India is not a superpower and it is redefining my communication
I was talking to my coach about life in general and how does one increase their happiness quotient without putting additional effort? I was relating it to fear; he brought another perspective to it — emotional vs rationale.
I used to hold back my thoughts, fear is an accumulation of your unexpressed thoughts. I don’t hold back anymore.
What was that I used to hold back :
- Small enjoyment of life — cracking little jokes, facial exercises via frowning, emotions, etc. not just with people who you are comfortable with but liberally in every moment of your life.
- Thoughts on contentious topics — when to say it, what to say it, how to say it. The intent here is to make your point and being objective about it, without hurting anyone. e.g. Common Citizenship Amendment Act of India
It's said... You have to start.. Start from anywhere... It's not what... Its that you do is important. This was the real meaning of the journey is important. The destination is relative and it's comparable to Learning — never finishes wherever you have reached.
India <> Superpowers
People keep asking when will India be like the USA, Singapore or China?
United States of America:
is the USA because of its design, people, freedom, struggles, market, ability to make power centers of innovations and imperialism? The design of the country keeps it at the center of the world and one of the biggest advantages was early strides it made at making allies/choosing enemies.
is great because the foundation was prepared by LKY. It's about culture, its about discipline, about conditioning. You expect nothing but the best if you follow the rules of the land. Govt keeps to its core issues and citizens follow them... It's either black or white.
I see an ‘ang- mo’ running with his young son in a stroller on East Coast Beach. I struck a conversation and he is a European. His words ‘It's not my overconfidence in my abilities to control if something goes wrong but faith in governance and predictability which this govt shows you every day which gives me faith to run with my son in a stroller. Obviously I am alert and cautious and careful.
Changes are predictable, everything works like last night. The dose of democracy is just right. Minimum governance and the world’s safest city country. Tell me again, why Singapore does not deserve to be counted among superpowers!!
It is neither a democracy nor communists but capitalists running like a liege lord. What they have figured out very clearly is consumerism, efficient usages of capital to make more capital (a form of East India Company aka colonizers) and use religion, nationalism effectively to counter ill effects of capitalism. They made early fast strides to become everyone’s factory. They made all the monies from the world and before the world realized — they are an AI superpower.
India is secular, democratic, plural and diverse.
Secular - Pakistan and Bangladesh are Islamic countries and were born out of India. India has 7 neighbors as below
Pakistan — Islamic country
Bangladesh — Islamic country
China — Communist Secular
Nepal — Recently turned Secular from Hindu
Sri Lanka — Buddhist
Myanmar — Buddhist
Bhutan — Buddhist
In my belief, Nepal turning secular from being a Hindu country, religious persecution of Hindus in neighboring countries and religious appeasement/assertions were inflection point where Hindu Majority started asking two questions -1/ How did we become a secular nation where every neighbor country is made on religious consideration? Was it decided by the populace or by leaders with their beliefs? 2/In the future, will there be a land where Hindus will be a majority or will be able to practice their religion?
I think the answer to both the questions lies in the human mind -when you start looking at inevitable - faith is all you have and at times that faith equates religion.
When I was brought up in the 1990s, it was difficult to identify people from different religions because people used to dress like Indians. Wahabi movement somehow affected India late and thereafter we started seeing visible changes. With visible changes came strictness with which people started asserting their religious consideration above Indianness.
Despite all of the above, India is home to multiple religions and the majority (99% in my view) coexists beautifully.
Democracy - has been a truly democratic country except for a tiny period of emergency where Indira Gandhi trampled over everyone but she was chosen by its public democratically again to lead. Fair elections started happening with the introduction of EVMs, everyone can participate (religion is not a consideration on who can vote or elected) and enough freedom is available to stall development projects for decades(pun intended).
A question is asked time and again is excessive democracy harming India? Some would say nothing is ever too much when it comes to democracy but I have 2 points to make here
1/ Democracy in India is just about 70+years. We have won many battles including discrimination. It is a passing phase, in line with Darwin’s theory, the right definition of democracy will arise from this struggle.
2/Angela Merkel said ‘freedom of expression’ has its limits when it starts to hurt others. In the same vein, Democracy has its limits if it's not able to uplift people at the bottom of pyramids. The right dose has to be figured by govt of the day. It may fail but they would have to keep trying to find the right definitions. Just like I am trying to speak but may not have found the right words /channel or context but if I keep speaking aloud and honest. With enough counters, context, and realities checks, I would eventually become better at what to say, when to and how. You see, how it is impacting my communication?
Diverse and plural — it's so plural that it stops us from acting like one. It’s difficult to find a pattern and if it remains so random.. It can’t be analyzed. Think of India as newton’s third law applies from multiple directions randomly. We don't trust easily and always find a way out to act randomly. If the Govt of the day made a law, State govt will find a way to interpret it differently for a short term goal. My belief is:
1/ To make progress fast enough, we have to act cohesively like one — like a beehive.
2/ Its need of the hour to have a strong figure who has a vision and can take people along with India-centric no-harms intentions.
3/ Education, Healthcare, Speedy justice, Clean environment, Humility, and Humanity is all we need. Focus is important, India is surmounted.
4/ My issue-based support is to the current dispensation of PM Modi. My support is shaped by circumstances, the life which I have led, realities which I have seen and it's dynamic. It may change or solidify... I would let the journey decide.
A side question to be addressed is “Are you loyal to Modi?” / Bhakt / Sanghi? Answer to that is
I have a mind, which has to be used. I don't want my mind to disappear just like a human’s tail. As a supporter of India, I want India to progress and as part of that, every change agent who can contribute to bettering the life of 1/5th of the world population has my issue-based support.
5/ On Common Citizenship Amendment Bill, Many of my Intellectual friends have different views than mine. And I was asked, Why do you want to speak against popular sentiment. My counter to him was ‘how do we know popular is really popular’? Its said history belongs to winners, in the same vein popular nowadays belongs to who can speak the loudest. Repeat a lie repeatedly and one may believe it themselves. I found the real meaning of loudest -to do the leg work to become the gold standard/rallying point, to counter yourself and solidify it before saying it aloud.
I believe in meritocracy based immigration, need-based immigration and system have to be just all the times. Is it fair to make a law basis religious persecution as a basis — yes if it is happening around you? Is it fair to leave people out to dry basis religion — No that's not the stated aim of the ACT. Interpretation is a fine job of the judicial system and they are looking at it anyway.
I debated CAA with the CEO of a famed company and popular sentiment is If someone is found with weak rationales, crush him. I chose to debate with care and was able to give him another perspective. His volumes and rumblings have disappeared from social media and I believe I have set an example where he would act rationally when he is in a similar position of strength. It's not about winning or losing an argument, it's about winning people over to your side always.
Social influencers aka Intellectuals — My frank opinion is they are bums. If you take a half baked opinion and drive an agenda forward — sir, you are no intellectual to me. I did not find many people who challenge their own opinions or want to debate openly. This gives me an opportunity to clean up my social feeds and get rid of people who copy/paste opinion or do not do thorough research on topics which they are passionate about.
I sincerely think most of the protests are politically motivated and have nothing to do with what's happening around us including the introduction of the Act. These same people/parties/stakeholders behave differently when it's their turn. Heavily funded startup’s CEO said “Religion has to be private and like sex. And Govt should not discriminate basis religion” And I entirely agree. All Indians should start behaving like humans with respect to the local culture at its center and as we start saying goodbyes to religious assertions, this biased lawmaking will go away too.
6/ I wanted to dance and since one may look foolish dancing alone here I am dancing by myself and hoping that others will join me. Do I care about looking foolish? -No. What I care about really is -making alliances, healthy debate and communicating my thoughts, to be corrected, enjoy the journey.
7/ I believe everyone has their chances of greatness. India is a vast land with pluralism +democracy at its core and I believe that's a strength as well as weakness. It all depends on how this is used by people and leaders and that's what will decide how great we become.
8/ I would equate India’s situation with the “Mad Max” scenario. The idea of a country in emergency and need to make drastic changes on how it functions may seem distant to many people. But the reality is that over the course of the last few years we have seen people are not ready to wait for a decade to see the change, they want to see it in this lifetime. We should put this into context; it is not just India who is trying to bring people out of poverty, homelessness, clean water, good health but every other country is competitively trying that in some way. In this case of hyper distribution of news and cant-be-news, genuine governments (if any) are struggling to keep their momentum on track. Given it has taken us 70 years to reach this state of impatience, we should now be prepared to recognize that we are now in a state of emergency and we have to act as we do in emergencies by taking exceptional measures. Some of us may be lucky enough to live somewhere that still has not been directly affected (for want of a better life), but that does not mean you won't be at some point in the not so distant future. The alternative, to continue doing nothing while fooling ourselves that everything is fine, will surely lead us to a growing number of potential scenarios that will break Impatient India into anarchy.
I appreciate a good laugh, corrections, views, and criticism but mind the language ;)