Rajasthan Visit – Part 3

The irony is that these problems have for the most part been self-inflicted because we have allowed our rulers to systemically siphon away money. As Atanu Dey put it, “India is poor because India is corrupt.”

Rajasthan and its people are part of the other India we like to call ‘Bharat.’ We give it a different name because we want to distance ourselves from it. Traveling through some of the small towns and villages, I could not help but look at the horrific sanitation situation. I should have become immune to it after all these years, but that Bharat is still part of our country – and we cannot give up expecting better so easily.

We have been horribly wrong in the 60 years since Independence. Many of us who should be aware of the situation have removed ourselves from the realities of the country and created a happy cocoon around us. We have the resources to bring about a transformation of our nation, but it cannot be done with the class of people who get us in there.

India needs a revolution from us, its people. We haven’t yet reached that turning point yet, but some of us will reach it soon. And we will decide enough is enough. We will start taking our country back from our rulers. Then, we can start building India right, and claim to be truly an Independent democratic nation.

10 thoughts on “Rajasthan Visit – Part 3

  1. Hi Rajesh

    That is because sword (political power) is in the hands of monkeys and they are using it to exploit others rather than to serve them. This won’t change whether one party comes to power or the other, till the thinking of people who take the decisions changes. You are right that there needs to be a revolution. There needs to be a silent revolution which changes the thinking of people from grounds up. And this can only occur if people are given strong spiritual foundation from childhood. Strong buildings cannot stand on weak foundations. If we think that we can pump in lot of money and change the country, we are completely wrong.

    On the other hand one should not feel too agitated by such things. It is good to aspire for higher standard of living and all efforts should be made in that direction. But sometimes people living in huts are “richer” than people living in palaces. They lead more meaningful and happier lives.


  2. Rajesh
    I am currently traveling in China — second time in one month and both time had a chance to see rural — not remote areas but in second tier cities and 100 miles from cities — areas also. My China trips always depress me because I can not help but compare with India (and USA) and see that all our ‘reasons’ are lame excuses. The situation is really serious and we are slipping rapidly.

    About comments like — But sometimes people living in huts are “richer” than people living in palaces. – that maybe true in 1 out of 1,000,000 cases and should only be used by the most corrupt politicians during the voting season. Such statements have no place in any analysis.

  3. Rajesh corruption is one symptom – to me our ethical values of engagement has degraded and diminished, which has lead to these problems, its spreading like an incurable disease in all parts of the country.

    Its good that you seem to get angry when you see things in countryside, suggests that lot of passion is their to change the destiny of this nation!

  4. I tend to disagree on the definition of “poor”

    Does it mean intellectually starved? Does it mean financially backward? Or is it simply something that we say to defend a country that we all collectively own?

    India is whatever it is because of leadership.

    I was in Dubai a few weeks ago, and that is one place you should visit if you want to see what a good leadership can do. True, it’s on an economic backfoot right now, but it’s an island built on literally nothing. With one leader’s willingness and determination. Move over a few miles to Abu Dhabi and you’ll see the difference.

    What India needs is able leadership.


  5. Hi Rajesh,

    The role of the raja is to rule. The role of the praja is to serve the raja and his land. A very capitalistic system indeed!

    Rajasthan is the school where indian rajniti can find its roots. Throughout the history of rajputana, the rajas engaged in various wars, sandhis, daan sam-maan, alliances to ensure they continue to rule first and foremost – mogul and english presence and the role of rajas of rajasthan and their relationship with the “outsiders” reflects that very clearly.

    The creation of pakistan changed all that and formation of india ended that raj period.

    Since then, the state of rajasthan has failed to find its identity. It has not let go of the past and it has not accepted the future. As a result, major development has been very slow to come by.

    Things are moving, however, an average person in rajasthan is much less empowered compared to other states in India. There is wide spread poverty and lack of education. During my 5 years stay in rajasthan in chittorgarh and jaipur area, I witnessed how one caste is doing better compared to the other. People’s fortunes are very much binded to their caste in rajasthan.

    Water is a shortage in the state. However, the bigger shortage is the power of will. Except for jats, rajputs and maheswaris who are again very capitalist, my impression of an average rajasthani is that of a very docile person, willing to submit to that of higher authority and incapable of bringing significant change or thinking big.

    The past glory of rajasthan can only be brought back through massive education and employment campaigns and by helping rajasthan find its identity. However, the spirit of downtrodden can not be resurrected in a single lifetime.

    I love rajasthan the most of any place in india. However, in my lifetime, I doubt if rajasthan can find its lost place on the national landscape.


  6. Rajesh,

    I hate to mention my disagreement with Atanu Dey one more time but I also want to mention that india is not poor because india is corrupt.

    India is poor because majority of indians are hindus.

    Now you may ask me what is the co-relation.

    People are never tired of highlighting achievements of dubai, china, western world
    but there is a fundamental difference between them and indians. Indians are hindu.

    I am sure it sounds amusing till this point or even offending. Why does being a hindu make a difference?

    It makes a difference as unlike other religions, hindu religion is not organized. Not only that, it doesnt emphasis organization at any level of life. It preaches slow, self paced, organic growth. The path of the non warrior. There are no targets for the best of devotees. The whole point is to be in a state of goallessness – moksha.

    If you look at indian history, india or puratan bharat has never organized any major war campaigns – they have been mostly defense oriented when war was thrust upon rajas and india. Historically, indians have never build anything magnificiently big or grand. indians have never undertaken any ambitious campaigns like 5 years and everyone is 5th pass in india or 4 years and 4 gold medals in olympics. 5 years and electricity for all etc.

    In india, if you want to do something against the natural flow ( incremental growth), you have to go about it alone and do it. You have right to ruin your life, you will be told. However, If you succeed, people would treat you like god. In a sense very capitalistic system.

    Even as a businessman, in india hardly any businessman think of organizing massive business campaigns. There is certain fear of loss. The gut tells they are doing something against the conventional wisdom. Afterall whats the need to stretch yourself, their hindu beliefs tell them. Any action they do, they would not only be putting on line their money but also their reputation as a hindu is not supposed to fail – provided he sticks to conventional wisdom!

    You look at indian traffic and its perfect example of organic growth happening without any organization in sight or the way indians go about marriage and producing children – its intrinsic. No thought or contemplation is necessary when it comes to organic growth in hinduism.

    However, thats also the most natural state of being. The most peaceful.

    In USA, things are very much under control at all times but you feel the tightness of it all. In india mind relaxes the moment you arrive at the airport. I have often wondered why westerners love india and this may be one of the reasons. That india is uncontrolled to much extent and its organic, naturally happening with little control.

    As hindus, orgnization is not an intrinsic quality indians carry and understand. This is also not something you can acquire in a single lifetime. Things are changing with future generation however, the effort is largely capitalistic in nature and not nationalistic. So lives in india would get better only one at a time unlike dubai or china.


  7. Rohitaash wrote, “India is poor because majority of indians are hindus. Now you may ask me what is the co-relation.”

    One has to be careful about the distinction between correlation and causation. The former does not imply the latter.

    Shoe sizes and vocabulary is highly correlated among children. That does not mean that there is a causal link between the two. Both vocabulary and shoe size (which is an indirect way of saying body size) are linked through the variable “age.”

    India is poor, and India is 80 percent Hindus, does not imply that being Hindu causes poverty. There is a link between the two and if you figure that out, you will see that poverty and being Hindu are not related.

    I will write about it soon on my blog.

    But in the meanwhile, here’s a simple question you can easily find the answer to with a bit of googling.

    Of Hindus and non-Hindus that have migrated outside India, which group is more successful?

    For example, Britain has large number of migrants from the Indian subcontinent — Hindus and Muslims from India, and Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Same for Australia, US, and other developed countries.

    Take a guess as to where Hindus rank. And then do the search. If being a Hindu was the causal factor in being poor, you would see that Hindus would be at the bottom of the economic ladder. In fact, Hindus are among the richest, if not the richest ethnic group.

    Here endth the lesson.

  8. Dear Rajesh,

    As a young Entrepreneur, looking to set up some revolutionary food growing projects in India, I am so energized and motivated by Indians such as You..

    Both my Father and myself have similar thoughts, but to hear them vocalized with such passion, makes me feel good that there are like minded people out there.

    As an Indian who has lived across most continents by a relatively young age, I never fail to recognize the appalling corruption that has seeped through Indian society, corrupting it from inside, like the “rotten edifice” of the old Austrian Empire.

    I am determined to make a difference, and one day soon I will be in front of You to join hands to make this behemoth of a change that India so desperately needs.

    Warm Regards,

    Samridh Goyal

  9. Hi Atanu,

    Difference is the hindu philosophy outside india doesnt rule the society hence a person is successful

    I will give you may examples:

    1. Seniority over meritocracy
    It s a hindu thought that respect is due to senior by virtue of his her seniority.
    Examples abound in political parties as well as corporations of all sizes and the way elders demand foot worshiping from young instead of simple hello.

    This is absent in outside countries. Imagine how far leadership of polititcal parties and corporations can take country with this setup.
    What about social reforms? Impossible as long as this hindu thought is prevalent and social command is in the hands of the seniors.

    2. Conventional path as the path of the wise.
    Another hindu thought where a person is expected to fail if he or she deviates from the conventional wisdom. In a society where this thought is prevalent, women are afraid to stay single, men are afraid to head to their calling, etc. Perhaps this explains why majority of people show apathy towards women who go to bars in short skirts etc. and are victims of rape or eve teasing, etc. – people expect them to suffer the consequences
    How much improvement can such a society make? How can such a society produce heroes?

    Again failure is seen from a totally differrent perspective in western countries

    3. I will give more but I know from my experience that I can not change anyone esp in india where changing your position of thoughts is considered loss while managing to maintain it victory.
    Further Its not acceptable in india to maintain an agreement over disagreement. In such a society, leaders and their followers pull all the strings to change the norms in one way or other.

    Well, thats the third!

    Again, for this very reason, doing business in india or doing debate in india becomes next to impossible.

    4. There can be many more but I would like to know if you can come up with few!



  10. Atanu:

    Here is the 4rth

    4. Nepotism:
    Since family is at the center of hindu way of life and all ethics are targeted at members of the family to be exercised in favour of other family members esp seniors:), its natural that a hindu mind believes his family members can provide him the loyal base of soldiers he needs to carry out his ambitions and in return what ever he has is due to them after his life or time is over.
    As another output of this thought, the hindu mind believes involving his family into his professional field can extend his success – prolong it, or create a legacy – what better way to be AMAR for ever than creating a legacy hence rampant nepotism in indian society

    For anyone in india, trying to find a place in profession where his daddy is not already present can be years long struggle. Yes exceptions are there but the norm is nepotism.

    Now whats the guarantee that a successful politician, businessman, filmmaker or policeman would have a child equally capable of delivering same success?

    In western world nepotism is missing. Another reason why indians get a level playing field to compete and score.

    Anyways, Like i said, societies are not made up of some constitutional book or something, they are made up of belief systems. In india everything is right. But if you think something is wrong, then you must question your belief system first and foremost which are largely and dominantly religious and hindu in india.

    Also, blogging doesn’t change the world. If for any family, india is not emigration waiting to happen and that means, marrying off your daughters in usa or sending your sons abroad or immigrating yourself, then I urge that person to do something about it. Build something. Not just write.

    Thank You