Sunday, April 23, 2006

The step children boom of the Indian Economy

Yesterday we landed in Delhi around 9:15 pm. Indian Airlines was as usual spot on time in being late. My uncle, a General in the army came to pick us up and I thought some Minister or some such celebrity had arrived looking at the bundobast. A Car, a Jeep and another vehicle with some stiff looking soldiers who carried our bags and stuff. What a ride in the Flag Car. We felt like royalty!!! We reached his huge bungalow around 10 where the bachelor party for his son, my cousin brother was just about stirring to life. A quick change and I was met with a colorful sea of people in the lawns. I have been to lots of Army parties so knew what to expect. Uniformed waiters who arrive at our side the moment your glass in empty, lovely arrangements. Since it was a bachelor party the dress code was informal. I really missed my Tee that I had left back home. It had a nice caption “ Single and not ready to mingle;)

Heard about the Pramod Mahajan episode at the party. Was relieved to hear that it was his own brother and not some terrorist. Relieved because if it was a terrorist then we would have a situation like after Raj Kumar’s or IG’s death in our hands. The Raj Kumar episode was dissected in the media and one speaker attributed it to the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots. I do not necessary agree with this view because the people who took to the streets were opportunists waiting for an excuse to have fun.

But I now realize that the so-called rapid development the country is experiencing is benefiting the rich and the educated middle class only. There is still a huge sector apart from IT that still needs to develop in order to absorb the non IT people into the development mainstream.

I guess if I was one of them I too would resent the opportunities and benefits some sections are enjoying while I had no scope for such jobs because my qualification is useless for the IT sector. And it is these people who vote for Communists. I saw Achudanandan speaking to the media yesterday and he scoffed the ‘so-called-development agenda’ of the Congress. Suddenly it fell into place. There is a huge sea of people out there that are damn scared. Their skills are no longer relevant in the IT centric economy. They fear the development, which they feel, will benefit the IT sector only. And it is this fear that makes them vote for people like Achudanandan. They need someone to protect their jobs and look out for them too. And they look at ‘development’ as a phenomenon that will make them redundant.

(Addendum) Look at my own seniors in college. Of the girls who passed out with an English degree only 15 % of are employed in the IT sector. And that’s because they can understand technology and can communicate the same in simple language to customers, stake holders, media etc. The rest are either struggling are junior journos or as magazine writers or copy writers. These girls are the perfect example of the many people who have not benefited by the IT boom.

I think the government must make sure that the generation that was unable to board the IT bus do not feel marginalized. When opportunities exist for everyone, real development will take place. For once I sympathize with a huge demography of people who feel resentment for the sunshine children, ie the techies and support services that revolve around IT.

Just a thought of a very inexperienced political commentor :p Please don't throw brick bats at me :))

Simla ahoy!


Mind Curry said...

Single and not ready to mingle”
get a pen and scribble!! time and tide wait for no woman. :)

well i thought the same about his own bro shooting and not a terrorist or

well i differ about the thought on the IT boom. i agree the thought that you described exists in many minds and is being capitalised by leftists including achu..but what if there was no IT boom? we would have remained a poor country..

i agree at this point its upto the govt to focus on other sectors as well and make sure we ride on this wave..and i am pretty confident Manmohan and team are doing it..they are ensuring the wealth trickles down to the poor as well. but i think in a politicised country like ours, such initiatives are masked and only the differences are brought to light so that the negativity in peoples mind can be directed for vested gains.

this is purely my opinion and i aint no think-tank :)

enjoy simla :) glad you could post from there though!

Ganja Turtle said...

Shit...mindcurry beat me to it by 30 secs...echo: glad you could post from there though...

As someone sitting in Kerala, I wonder a lot abt development...everyday one small green pixel in the matrix of my 10th floor view of Cochin is replaced with a more waterfront apartment springs more piece of the backwaters is sold to "developers" more lorry is arrested for sandmining while other 10 others roam free...a few acres of forests are cut down to develop tourist resorts, cultivate ganja and forest officers are transferred for protesting - everyday a scandal is swept under the carpet... which is where I think a guy like Mr.A comes in...the simultaneous upsurge from the masses when THE Party denied him a seat took the "developed" public by surprise...although a far cry away, I sometimes like to draw parallels to Noam Chomsky...while the entire Western media was flogging the "patriotic campaign" to free Iraq, Chomsky was one of the few brave men who stood aloof...and eventually was proven right... And here too, right from Placimada to the ice cream parlour case to the smart city project, Mr.A has been at the forefront of the "dissenter" movement and therefore become a disseminator of otherwise unknown facts to the "learned" public - from the huge cost being borne for the Smart City project to the way the Ice Cream parlour case was almst muffled by the police...I interact every now and then with the press told that every senior minister seems to be getting his own share of the cake...from booking plots around the Cochin airport long before the project was sanctioned(and making 2000% profits now) to running telecom scams in a different district, the apparently white veneer is as dirty as it can get, underneath...Its heartening, to say the least, that there is one old fireand who can create enough of a ruckus so that we,the middle masses, who would otherwise want to rush India into the 21st century-come H or H, maintain a degree of healthy scepticism and share the view from the platform ...rather than a 10th floor flat far above the ground ;-)

Apparently being in Kerala transforms one into "a very inexperienced political commentor"!

Sing with the birds sing in Shimla!

Mind Curry said...

@ GT - one hour is more like it ;)
i guess there is much about achu i dont know about, or atleast a lot of people see things in him i have never seen. i just hope the best leaders win and rule the nation and its states.

Jiby said...

hey i agree with u...there are a lot of ppl who feel left behind on the wayside in the IT boom...many of my classmates who looked the other way and pursued creative ambitions were tempted to turn their necks...cant blame anyone...those who feel jealous, those who log on to the IT boom or those who are helplessly left behind...this kind of money/lifestyle for such a large group of ppl has never been there in our country.

and in kerala where equality is achieved thru negating any future growth the likes of achuthanandan are actually hinting to the lower classes who the development is goin to hurt really doesnt matter that even their kids could make use of it somewhere down the line!

well if kerala doesnt get on the IT train its gonna be our loss...hope people in the rest of india dont start to think like us!!!

Immigrant in Canada said...

I remember the Kerala railway employees srike in the mid 80's.. they were protesting the computerised ticketing.. they were worried that computers will take all the jobs and soon all of them would be jobless.. I guess nothing much has changed in the

silverine said...

@mind curry:time and tide wait for no woman Exactly dear mind curry, I have miles to go and lots of things to be done like enjoying my twenties before I tie the noose er...knot :))
Well..I am not against development. I am all for it and my heroes will always remain Manmohan and Rao, but there are a lot of people who are not tech savvy and have workd for a pittance in high posts in the pre liberalization days. They feel envy and anger when they see youngsters earning more than them at such an young age.People should not feel threatened by the young brigade but should be reassured by PR exercises that the fruit of the IT boom will trickle down to them too.
Am enjoying the Simla weather. I am carrying my Laptop so will be able to log in :)
@GT: Wow, that was quite an eye opener. This was the state of bangalore and lot's of ministers have made money by devastating the city. The present Chief Minister is the only person besides Krishna who has done something for Bangalore in return. Thanks for this comment. Simla is great, haven't ventured out though.
@Jiby:"in kerala where equality is achieved thru negating any future growth the likes of ...goin to hurt most." Precisely!! The disquite of the general populace should be addressed and they should be reassured that the IT boom will benefit them in the long run and not vice versa that Achu and Co make it out to be. But we need people to act as check and balance for the ruling party too.
@Immigrantincanada:You are right. Nothing is being done to assuage the fear of the people who feel they will be dispossesed and vested interests make use of that insecurity hampering development.

Harjee Kapur said...

Economically speaking, purely, you make sense. But a job is not just about the paycheck or the vertical movement.
If we propose to earn money without thinking how much we need, well, yes... I missed the bus. I slogged 4 years to get an IT degree, got hired by a top firm, quit after 8 days.
And joined an agency as a copywriter. That was 4 years ago.
Till date, I have no regrets.
Money is essential, and it comes in through salary, freelance, and some arbid clicking which people consider photography. Personally I don't.
And trust me; I am better off than any IT professional 4 years old in the business.
So the point is, it is not about missing the bus. It's about knowing what bus you need to take.
And that happens when you know where you want to reach. Define your needs...


ps- A Very well written post. Agree with everything else :-)

silverine said...

@harjee:Thank you for the comment. While I agree cent percent with you that money is not everything, it is a big deal to a lot of people. When a Bank Manager who has toiled years in postings away from home sees a 21 year old drawing a higher salary than him, he gets resentful. So will a Doctor who has slogged for six years after paying for his seat. He starts resenting the IT gen. I am talking about this section of people. You are a creative person and hence you could make the jump, but the majority of people out there do not have that choice. Great to have you here :)

Thanu said...

u r in Simla get off ur laptop and enjoy the weather

silverine said...

@thanu: I am enjoying the weather it is great!!! The Internet here is so slow that I had to tell my friend in Blr to put the comment on your blog and some other blogs. I a now worried, hope Jiby didn't get MC's comment and vice versa :p

Mind Curry said...

So will a Doctor who has slogged for six years after paying for his seat. He starts resenting the IT gen.
boo hooo!!! sob sob! where is my knife!!


Mind Curry said...

and then the doc entered the IT biz..

Jagan said...

an army jeep , car etc arrived to pick YOU up ? waste of money,time etc .As a tax paying citizen I could like to raise an issue on this ....

Harjee Kapur said...

Point taken. But then they are not victims of a missed bus. They are victims of time. The time and era when they were born…
Yes, there are people in my organization who are business directors after years of toil and a management trainee at Boston Consulting Group makes more than he does after 8 years…
But everyone does not have the same bus to catch right…?
And honestly, once cancerian to another…resent is a really bad thing. And usually it is unwarranted…
You go to a police station to register a complaint that your car was stolen; the cop turns around and blames you for driving around in a flashy red Mercedes.
Sunil More raped a girl on the police chowky at nariman point and the Shiv Sena said that it was the girls’ fault, for dressing provocatively…
That is resent. Unwarranted and most definitely not justified…
People who resent the IT generation somewhere blame themselves for not having made the best use of their opportunities.
A doctor, well, it is the choice they made. You want to be in the IT boom or cultivate your own personal ‘God Complex’ by saving lives and being a doctor…it’s the high of choice…
A Bank manager…well, he was a generation ago. He neither had the knowledge, inclination or the opportunity to join anything like IT. He probably joined the bank as a readily available option to help the family’s economy… and at that time, it was a good option.
But I get what you’re saying…yes. There will be resent. But if we take the resent into account, someone somewhere will always harbour it.
And we will not be able to enjoy what we have…or have worked hard to have…

Good discussion. Takes a cancerian to take on another…cheers

silverine said...

@mind curry: You are straying again!!! It is Miss Scissors you are wedded to. So please stop fooling around with Ms. Swiss Knife grrr
And the smart doc entered the entered the IT biz..:))
@Jagan: Please come to the Army Maidan at 8:55 am and register your complaint. They take care of every complainant at the 9 '0' clock Firing Squad practise :))
@Harjee: Thanks for this comment. This post was about the commies in Kerala opposing every development move which the State desperately needs to keep it's head above waters. And the opposition is trying to rope in the insecurities of the people to ride to power. By assuaging the fears of the people and reassuring them that development is not one sided we can get them to vote for development. I guess I should have enlightened you about this.

I would again agree with you on your observations. Resent is not a good thing, but it can be harnessed by vested interests for their own selfish gains.

Cheers to another Cancerian :)

Mind Curry said...

oh yeah! where is my scissors! come to my arms!! i need my arms!

They take care of every complainant at the 9 '0' clock Firing Squad practise
hilaaariooousss!!!!!!! you are too good!

i think the debating session on this post is ending..its already got a "and they lived happily everafter" tone to it.

where are them aquarians!?

silverine said...

@mind curry: Thank you :))er...where is Miss Scissors gone that you are calling for her? To another man's arms? :p Smart girl!!! :))

Your latest post was a literary gem. Wanted to comment again but this is a cable connection and the comments take ages to preview and then disappear when I publish it. So am using friends in Blr to publish my comments now :))

Mind Curry said... and i are living separately for the while..we are thinking of an out of the court settlement..sighh..oh yeah, she must be single and ready to mingle :P

using friends to publish comments? talk about outsourcing!! you one helluva manager! waiting for the literary gem of a comment!

hope you found the monkeys..or they found you?

Matter of Choice said...

do u mean to say u forgot to wear a teeshirt?????? ahem ahem!!!

interesting article meandering between subjects...i was especially intrigued by the last subject and wanted to write a longish comment!

It is true that development will bring forth resentment from those who were left out...but can they all be given the fruits of development immediately? Unfortunately No!. In any society, economic development first benefits people who are most ready to participate in it as an investor (wheteher it be with capital or with brains/training). In a way these are the initial owners of economic development!. This does not mean that the rest of the population is left out; the trickle down effect will reach them albeit a bit more slowly. This might be slightly cynical but is also the fact of life. This doesnt mean that government can wash their hands off the inequality. Government should provide training, a minimum level of social security and encourage their participation. But do not blame the government if results are not immediate, the results are bound to take time and in the meanwhile society will face difficult situations.

Economic theory says that society as a whole will benefit from free trade. However, it also says in a footnote that not all sections of the benefit equally (indeed some sections of the society will lose out!) from free trade. This is where the government has to come managing the transition as smoothly as possible!.

really really interesting article!!..

silverine said...

@mind curry: The monkeys are nowhere to be seen :( So much for 'Love in Simla' :)) It is nice to know that you both have settled things like mature adults lol
@MoC:Thank you for that wonderful comment :) Agree with you on all counts *hugs*

Jagan said...