- THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS IN INDIA
Courtesy: K.R. Ravi, trainers forumhttp://www.krravi.com/
Every time we take one step forward we take two steps backward.
I was reminded of this clich recently when I spoke to the VP HR of a very large public sector company in the infrastructure sector based in New Delhi.
The VP tells me that an interesting change is taking place in his company. In earlier years his company had found it difficult to recruit high quality engineers from the better engineering colleges. But in the last 3 years he has been besieged with applications from the very best colleges including the IIT's. Not just this. Earlier young recruits used to pull high level political strings to be recruited and posted to city offices even though they were aware that they were being selected to work at project sites. But now a dramatic change has taken place the engineers use influence to be posted at project sites that are almost always located a hundred miles or more from civilisation.
This VP friend of mine had been listening to my lectures at many fora on how "Young India". imbibed with idealism, would be a sea change from the old decrepit one. He was brimming with hope for India's future when the vigilance officer in the company had a different and shocking tale to tell.
It seems that the company had recently hiked starting salaries to Rs 50000 plus perks for a Graduate engineer trainee is something obviously very lucrative. But contrary to expectations the corruption levels had increased EVEN AMONG THE GRADUATE ENGINEER TRAINEES.
These freshers had been ˜taught" by seniors how to encourage contractors to raise fake bills, inflate genuine bills and in return extract a ˜cut" which is shared by the entire department. The take home amount of all employees far exceeds their salary.
I am an optimist by nature having endured many a hardship in life in the spirit of "all will be well" but I can't but be sceptical about our future leaders being any better than the present lot. Look at how young MP Naveen Jindal justified and defended Khalp Pachayats who recommend murder of young lovers who wish to marry a partner of the same gotra or even village.
Also see the manner in which not one young MP has commented on the raging controversy about MP's salaries. Notice also how no young MP or group of young MP's has taken any lead on the two burning issues of the day, Maoism and Jammu and Kashmir.
I have a few ideas on what these young MP's ought to do but I suspect that they will pay little heed to any sane voice.
Having said this am I a confirmed pessimist?
My answer to this question is this the big fat Indian wedding explains our behaviour. There is invariably a dispute between the two parties to the wedding, some communities like the Tamil Brahmin actually stage a mock walkout reminiscent of Lok Sabha proceedings, with the groom walking away symbolically to Kashi. the bride's father pleading with him to return, dowry is then greedily evaluated, sometimes dowry death visits the bride and in other cases the newly weds settle down to a humdrum existence. This is how I expect India to perform - deadly for the masses, frustrating for many, exhilarating for some including the graduate engineers and young politicians, in the years to come. It all depends on where in the gravy train you are.
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