The feudal system is alive and well in India. That is a well-known fact. The elite castes of society live off, yet routinely patronize, insult and humiliate the lower castes. Employers think of their employees as family servants, and treat them as such.
This is seen not only in the way that people interact in day to day life, it is also a fact of life that has serious consequences in the world of work. Most businesses here in India are family businesses- from those engaged in commerce to those engaged in the arts and publishing. Many of the “so-called” entrepreneurs of India, from those in their sixties and fifties to those in their forties, thirties and twenties, are nothing of the sort. These men and women were spoilt children who were told that they had talent where none existed. They have been cocooned by family money and legions of flatterers into believing that they are entrepreneurs. None of them actually built businesses up from nothing. They used their family money and position to become known by titles such as CEO or “Entrepreneur” which they did not earn.
I know what it takes to create business out of nothing, because I have been an entrepreneur in my time. I created businesses out of nothing in the U.K. Some succeeded. I learned a lot from the ones that did not.
The so called “entrepreneurs” from wealthy business families lack the basic drive and knowledge of real entrepreneurs. They also lack the basic knowledge of human nature which creates successful businesses, because they were raised to think of the people of India as “the masses,” and so they treat their employees as slaves. And more often than not, their businesses lose money.
In India ordinary Indians work inhumanly long hours for pathetically small salaries, salaries which do not even cover basic living expenses. While doing this they are expected to be at their employers’ beck and call for twenty-four hours a day. Employers do not encourage their employees to develop their potential. Instead, they laugh at them and patronize them for their lack of knowledge which stems from lack of opportunity due to poverty. Then they wonder why their employees are not efficient workers, never realizing that they are probably too tired and hungry and angry to care. This is not employment, it is servitude. True wage-slavery.
The Western countries have learnt through experience that employees are the true wealth of a business. Successful businesses have learned to respect and develop their employees.
If Indian employers took the trouble to develop the talents and potential of their employees, this would increase the profitability of their business and enrich India’s economy.
The Western countries have always known that a country’s citizens are her true wealth. They encourage, and pay, women to have as many children as possible.
In India, men and women are still forcibly sterilized. This is an inhuman practice that came from the time of colonial oppression and those people who still think in that way. It is completely unnecessary, as educated, financially comfortable people choose to have fewer children. This is a well-known fact. The basic issue that needs to be addressed is not the size of India’s population but the social inequality that leads to lack of opportunities for self-improvement.
All of a country’s knowledge, all of its intellectual resources, all of its inventions, all of its products, all of its creative arts and literature and all of its economic wealth are created by its people.
Elite Indians should understand this, and understand it well. Employees are not slaves, they are human beings. The people of India are not “the masses,” a word which stems from the days of colonial oppression and the colonizers’ fear of the Indian population. Gandhi played upon this fear brilliantly and non-violently. He convinced the ordinary people of India that it was their right to be free. Millions of ordinary people died at the hands of the British colonizers while engaged in non-violent passive resistance movements, in order to free India, yet their descendents are still treated like slaves by their own people. The people of India are not “the masses,” they are human beings with immense potential. And as such they have the right to be treated fairly and with respect.
As a member of the elite castes, I know that it is time to do away with the feudal system – both socially and in the world of work. Yes, I want to be financially comfortable. And I want all the people of India to be financially comfortable. This is not a fairy tale. India has every single natural resource in the world – all the other countries in the world only have some of them. This is a fact. And she has huge wealth in her population.
India is currently a very young country in terms of the age of the majority of her population. Most of her people are under 25. The population of the West is ageing, to the point where the majority of people in Western countries are already 50+. In 10 years, in 20 years, India will have a huge resource in people who are of working age. This is an enormous future dividend. If the potential of India’s labour force is developed now, India will have vast resources in terms of educated, literate, creative, highly developed people who can take her to her rightful place as a global superpower.
India is a great country, but her economic growth is as yet hampered by social inequality and the dinosaurian mind-sets that it engenders. It order to become a world super-power, her elite and wealthy castes have to embrace social equality. It is the right of every Indian to be well-fed, educated, and financially comfortable. This is a possibility if the feudal mind-set is removed.
Social equality is not a Utopian dream, it is a necessity. No country can become great without it. Social equality means equal access to education and equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of race, colour, caste, creed or gender. The Indian Government understands this and has instituted excellent reservations policies in educational institutes to rectify the lack of opportunity faced by the lowest castes.
Now it is time for the wealthy business families to wake up to the fact that unless they treat their employees fairly, encourage them to develop their potential and pay them reasonable salaries, they are actually hindering the economic growth of India.
The true wealth of India is her people. All of her people. It is time for them to be treated with the respect that they deserve.
Source: Anjali Paul,Writer,SiliconDD