentiment that is afforded to a minority in our country. unfortunately this minority is so easily blinded that the other side of the coin gets obliterated.
wake up guys. everything on your "list" so reeks of bourgeois pride.

Peace...

P.S. thanks for dropping by my space!

Harjee Kapur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harjee Kapur said...

you hit the nail on the head isha.
i have immense pride in my country's economic growth :-) and in my middle class background :-))

i fail to understand why everyone ignores the fact that i agree with the problems India has. its just that there are good things and bad things. this blog was about the good things i had to say about india.it in no way says that the bad doesnt exist. but there is no harm at looking at the positive side at times.
It just makes sure the goodness gets its due.

The pirates are here said...

Looks like 'India Shining' is still a four-letter word.

Tony said...

Hmmm.
Both ends of the spectrum.

Here're some more stats for you Harjee.
India saw the highest wage hikes in the world in 2005.
And early indicators are that the same will hold true for 2006.

At 60% of the population between 15-24, India is one of the youngest countries today.

True, India buying power is awesome.
The Bush commented on India 300 million strong middle class.

GDP registers 3 consecutive years at 7%+

And if the theory of consumption leading to development proves right, India is well on its way.

All this I am proud of.
But does that mean that I am proud of everything that happens here?

And for you, anonymous.

Union Carbide got away.
Manu Sharma will get away.
Vikas Yadav will get away.
More cotton farmers will commit suicide.
Only 3% of India pays taxes.
There's not a single person in government who represents the 60% majority age group, 15-24.
Politicians are corrupt.
Aur garibi ko kisine nahi hataya.

Does that mean I should hate?

I am thankful for the way I was brought up.
With certain values.

I am thankful that the country's educational system (agree or disagree) gave me a decent enough education.

I am thankful that I can hold a job today without any ideological strain.

I am thankful that I have freedom of speech.
And an upbringing that lets me figure what should not be said.

All this might sound conformist.
But I have a lot to thank this nation for.
For what it is.
That is not to condone all that is happening.

But let us not be too judgemental.

theorangecast said...

I don't think you should let Tony comment on your blogs. Unwise it seems. heh heh.

Borngifted sanjana said...

Hate to dissapoint you Harjee. After spending 3 days in the passport office for the renewal of my Dads passport and that to for 5 hours each day and still not being able to get it done. forgive me i just cant see the shine beyond my tired legs.But of course i still maintain that this country still manages to go on despite the odds. I think population growth is our one and only grief and if we could just put a breaker on that India woud truly outshine every other country.

Raj Beniwal said...

hey there,

I just know one thing - If you were to get/renew a passport in 1995.. it would have taken atleast 45 days.. today you get it in max 15 days.
Ok, I know a few more of them ;)
- Mr. A was in need of money in 1995... he got a loan (only if he managed to get) after six months of running around. Then he wanted to open a normal/small pan bidi shop - it took him 2 months to get the license. There are many more such incidents..
Though we are yet to reach the ultimae Glitter stage.. I firmly believe India is Shining.

Cheers everybody
-Raj

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

Hey these words "India said no to aid when hit by Tsunami" is something that was told to me by a doc in US. When he knew we were Indians he spoke so high of India and what we have achieved and what is the current scenario and he spoke the world about India...He loved it when he said that India told US that, thanks for your offer of funds. He loved the way India managed without AID. I felt more proud to be a representative from India.

Every country has its problem. Some get highlighted some don't. That's because of the prominance of the problem to the global ear. Everyone knows the truth. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Regards India Shining- I know 2 years ago I was in Chennai. I was showed a poster written "India Shining" with rubble. A comment proceeded saying that India is shining even if it from here, even the suns rays are right into the advertisment. I think I liked Chennai for that one moment as I hate Chennai for all purposes other than reason where I ought to go there.

Nice write up Harjee!! :)