Sunday, June 18, 2006

Managing Individual Impacts on Society

Individuals Matter

Individual impact on society has not always been fruitful rather many a time it had been catastrophic due to lack of sufficient knowledge and vision. Sometime because of lack of in-depth understanding of social problems, individual efforts had been fatal for the human growth. That may be the simple reason for the existence of regionalism, casteism, discriminations, poverty and so on in the society even after so much development. High level intelligentsia has failed the common people. Humanity has suffered.

It is correct that every vote counts in a democratic set up. It is proven that democratic system is the best form of governance. In democracy, every citizen feels the part of governance. There is a sense of participation. It is believed that the opinion of majority counts. The leaders are forced to take decisions based on the interest of majority of people. The leaders are supposed to take decisions for the betterment of large sections of the population. Leaders are to show the path to communities to improve the lifestyle of people. But in reality, is it correct? Are leaders following the interest of majority in partially educated communities? Are leaders not taking arbitrary decisions? Are decisions not based on individualistic appreciations rather than communities’ opinions? This was amply clarified in the recent strike conducted by the communists’ parties of India. This has happened in past with humanity. This is happening in present to human beings. Till the time, major policy decisions are taken for the betterment of humanity, it is good, and otherwise, it is a heinous crime. In next few paragraphs, I will explain these existing individualistic approaches of the leaders in Indian society. How they have negatively impacted as a deep rooted scar to human societies?

Seriousness of Individualistic Approaches

There is nothing wrong in this information age with individualistic approach. Any individual can have more knowledge than others. Any body can posses more wisdom than others. Ideas are not the slave of background, richness or status. Ideas can emerge to anybody, anytime and at anyplace. It just needs fertile mind and concerned knowledge. It needs a will to unlearn old ideas. But the problems comes when, ideas are generated with some selfish motives. Ideas are propagated with some preconceived calculated impacts. Ideas are generated to keep the majority in dark rather than spreading openness. Ideas are spread to continue developing status rather than making the people developed. The leaders belonging to the Communist parties of India are doing the same. They are calculating their gains in terms of vote to conduct strike. They are planning a strike on the issues where they feel majority of illiterate people will blindly follow them. What is the use of the leaders’ wisdom? During Industrial age, when they used to conduct strike, it was mainly to safeguard the interests of poor workers. But today’s’ information age has brought a difference. There is no need of similar strike to safeguard the interests of poor people. They need not do strike to improve or safeguard the interest of workers. It is not Industrial age, it is information age. The time has changed. The policies have to change. The methods have to change. The leaders of old generation have to understand the complications to unlearn their old concerns, old methods, and self defeating ideas. They have to unlearn their self defeating ways to do politics.

The Communist parties gave a call for nationwide bandh on 13 Jun 2006. Strike had paralyzed Kerala but did not affect West Bengal at all. Delhi faced partial impact. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee dominated the roost. He is showing the color of our political leaders. He is showing the power of individualistic influences on our communities’ behaviours. When he gave a call not to go for strike, the whole of the Bengal understands the importance of work. Bengal needs FDI (foreign direct investment) to improve the condition of poor. Bengal needs FDI to generate employment. They do not need strike; they need investment to protect the interest of their workers. There is a significant change of perceptions. Can one individual change the perception of entire community? Yes it can. But he needs to be the Chief Minister. How important this simple aspect is to be understood by all the intellectual body of the rising communities. It is important to understand the seriousness of these individualistic approaches. You can not do anything with any idea till you have power to empower your thinking. If people at powerful position do not take wise decisions, whole of communities suffers. Can we say that few individual has been responsible to keep the whole of community backward or deprived?

Existing Ground Realities

Case 1

If Buddha has realised the change of situation in 21st century, is it a surprise? How peculiar is the situation? One person of the party feels that FDI is important to alleviate the poverty from this poor country. FDI is required to build infrastructures to empower educated and uneducated people of this country. One individual feels but the party feels otherwise. Party is busy in harnessing vote. Party is busy in doing unnecessary strike. Part is busy in calling bandh. Party is busy in striking against airport privatisation or any other privatisation initiated by the government. There is an urgent need for all the people to understand the game plan of our leaders. It is important for all of us to realise that how these individualistic approaches have kept this country poor for so long. The ideas of the leader at helm have ensured that country does not move in a right direction at right speed. The revolutionary steps by Buddha have shown that it is not the wish of the majority of people to go for strike. It is the wish of few of the less knowledgeable leaders. The strike prone West Bengal can continue working on bandh day. Is it a big surprise? Is individual setting directions for majority?

Case II

The similar situations are occurring in the case of reservation. Just few disgruntled leaders have felt that reservation is serving their political interests. They are not bothered for any further repercussions in the society. They are not bothered for communities’ developments. They are not bothered for backwards or deprived people. They do not feel ashamed in dividing the communities for their gains. Is there any surprise that caste discrimination exists in this society even after approximately sixty years of the departure of British from this land? Caste discrimination is like a cancer in educated society. They have been kept alive intentionally by the few well known leaders including Nehru and Gandhi. They are being kept alive today by their followers. They have kept it alive for their secured status. They have ensured that normal people will never come to know their ill thoughts. They have power to communicate. They have power to spread wrong and selfish messages in a positive frame. They have done these intelligently. Further, VP Singh and Arjun Singh have joined to keep the caste discrimination alive in an educated society. How to understand the motives of such disgruntled and selfish leaders? It is a complex situation. Intelligentsia has failed to find the solution. Intelligentsia has no power to empower their wisdom. They sit in their drawing room and cry. Leaders are taking the poor and deprived for a ride. Few leaders are doing such politics of discriminations even in this information age which are shameful. It is barbaric when government stops the payment of striking doctors of AIIMS. How to judge right or wrong? Who knows truth? Why the leaders are spreading wrong messages to conscious citizens? Even Media is acting biased. But these will not go too far. Such shortsighted leaders and media will have to pay heavy price in 21st century.

How to Face the Challenges?

1. Challenges to Educated People

There is serious challenge to all educated people to understand this situation. It is important for all of us to analyze any major steps taken by parties or leaders. We have to be conscious to stop the exploitation. Today when country is rising, it is not the task for poor to become rich; it is an urgent need for even rich to ensure that other poor people become rich so that rich can become richer. No rich can become richer in this rising country unless economic condition of poor improves. These basic requirements to generate richness are not simply understood by political leaders because they are not loosing anything. They are able to maintain their status amidst poor. They are able to win election among poor people. They are able to get vote when the poverty prevails. That is how Lalu ruled democratically the poorest state for continuous fifteen years. Rahul wins election from one of the poorest districts like Amethi of Uttar Pradesh. Keeping poverty and deprivation does not disturb the status of leaders. But shortly, even leaders will feel the changes.

2. Compulsions of Corporate World

Corporate people of India are seriously concerned about these developments. They feel the pain. Today when there is an urgent need to achieve more than 10% growth to alleviate poverty, it is a challenge to all intelligentsia to frame new policies. That is the reason; Sam Pitroda, Narayana Murthy, and others joined hands to speak against reservation. They understand that backward and deprived people have to become rich for this country to make many billion companies. Ajim Premji talked to Buddha to stop strike so that BPO industry can run smoothly. Call Centers and BPOs have generated hope of better future. A disciplined India will be able to impress Western customers so that the companies can generate more outsourcing jobs. More jobs in this country will provide more employments. More money inflow will provide better infrastructure to this cash deprived nation.

Tata has become interested to establish the factory for first dream car of 1 lakh in West Bengal. Buddha has to show results and leadership. He knows very well that how much West Bengal has suffered last few decades. He has to unlearn many of the teachings of his predecessor Jyoti Basu. He is compelled to take unlearned decisions. He has to change his mindset. He has to meet the demand of 21st century to keep himself alive in politics. Why not other comrades are learning the compulsions of 21st century? Other leaders must learn from Buddha compulsion including national opposition parties like BJP. Leaders must understand the compulsions of corporate world to make this country rich. Leaders must do politics of rich nation. Shortly India is becoming developed. No leaders can afford to do politics of poor nation here.

Initiative to curb negative impact from Individuals

It is important for an educated society to curb negative impact from individual on society. The whole set of institution exists to save the interest of humanity. In spite of many systems, the problems occur and society faces the hardship in term of slow progress, lack of basic infrastructure, miserable lifestyle, etc. The individuals sitting at powerful position need to take cognizance of this reality not only for the betterment of humanity but even for them. Nepal is a very current and good example for the rise of common people. The people sitting at powerful position can not take the citizen for a ride for long time. There is a need for all the powerful people whose ideas impact on society need to note five salient points to reduce the negative impact-

1. Always use correct source of wisdom,
2. Never take the innocence and ignorance of common people for granted for long time,
3. Do not rely on your inner strength rather believe on data,
4. Immediately unlearn all conventional way of working or taking decisions, and
5. Exploit information in this information age to create wisdom.

Dream of a developed India

A rich country will not have much deprived people. The life style of citizen will improve. The more rich people will make this country developed. We all must join hands to improve our life free from discriminations, regionalism, casteism and other malice. There is no reason when we talk of development; we do not take better policies decisions. Government must rely on solid information and knowledge to set the direction of growth to achieve the desired result of progress otherwise talking about developed India will remain a dream - Big Dream. Can we keep this rising country developing for long time? If we want to be developed, we have to reduce the impact of few unqualified and uneducated individual to impact our society.