Monday, January 15, 2007

The World may be flat, but India is not..

In fact India is far from flat. She is a region of some of the most uneven terrain on this planet. A few high peaks scattered across low lying valleys.. You could stand on some of these peaks(Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad for eg.), look down into the nearby valleys and see nothing at all - except for a dark abyss. Other peaks and life in these peaks are all that are visible, so much so that life in these few regions is portrayed as typical of the nation, when in reality, it is not.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking of India in terms of these ultra-modern metropolitan cities. The other day, an american collegue and I were talking casually during a training session and he happened to mention that he would like to make a trip to visit India. My instinctive response was a boast "Oh.. you should.. India is very developed now.. You would have an amazing time.. Be sure to visit Bangalore, Hyderabad.." He interrupted me gently: "No.. No.. I want to see INDIA, not America in India." I stopped short, surprised. But the next thing he said blew me away.. He asks.. "Is most of India like Bangalore and Hyderabad now?" After I recovered, I said "No, not at all, most regions are still just India". But it took a foreigner to remind me of that fact.

At a global level, technology may have enabled nations to collaborate on a greater scale than ever before and overall the world may be 'flatter' than it has been in the past, but India has a long way to go.

Now, even I'm not naive enough to think that a nation of 1 billion could develop at a uniform pace and empower all her citizens simultaneously, but I do think that the current economic situation raises a few questions.. Does the 'empowerment' of a few have detrimental effects on the people who have not been 'empowered' yet? Will the underdeveloped be hindered when they try to take advantage of the technological advances we have made in recent years? These questions, though globally applicable are especially relevant to our country because of the huge economic and social disparity that is prevalent. One could just as easily use modern-day technology to push others down as they could to pull themselves up..

India has a notorious history of exploitation of the poor by the rich and it is imperative that this does not happen in the Information age if India is to sustain her formidable growth rates.

4 comments:

Akmal said...

My god, couldnt understand a single word.A Brett Lee bouncer as far as I am concerned.

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