Sadguru shared the story of the pheasant that ate some bull’s shit and miraculously flew to the top-most branch of a tree. Sighting this plump bird, a farmer took his shotgun and killed him. Sadguru concluded that “bullshit can take you to the top but not for long.”
Walking about with an inflated ego is not power. This exaggeration prevents one from developing a healthy psyche. To convince oneself that bluff can take one through life is courting disaster.
This false identity prevents many from working in groups; fearing that they would be caught they avoid groups, always ‘on the run.’ This false identity finds comfort with people with equally backward people and the bullshitting only grows bigger and through marriage, it multiplies.
Understanding the political and social structure and the distribution of power, wealth and status in society is never a priority. Without detailed knowledge of the social system, one is always going to be at a disadvantage. It is like knowing how a car works. Without knowledge of cars, a mechanic would be unable to repair it and have it working optimally. In a similar manner, the need to have a knowledge of the working of social institutions is a must.
This absence of a broad vision has pigeon-holed many in domestic quarrels to the extent of getting the courts’ rulings to settle disputes. It is no longer Mai and Baap or Powa settling dispute but the courts. With the few dollars in our pockets, we hire the best lawyers in family disputes that can be settled if there is a genuine desire to go that way.
Positive life-building social interactions are absent from the community. With this absence, we are unable to engage in teamwork. As individuals, we are known for our brilliance and high achievements but as a group, we lag behind. I recalled Professor Anant Rambachan sharing a conversation he had with an Indian (India) friend who said that ‘one Indian is more productive than 10 Japanese but their Japanese are more productive than 100 Indians.’
The extended family has worked for us in the past but has now been abandoned and labelled a liability. While other ethnic groups have social clubs such as Rotary, FEEL, LIVING WATERS COMMUNITY, and Red Cross to tackle their social problems and the Chamber of Commerce for business, the Indian is yet to develop these institutions. The reality is that the Indian has destroyed the extended family before creating a substitute.
Where is the equivalent of Queen’s Park Club in the Indian community? Some may wish to say that we have OHANA, THE RISE AND THE LAZY LIZARD to recreate that we don’t need an elite CLUB like Queen’s Park. But Queen’s Park Cubs is more than cricket; it is social power!
And should Indians be bothered to earn banks and insurance companies? As consumers the banks have their doors opened to us to access their loans. I congratulate those businesses that take commercial loans and engage in creating wealth, providing employment, and paying taxes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of loans are taken for buying houses and for buying motor cars in our credit unions.
How many of us bother to know that there is a Hindu Pariwar Credit Union? Not only can the money be saved and dividends earned; it can also provide social services through its Education Committee and most importantly, jobs for young Hindu graduates. But the main purpose of a Credit Union is to encourage saving so members can qualify for loans to raise their standard of living and enrich their lives.
What happened to Bank of Baroda that it had to sell out to ANSA Bank? Were the small Indian business houses doing business with ANSA BANK? This is a question that has to be answered. Now that ANSA has the bank, are we going to see a flood of Indian businesses into the bank to do business?
Politically, Indians are in the doldrums. Indians must understand that it is not how bright you are that wins an election but how you can win the trust and confidence of others. It is numbers that determine victory or defeat in an election The political party that can merge the widest and diverse groups would always emerge winners at any election.
Without power, it is impossible for the Indian community to rise. We need to build political capital by strengthening cooperation and winning people’s trust. It is only when people have fate in us that they are going to associate and work with us. Is there a trust deficit among Indians?