All Talk and No Action Sunday, July 6, 2008


Talking about natural progress of a nation - I always believed India had jumped the bandwagon...That is, from an agrarian society we had gone on to become a services major...an IT hub...back office champs and what not...

Somewhere, in between, we had missed the manufacturing bus...

What about inclusive growth? What about the millions who needed to graduate from an agrarian economy to manufacturing and later take on IT/Digitization and what not..!

Isn't this the route most developed nations took? This was what even China seemed to be following...then why did we jump the gun??

Now when I brought this up in my chat with Nirmal Uncle...he had an interesting perspective to offer...

According to him, we had saved on two decades and what was the hitch if we were doing well? What most nations achieved in 20 years - we were able to do so in a span of 5- 6 years...thereby improving the standard of living of millions!

And says who that manufacturing should have been the ideal route..? Don't our villages have kiosks by ITC? Aren't our farmers learning the ropes and getting better deals for their produce?

Most villagers were savvy with new car and television models that came in the market...many spent thousands on availing new cell phone models....Such was the power of information!

With a little help from public and private bodies, we could easily achieve inclusive growth and transform lives across the nation.

The only disadvantage that he could think of was - lack of "dignity of labor".

Most western nations had undergone industrial revolution and treasured its gifts like respecting one's work irrespective of the status it had in society...

How many of us would go ahead and work in a McD? How many would mow gardens/clean cars/work in garages and earn our pocket money? Not many I guess !
This, would have come had we passed through a full fledged industrial revolution...

Now this is some food for thought....

4 comments:

india unbound said...

@All Talk and No Action

I agree that by missing the manufacturing bus, we haven't missed much, as even in China there is lot of disparity and following China would not have guaranteed an inclusive growth.

We can narrow the gap between the haves and have nots by investing in our Human Resources i.e. Health and Education.

But I dont believe that we lack dignity of labour, because we had a Services led growth. This attitude of not doing menial jobs has got more to do with our cultural DNA which is shaped by thousands of years of Caste System in which a learned person (Brahmin) doesn't do menial jobs and the one who does (Shudra) has the lowest status in the caste system.

All Talk and No Action said...

@India Unbound -

I disagree with the dignity of labour part...
If you read the Vedas, society was bifurcated into these 4 sects based on their knowledge and work specialization. Nowhere, is it mentioned that a Shudra cannot graduate to a Brahmin's level.
It is we, who for our convenience, turned everything into a vicious cycle of caste, untouchability and what not!
It is because of this that we look down on menial jobs.

india unbound said...

@All Talk and No Action

After reading the later part of your reply I felt you agree with me :-)

Theorotically you are right about the origin of the caste system but when did we practice it that way? May be in the initial years of the caste system.

Actions speak louder than words.

All Talk and No Action said...

@India Unbound -
I agree with you when you say that we don't do menial jobs coz of the caste system...
I do not agree that the system should be blamed for that....because we modified it as per our convenience...
The original intention of the system was proper functioning of society...its we who made it into a monster and a means of bias...