IIM students get sky-high salaries!

So, India now a Superpower?

It seems it is time for celebrations for India! This year, the American Forbes magazine that tracks billionaires all over the world revealed for the first time that next to America India has produced so many billionaires! Not even China is near India in this league. They very language of the India’s new generation of entrepreneurs, the Indian IT professionals and the new generation of achievers, in so many fields, be it sports or arts or in every other sphere, from films to media enterprises, it looks India is fast becoming a world centre, if not a world power!

There is already this huge middle class rising! Consumer boom is visible, salaries of even the starters like  BPO workers is on the high.Rs.10,000 is the minimum salary and in Mysore there is a job mela that promises job orders on the very day of interview. Come all B.A.s and B.Com.s! Say the leaflet, jobs are for your taking, blares the voice!

So, why not celebrate the new India of young achievers!

All this good development comes on the heels of the IIMs MBA students bagging the biggest yet salary highs! A salary of one lakh ninety-three thousand dollars for a campus-recruited IIM graduate? Yes, yes! This is real money, 8,00,000 a month! Of course, this is a time for much celebration. But at the same time there is also the other side to this reality. What is it?

As the veteran journalist, T.J.S.George of the Indian Express had written in words that worth quotable:” What we have is a felonious political class colluding with a venal administrative class to produce a contemptible record of knavishness”.

This was written in connection with the latest corruption scandal in Karnataka where 5 police officers, combined earned something like 60 crores worth of property, cash and jewellery, some of which was found to have been stolen from those who lost it while they went to complain to the police, the respective police officials pocketed the stolen jewlllery for their own safe custody!

The point is that, yes, India is producing lots of wealth through private entrepreneurship.This is the positive change in Indian environment where for long the only goal of education is to secure a lowly government job.The very same police inspectors were getting very low salaries,something like Rs.16,000 after serving for so many years. So, they resorted to direct assault on the system by systematically plundering the public! This should not be so but yet this is the reality.

Now, what to choose between the respective ways of life’s chances? Work hard, engage yourself in some enterprise and make your way through personal toil or try the easier route to wealth and success and fame? This is the dilemma that is dogging the younger generation.

Unfortunately, the Indian system today is such that the leaders are no reliable guides. We don’t have Gandhis or Nehrus. Rather we have the betrayers of the rich legacy of Indian freedom struggle. What the lowly police officials or the lowly policies have been doing is to misuse the public offices. The MPs and the Ministers in Delhi are now emerging as the new venal class, the Ministers in the Cabinet are ‘tainted’, yet the system allows the PM or the party leaders to wink at their own compromises. The recent elections to the Rajya Sabha also brought to the public notice how the whole polity is revolving on unprincipled beliefs!

Yes, we have rich traders and industrialists, rank outsiders  enter the Rajya Sabha, once the hope for intellectuals and  seasoned hands, now they MPs belonging to all parties are willing to be bought, the Congress leads the pack with immorality, then the BJP and Samajwadi party are mere pretenders. So, the system in building up, in our view an international tension. A tension about our own immoralities in our own acts.

Even the Supreme Court is cautioned by the PM to be restrained in the use of the Public Interest Litigation! Why? The top court is rather pro-active on the side of the helpless public!

But the very top court didn’t catch the guilty at high places as when it gave the verdict only indicting the Governor as in Bihar. The Constitutional or Parliamentary experts (as Subhash Khasyap says in a latest article) hold the Supreme Court should have at least pointed at the culpability of the Cabinet in recommending for the dissolution of the Assembly. Kashyap (The Hindu, March 21st) says:” The last but not the least responsible player has been the Supreme Court itself. The primary duty of the Court is to adjudicate disputes and provide relief…It is worth considering whether the courts are not putting  too much emphasis on laying down high principles for future generations making immediate adjudication of a dispute and relief to petitioners and public interest a casualty”.

Yes, the high institutions of the state are put to severe pressure to the point of explosion, if not immediately, but in the not long future, by the compromisers of morality, the compromise with evil by the high and mighty will create much unsettled feelings in all those who are left out of the cozy billionaires and the high salaried narrow middle class! The vast mass of people outside this circle is waiting to explode!

This is one more domain of any education worth the definition of the concept!

Whiteman’s Burden? Or, it is the Brown Man’s turn now?

The globalize world is faced with so many challenges. The rise of international terrorism, the unrest in the Muslim Middle East, the many theories for the current world’s wars and bloodshed call for serious introspection on the part of thinking sections of all peoples.

I had just consulted the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia of Britannica for an understanding of liberalism. I just felt exasperated! Why? Liberalism had 7 pages of coverage!

Of course as I browsed through the volume my eyes fell upon the entry on Judaism. It had some 45 pages! I am not sure of the latest editions. In those days when time was still plenty and the scholarly men thought at length and in great depth.

The Britannica essay tells at one point that liberalism is the very embodiment of Western culture, a culture that fostered individual liberty and fought for upholding individual freedom down the ages.

So, what I am going to do here is to sum up from my past reading and present reflections what I consider to be the basic minimum of what constitutes liberalist creed for the current times. Firstly, I must say that India at the start of the new century is new country, as we live in a new globalize world. So, whatever our predecessors, from ancient times to the present times, inside India as well as outside, thought about or gone about practicing their idea of a liberal politics wont suit the present needs.

Just now I read a review of a book on Lenin (Lenin and the Exile of the Intelligentsia). Lenin in 1922 put on two ships and sent out 220 intellectuals, together with their families, he threw them out for building his brand of Socialism. Those thrown out were Christian socialists, some conservatives. So, the Communists earned eternal blame for whatever that was held great in human spirit, the human spirit of seeking individualism, freedom and much else.

So, from what I have read about the great political doctrines that shaped man’s conception of an ideal society is that from Hebrew doctrines to Sermon on the Mount to the modern world of French Revolution and much else, from the many versions of Liberal parties and groups to the many theories of “end” and “death” of Liberalism, it survived and still with us.

History of Liberalist creeds is what we have to first understand.

Inside India, our freedom struggle brought about a transformation of political thought. Gandhi is disciple of Gokhale as well as a new type of liberal cum authoritarian leader with the claim for practicing non-violence. Only an objective and impartial historic appraisal of his personality can finally give us a true account of his liberal and open mind. Nehru was again both a liberal as well as a doctrinaire socialist.

I am rather embarrassed to note that his great journalist friend Kingsley Martin, the editor of New Statesman weekly was also my inspiration for much of my Fabian Socialism in this time. Thus, Nehru accumulated a corpus of socialist doctrines that survived not long after him.

The trouble today is that what we follow in Delhi as the political doctrine is neither liberalism nor genuine capitalism. Capitalism is also an article of faith for some liberal minded persons and I have my own qualifications to make here. Socialism, scientific and utopian, called Marx and Engles. That is a false dichotomy. What we need is the emphasis on individual liberty in today’s parliamentary democracies.

Indian democracy is, in some ways, only a shell; the inside of the system is rotten! There is even state-winked oppression everyday. There is a lack of sensitivity on the part of political operators who are all turncoats! Liberalist creed is at the very heart a spiritual and moral affirmation in the inviolable right of individuals to remain free of the state oppression. Readers can qualify their own observations.

Basic morality of politics is to define the individual right for complete liberty. Human rights violations are the very anti-thesis of any liberalist creed. Gandhiji’s politics and morality has much of Western construct. The Indian element is minimal. Nehruvian construct is more Western. Indira Gandhi had an authoritarian mind-set.

Her successors might be secularists but they don’t seem to believe in any value system. There are too many pretenders today in politics May be Tagore is a more evolved person, taking his inspirations from Raja Rammohan Roy. Every generation has to define its own political creed.Today’s life; today’s world is not dictated by honest definitions of concepts. There are newcons, the so-called conservatives, and the oppressive minority that dictates terms to American society. This is not the great American democracy, asserted Tocqueville, two hundred years ago, the same is asserted by the leading French philosopher, HML, in his latest book on America (American vertigo).

Britain, Indians have to learn to forget! Tony Blair’s country can’t play any role model. The idealistic Britain I had known, the Britain of the early Fabian Socialists, the Britain of my early Fifties L.T. Hobhouse and R.H.Tawney and Harold Laski lie the past!

Blair’s Britain and George Bush America don’t articulate any vision but believe only in bloody wars!  All major modern wars had been of European origin! Now, they are of American origins! May be his latest visit to India might change him. Rather it is France and Germany who have pleaded for UN role in promoting world peace. India has a big burden, the Brown Man’s Burden!

So, liberalist creed today’ needs new definitions. India is well-positioned to give a lead in promoting a more humane society and a more tolerant socials harmony in its multi-religious and multi-cultural formations.
Indian middle class’s sensitivity and insensitivity!

Indian middle classes differ from city to city. In Delhi it is one of high paranoia. Finding powerful and that same time powerless Vis a Vis the almost illiterate political class, the New Delhi middle class can make noises, say on a Jessica murder case judgment and express the rightful indignation at so many injustices. But when it comes to those whomsoever in power, the same middle class presents a tame timidity! Almost to the point of becoming dead numb! No insensitivity to their own plight of surrendering all their pretensions for their own freedoms and feigning ignorance of things around them!

Middle classes in Bangalore or Chennai have their own sensitivity antennas! The middle classes in the state capitals have their own rightful spheres of freedom as well as their own willingness to surrender their freedoms for their own survival! That is why so much corruption is tolerated; so much illegal wealth is also created and condoned.

So much for our claims to modernity and our own sense of uprightness.

The real cause for these contradictory features of the Indian character is that Indians have yet to evolve into modern world individuals. It is my view that Indians still basically remain tied to so many Indian traditions. Ironically, even educated Indians of the last and present generation are yet to realize that we haven’t become yet fully free individuals, our mindset is still tied to our Macaulay education values, and we have to go a long way to reach that individuality we envy in the Westerners.

Western, European societies struggled hard to win their freedoms, India is yet to go through the processes of such struggles, individually and collectively. Only a liberalized society can realize what individual freedoms are and how much it costs to realize our own individual freedoms.

Decline in Values? Compromise with Evil? Yes, everyday we find that our society, polity and even much of our education and culture are faced with so much of compromises with values. What we hold as dear to our sense of truth and morality. Yet we have learnt to, live with life as it goes on!

Each generation, of leaders and the common people, have to live by a core set of values, stand up to an activist mind-set.

A sense of moral outrage against the powerful and the influential to buy and sell our own fate is what  can be considered as the new liberalist moral and political creed  for the present generation.

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