Saturday, May 1, 2010

To die and let die

Indians like to describe the basic attitude in their society as "To live and let live". I think however "To die and let die" is a more honest description.

Indian people have learned to live without power supply.
"Na problam Sir !"
"We just buy inverters, batteries and if possible gensets to overcome the problem. Who needs power anyway? Around 50% of our population still lives without power at all! So we are the lucky ones, Sir. You must understand Sir that supplying of power is technical difficult to achieve: 25% of our installations go down regularly because they are so difficult to maintain. Sir, we know that our good government is providing budgets for maintenance, but of course the administrators also need to buy food for their kids."

They know how to live a few days without water.
"Na problam Sir !"
"Even in cities like Gurgaon which can be considered part of the Indian capital Delhi, we have organised water distribution in 25 liter bottles ourselves. Every morning 6 hours sharp you can even go to a distribution point to buy your bucket of water ... but please, bring your own bucket. It's 1km maximum from your home. If you would like to, I will walk the way for you."

They are used to pay high admission fees to get their kids to a decent school.
"Na problam Sir !"
"If we can pay at all, we pay even for admission in a good private school. How else can we be sure that our kids really get teached. It was still last week in the paper: classes in a public school were being used for doing laundry and served as sleeping rooms. What else can our kids do if 50% of the public school teachers don't show up anyway, Sir ?"

"They are accepting they have to pull out substantial amounts of money to get even the most evident things done by state administrations."
"Na problam Sir !"
"We try to do as less administration as possible, Sir ! But in most cases, the administrator is a good man: he charges himself less than what I would have to pay officially to get the same thing done ! If you look at it this way, then these administrators are real fine social servants, Sir."
"Need a driver's license, Sir ? Ah, I can deliver you one Sir. Don't try yourself ... that would become very costly for you, Sir !"

They learned to live with policemen taking small sums in exchange for more expensive fines.
"No problam Sir !"
"Our police is very honest, Sir. They're always ready to discuss things. And those good men always charge less than what the fine would cost me, Sir! How's that? Are the policemen also so friendly in your own far away country?"

They also know that they cannot pay good doctors, so they have to do with barely educated ones.
"No problam Sir !"
"We have no good understanding of health issues anyway. We don't understand the difference between a viral and bacterial infection ourselves ... so how could an Indian doctor know the difference, Sir ? Let's just take these antibiotics, which we can buy by the pill."
"And in case my kid suffers from serious loose motion and dehydration, Sir ... we just follow the dietist's advice: "Give him fresh fruite juice"."
(This last advice was actually given in an (expensive) hospital to a fellow expat-mother whose kid became really ill by food poisoning!)

They realise that they can be killed in traffic every day and that nobody in the society will help them if they get in real trouble.
"No problam Sir !"
"My family will take care of me in any situation."
(I remember my bookkeeper being shocked to find out that nobody of the tens of people standing around him was helping him or did not even phone an ambulance. He had a traffic accident and laying on the road bleeding. He told me: "I was so lucky I was still conscious enough to phone my brother in Delhi so that he could come and get me."

"Na problam Sir !"

Indians are friendly people, realising that India is a tough country to organise.
They don't complain ... they adjust.

After all ... politics is a hard profession; economic leaders are supposed to strive for their own wealth and religious leaders are of course always short of money because they build temples and pray for the sake of the country and for the souls.

I'm curious if they also will accept that their own life and their children's lifes are directly endangered by pure irresponsible and negligent behaviour of their intellectual leaders ?

Some so called profs at Delhi University who got a license to educate youth at the highest level of education in chemistry must have lost their mind. At least if they ever were in the possession of something resembling a mind. Read the next article about a story which started 4 weeks back and has led to the death of one man already.

I myself have a hard time to accept that even supposed intellectual leaders don't give a fuck about their fellow citizen's health and life and can show such irresponsible behaviour. As a consequence I really question the quality of Indian education in general.

The following questions about Indian society must be taken seriously, because even a very modest positive answer is highly discussable:
- Are Indian (intellectual, political, religious, economic) leaders capable of leading their country into a better future ?
- Are there sincere Indian leaders able to take up and live to the responsibilities they get from the people ?
- Are Indian leaders able to fight against the immense irresponsible behaviour, corruption and disorganisation of Indian society or are they themselves the starting point and perhaps main cause of it ?
- Is India as a culture able at all to evolute into the "developed" society they would like so hard to be ? Or is all this "growth" and "development" only leading to more wealth for the richest, while the regular people's life is of no value whatsoever;
- Would the world still feel safe if they realise that a country as disorganised as India possesses mass destruction materials and weapons ? I even don't dare to think about Pakistan...

If something like this would happen in the Western world, there's no doubt that:
- the University department responsible for this would be closed at least for the time of investigation;
- the complete potentially infected University campus would be closed to check as long as would be needed;
- a thorough investigation would analyse and rectify all procedures regarding waste management;
- the direct and indirect responsible people would be fired immediately by the University itself;
- the direct responsible people would be arrested by the juridical system.

Indians, get your acts together ...
Will it be "Live and let live" or "Die and let die" ?