India @ 2020 — My fears !!

Well, I have read George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farms’ and might have got carried away. He was such an intelligent dissident. I have certain reservations about India’s future. To sum up I see India as George Orwell ‘2020’ with some obvious modifications. I am not worried about top 5% of the population but the bottom 90%. If you are not among them, this might not make sense.

One get success if one enjoys the things around one. A rich gets richer if (s)he enjoys richness around him/her. A poor get success (read gets poorer) if (s)he enjoys things around him/her. A person who enjoys life rather than things in the life gets to know the other world. A poor may get rich and rich can renounce everything to become poor. A mathematician may turn into a historian and a engineer could become a social worker. A politician may become a great man and a great man may live a life of obscurity and nobody will know about him.

India, my mother, one must acknowledge her persistence against all odds. She survived! Even Ramachadra Guha’s in his masterpiece “India After Gandhi” wondered on and explained “why India has survived?”. All the times after independence, almost everyone in larger western intellectual sphere was busy predicting the demise/collapse of Indian state into separate nations. Fortunately, We survived all of this.

It might be very premature on the part of 23 year old guy to pass judgments/views on the future of India who had bellied all the experts through out the world since the time invaders started pouring in.

One may like to turn to fiction to express his maverick/dissident opinions just like Arundhati Roy. Fiction has this wonderful quality which express reality in the most convincing form. I would like to do that some day. If you give just plain facts, even the most honest one, then also you run the risk to find yourself in the never-ending debates. But that is also very necessary. At least once in a while we all should take part in the fierce debate. One get to know how the most ludicrous opinions can be expressed in the most musical/convincing way. Just like most of the modern day songs which have nothing in lyrics but still catches our imagination. Not to mention the movies!

No doubts that India had fared extremely well in the past. I am not talking about post 1990. She could withstand other cultures as well as religions even if they are imposed on her. She swallowed and digested everything. Whoever came here became Indian while giving her few of one’s color. Now we are one of the most diverse nation in this world! We are extremely proud of it!

Yes We have grown to be a complex nation, a complex network, which is stable, is not prone to small disturbances. Its got its stable points. Its the small homogeneous networks which are most unstable towards disturbances (Recently Switzerland.. no no people of Switzerland banned any new building of minarets!). Probably they must do a case study on India how she managed in the most of the conflicting times. Even now, telangana and maratha manus issue is burning her! But anyway, she had seen worse!

Any network whether social, personal or electrical can enhance its stability by introducing a small negative feedback. However, A positive feedback creates oscillation and over time it breaks down the whole system, its makes the system to get short term performance but ultimately it breaks it down. Just lik e in case of a new relationship, praising other gender (read giving positive feedbacks) speed up the process of getting him/her into a relationships. A frank (negative feedback) feedback might have cause it to go slow. Nevertheless, the negative feedback, generally comes from the sensors, located at the output, reduces the oscillations and it makes system to take more time to reaches its goals. The sensors sends feedback back to the component who is producing the output. Like a temperature sensor located in your room send the feedback signal to the air-conditioner. Now the controller of the a.c. decides whether to allow ac to chill the room further. Imagine, that the any of the two among sensor, a.c. controller, and ac got some vested interest and starts colluding. Controller might be dismissing sensors signal as ‘dissident’ or ‘snobbish’ etc.. And the time you gets home, your house is freezed to death, But that is reversible. You can correct these things without much loss.

But there are few things which can not be reversed. Whether it is oil, minerals, water or education. An uneducated children today can not be educated tomorrow when He could be tiff and rigid. These are the people, who stays at the bottom for none of their faults. These are the people who made this system (government) so that it might get some resources for a while so that later in his/her life (s)he starts producing. At this time, our government is not listening for his/her demands. Its not government responsibility to educated citizen? Its market who will decide! The negative feedback given by the some honest sensors who are expert in this field. (My definition of the experts is not degree holder but the guys/girls who stays in the field to study). But it is deliberately/conveniently ignored. See, We have rising medical tourism, We could be the destination of world class education (ummm.. world class professional training). But Imagine a land where more that 3 out of 4 person does have the purchasing power of Rs 20 or less a day. Would you believe that any of them can be included in this. You think that the ‘Great Market’ will allow them to be the part of this. Anyway, competition does not ensues inclusive growth even when it is perfect. In India, it is not perfect, but that is a different story. Now you get a network in which more than three fourth of the components are not the part of the activity which makes this network running. What they will do then, they will produce noises (dharna and other stuff), they halt the flow inside the network, they disrupt. Its hard to make a men sit idle. Either consume his energies into the betterment of the system else (s)he will create troubles. It makes it harder for this network to sustain. Then it tries to isolate the noise-generating components. (You might be aware the not so long ago Delhi government tried to impose a rule that no-one without an i-card will be allowed to enter Delhi, Now we are seeing UID program. They are making sure by hiring a technocrat that enough policy and social gaps are left which can be utilised later. This you might see as the inter-cities passport just like China. We have seen their SEZ concept being utilized to grab land. Never mind, whatever is going to be produced on these lands (whether software or electricity) will not be given to them, even though the promise is their development. “The biggest hater of China now the biggest lover – Amit Bhaduri, in EPW”.) But humans are not electrical components which can be removed from the system!

Information flow in human network is like current flow (control signals) in electric network. Who ever produce this current is called ‘source’ and other depends on it. Fortunately, a source in electric network never minds who is consuming its current (being controlled by it). It does not have any vested interest. It does not want to get more powerful (read more controll over the other passive components). It controlls and other components acknowledge it. That’s why the computer, mobile phones works so well! But human-network is not like that. A powerful wants to get powerful and a rich richer. How can this be done? Either you create resources or displace them. Just like butter is made out of milk so one layer can get rich. Everything was there, still wonder how you get that rich layer of butter. Indian economy is like that, If richer gets richer and poor are getting poor, then obviously butter came out of the milk only. Anyway, creating resources is painfully long process, displacing them is very easy. But still we are not that ruthless, so you must convince everyone (or people who matters) that this indeed is not the case. This is how we are creating resources. An example, unlike China, we import more than we export, so how come our foreign reserves could be ours. Its the liquidity, invested heavily by FDI, FII, NRI. They will run away with the first sign of panic. But we are not worried. Who trust numbers, they are painfully boring. To get powerful in a human-network, you need to control the flow of ideas/information. You need to control the most prominent information sources.. Yes I am talking about media. Now the editors and the owner of the biggest media houses are the same corporate guys. Remember Italian PM Berlusconi is also a media baron. His rise in Italy is nothing less then the disaster for democracy and a wonderful and painful examples how media can influence the voters. In India, we are lucky because the person who votes does not read them anyway. His personal experience shaped his world-view, that is why India-Shining did not work for BJP.

Now these super-information-sources are controlled. Now you want your readers to fall in line with you so they can not criticize you. They tell them what they want to listen. They captures their imagination when they are young. So a newspaper which boast itself of not having a single book-review page starts making them believing that they have great plans to “teach India”. You need energatic and ignorant person, young or old, younger is beeter. (S)he will stay with them longer if caught young. In teenage they instills fear in them about their parents, they tell them about how cool it is not to be the part of the things going around them, they tell them why they should read about “three mistakes of someone else life” while the more serious/issues should be ignored or are not cool for them. They tell them, why they should hate their natural colours and turn to fairness creams, they tell them why they should compete with each other in this ruthless world where only fit survives. They tell them why market is more important than their society, they tell them why they shouldn’t concentrate on politics because if gets to know its them who wields the real power, their days are over! They tells them why its cool to consume at the cost of your planet life, they tell them how dirty our politics had become, never mind they are friends with them. Basically they need to turn them to their religious “the market” which is chasing its own holy-grail, “The invisible hand of itself.” (P. Sainath)

There are other important components. In electric networks, they are called filters. They filter out unwanted frequencies. Now for perfect control, you need to filter out dissidents. (Ever wonder that anything significant which came out is this word were came out from dissidents.) You need to prove that the only I am right. They have to make a disapproving meaning out of the word ‘dissidents’. Just like “Brutal (Made out from ‘Brutus’ who killed ‘Caesar’ out of the conviction that Caesar had become a danger for state, a patriot, if you ask me) and ‘hector’ (A great troy warrior who was much better personality than Achilles’). See they can make a crap out of a man. In human-networks, our universities, school, institutes acts like filter.. You have to control them also. You need ignorant people. You have to make them believe than they must concentrate only on their studies and forget about the world. They even attach morals with it! If you get educated in world-class institutes (mostly managements and economy), they will make sure, that leave alone talking you stop thinking about certain ideas, (remember how university of Chicago and Manchester threw out Keynesian from their syllabus, Now he is back after the economic crisis. ) Our old great universities of Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow and others are reduced to regional colleges to make sure no new confronting ideas should not germinate. People love it. Now our hostel are reduced to ‘kachcha baniyan sukhane ki chhawni’ and our universities are selling/making degrees as they are made in some sort of assembly line. Sure, they will work well in back-office kind of work!!

A lot have been written about the disparity in India and the pattern on growth which is not even. If I talk about this that would be redundant. That also not my belief that one should not heap repeated things on the pile already so vast. But we are blessed with short memories. Every now and then all this sound novelty and unbelievable.

India had been able to confront diversity but inequality is very dangerous thing. Indians looks at others first! If electricity is not coming in one’s home, he go and look at his neighbour home first. If there is electricity, he became restless otherwise he is ok. Its not our very nature to not to give damn if our neighbour has more than us.

Sleep Well, Eat Well, 2020 is coming!! But apocalypse is not right now, India will survive! So what, even dogs survives on the road sides. What I am worried about, Will She live her life as She deserve to? If you think that survival is our ultimate aim, then whatever I say is crap!!



Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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