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TRAI’s SMS Licence Raj – Part 5

November 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment

A friend told me I should have been careful about operating in the SMS business, and weighed the risk factors carefully. I thought about that statement. In today’s business age, one considers competition and other such factors. That a regulator and government will arbitrarily change rules to destroy an industry – what does that tell us? How do you factor that in for any industry?

This is not the India we should be building. We have seen this before. Our parents and grandparents lived through this licence raj in India. We don’t want to.

Fifteen years ago, I faced a challenge on another Diwali Day that threatened a business. This Diwali was no different from a business challenge perspective.  For an entrepreneur, optimism and the ability to rise above mundane difficulties are two attributes that are always needed in abundance. And there will be newer opportunities. But that’s for the future. As I always tell myself and my colleagues, the best ideas come when the chips are down.

In all this optimism, one fact stays. The government has shaken our confidence in being able to provide fair regulation for all. Some injuries  are hard to forget, and the past month’s actions by TRAI fall in that category.  Let us hope the actions in the coming days help reverse that.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Siddharth Chawla // Nov 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I am in complete agreement with you.

    I remember the first time I was stopped while driving in US by a cop. He said driving on road is not a right but a privilege conferred once you earn a driving license. Although very simple statement but the experience taught me how ingrained is the thought of freedom, rights and responsibilities of an individual in its culture.

    When A. R. Rahman says “I think in India, we don’t have a true rockstar. Culturally, we are a family-bound society and rockstars are known to do all sorts of odd things”.

    It speaks a lot. Are we culturally bonded in a way where we will go to lengths to avoid standing alone. Alone is freedom. Freedom from all bondages, freedom to think independently void of all influences. It feels difficult at begining to stand alone but once tasted it sets you free. And if we are not emotionally experiencing true freedom are we able to grasp the meaning of it? And if we are not able to grasp the meaning of true freedom do we really seek it? If we do not really seek true freedom then we will be prepared to accept anybody’s ruling over us in name of protecting us (taking care of us) without questioning it. And if it is so deeply embedded in our psyche what levers of change do we really have? This may sound all philosophical.

    But we can experience its manifastation first hand. The familiarity of license raj framework to all government officials makes it easy for them to default to it. So most of their decisions are made using same framework. Any other better framework will have to come from top and will require changing officials mindset. And we on receiving end are not really pushing for license raj framework’s abolition.

    Reading your posts it feels just like Rockstar’s song “Sadda Haq Aithe Rakh”.

    P.S. By no means I am trying to promote Rockstar but I do appreciate the honesty of its lyrics and music.

    Siddharth

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