Science has become religious and religion is pretending to be Science. That is where the problem is. Neither understands the other. Devdutt Pattanaik.
“JP Morgan elegantly points to the ruins of emerging markets and says India is a nice house in a bad street! I would add further… The western world is founded on the principles of liberal, free market, democracy… Outside the OECD and the western Anglo Saxon Protestant world, literally in the entire globe there is one other example of this experiment and that is India…we are the West and England’s most natural ally… We speak the language, sing Beatles songs, read Wodehouse and want to grow up to be Sherlock.
Despite our many failings we are a giant and a colossus and for the sake of the world, let’s hope we succeed!.”
That was the concluding paragraph of a speech made by Mr. Dhritiman Biswas, a young Professional of Indian origin from Britain.
The breed of Indians that Mr. Biswas talks about certainly exists but is confined to urban India and will not exceed about fiver percent of our population. This population however boxes way above its weight because of its ability to use the English language and also because English language media of India is the most visible in the international arena. But five percent of India’s population is 70 million people! More than the UK’s.
I for one comfortably straddle the worlds of the five percent and the rest of the ninety-five. Primarily because I come from a family with deep roots in rural India and very orthodox religious beliefs. Due to migration to cities and exposure to Western style education, I benefited through employment with multinational companies and visits to the West. Extensive reading of English fiction helped too but at the heart of hearts, I am deeply rooted in our culture and philosophical systems and values.
“India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all the extremes.” ~ Sarah Macdonald.
“The Indian epic Mahabharata, teaches us that there is more to life than meets the eye. Yes, rules were broken in the Mahabharata war. An elephant, not a man, called Ashwatthama was killed. But why should we uphold rules when they prop up a society where actions are based on power not love, where the motivation is anger not affection?” concludes Devdutt Patnaik on the famous story of the killing of Dronacharya.
And another writer that I have great respect for Gurcharan Das, in his wonderful book The Difficulty Of Being Good addresses exactly the issues that Shackman has raised. And I agree with the reviewer when he concludes “I loved The Difficulty of being Good, but I will not recommend it to everyone. You should only buy this book, if you like the Mahabharata, and are also interested in questions of morality, and sometimes ponder about the questions of right and wrong. Without such interest, I think you will find the book difficult to read and not interesting at all.”
Another book that I am currently plodding through is more relevant to our present day conditions and environment. “The Truth About Trust; How It Determines Success In Life, Love, Learning and More”, by David DeSteno which I was persuaded to buy when I read this review in the HBR.
No, after all that information overload, I have not become an expert on the topic of honesty, truth and trust. If anything I have become more secure in my own answer to the question originally raised by Shackman – Honesty is not the best policy when the action taken can cause physical or mental harm to one’s self or others.
This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin, Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!
Devdutt Patnaik is a much liked writer and I am a great fan of his as is most of my family.
I do not miss any of his writings if I can avoid it. This particular piece on the Indian Vs European style of management is so well written that I wish to share it with all my readers who find Indians mysterious.
I am sure that if DP sees this YouTube clip, he will have as good a laugh as I did when I saw it last week.