Thank you india
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence
(Artist: Alanis Morissette Lyrics: Thank You)
The most important thing that my Commerce College did for me was to kill my interest in Business and Commerce.
All I got at College were volumes of text-books written by Indian writers who had very less to offer us than copied material from international authors of repute, lecturers who had no interest in the subject they were teaching and no inclination to arouse their students’ curiosity in anything like Entrepreneurship or in Commerce, or perhaps had no skill-sets in doing so.
And dull books that introduced us to concepts like Operating Profit ratio etc., with nothing to make us relate it to in our personal life, which were taken as only instruments in getting more marks in the exam than developing anything worth application in real life.
However, in India we say Satyamev Jayate. It means Only the Truth Triumphs. Why it is also imprinted on our National Emblem of the Four Lions of Ashoka.
So, no matter in what state we find our Education system, I am still positive when it comes to hoping that we will finally succeed someday in creating more entrepreneurs in our colleges than mere service-personnel. We will, thanks to the latest technology of Internet and Satellite Television, have more exposure to the way other countries look at Education, and come out with a whole-new system of Education where emphasis is laid more on practical application of knowledge in real life than passing written exams with the highest marks which I see are now mere memory tests.
The best thing a student of first year in college can learn is Personal budgeting. Let us give him a way of preparing his own budget to spend his limited amount of pocket money more wisely.
Let us give him the skill-sets required to become an amateur entrepreneur for a start.
Let us take him to meet the top-guns of the Industry, and make him listen to their words of practical advise.
Let us make our students read autobiographies and books written by entrepreneurs who have proved their mettle in the field of Commerce in the real world.
That would do a lot more service to the nation than dishing out degrees.
The only reason I see, behind the success of Business schools like IIM Ahmedabad, is the practical knowledge imparted to students there. No wonder then, that the institute comes out with students who are today amongst the highest paid managers in India and abroad.
So why am I still smiling, when the Education system lies in a state of rot? Simple, Satyameva Jayate- Truth Triumphs in the end.
Personally, I see India shining in the latter part of the 21st Century as a Super-player in the Global Market.
Have you seen a group of people “gawking” endlessly at some sight of something so trivial as a car being lifted by a crane, or anything that is unusual? For most this is just something that they cannot stand.
For me it is something that reflects our inherent curiosity to pick up new things and learn more about it. No wonder then, that we are crazy about the latest gizmos available in the market.
No wonder then, that we are crazy about the Internet and we see newer cyber-cafes springing up in the smaller metros of the country.
No wonder then, that we are fascinated by computers and produce the best software professionals in the world.
For me, “gawking” is our whole new mantra to success. For me, it reflects our inherent nature to learn new things, our deep-seated curiosity, which is the pre-requisite to learning.
In our childhoods, we are told to look at books with respect. No Indian would touch a book with his feet. No Indian would disrespect a book. That is the “culture” (to used a often abused word) that we have grown up with.
This very trait, makes us adapt to new things, newer knowledge and treasure it as “sacred”.
Learning, among many things, are still “sacred” in this country.
A teacher today is still accorded the same respect as in our recorded history. A teacher, even a lecturer at college, is next only to God.
For example, as technology goes hi-tech, many entrepreneurs have turned to Computers for their book-keeping in accounts. And to carry ahead the sense of ‘sacredness’ accorded to the account-books during the Hindu new year, these entrepreneurs worship the computer (instead of the books as in the past), and pray to the Goddess to shower their business with prosperity. For some this is a dead-ritual being carried out. For me, positively, this is a sense of sacredness (read: respect) that only we Indians accord to learning, our home and hearth, our marriages, our relationships, anything that helps us be happy or prosperous in life.
This sense of the “sacred” would be instrumental in India marching ahead with a generation growing up to respect Indian values (unlike the older generation who were rebels).
I, for one, of this very generation have my own story to give you as a shining example of what India can do for you if you are a native of this country.
As I mentioned before, the poor state of colleges in our country only served to kill my interest in Commerce. The only students who made a difference to their career on the basis of their degrees, were people who chose to follow their own interest in unconventional careers of my time like Computer science, or natives from Udipi or Mangalore in Karnataka, or Marwaris of Rajasthan, or Gujratis of Gujrat.
Mangaloreans traditionally make good accountants, Marwaris make good entrepreneurs, and Gujratis make good Share-Market people. The growth Indexes that we see today in our Economy has a lot to do with the way these people were brought up in their homes, in the culture of a businessperson which was passed from generation to generation. These, whether they sought a degree or not, are the major players and bosses in the Indian Market today. The rest are good team members, obedient students at school, working hard under the industry bosses. These good servicemen we call professionals, who have either studied hard to gain knowledge or had the drive in them to succeed and move from poverty into the urban middleclass.
I, for one, always regretted having taken up Commerce as my field of study in college.
Krishna, the God, in Bhagavad Gita, says- “Do your duty, the work that you have been handed out, with dedication and sincerity, but without the greed of the fruit. Treat the work that you do as a reward in itself, an oblation you offer to me in worship. And it would be I who will take charge of your life and give you everything that you will ever need in your life.”
It took me quite sometime to understand and imbibe those simple words into my daily life. As a sceptic, I questioned the ‘mindless’ –faith that the Lord demands in the Gita.
However Life has a way to teach you things. I finally surrendered to the Lord. Finally, one fine day I told Him, “Lord, let Thy will be done, not mine”.
And as the Lord took charge of my life, and I dedicated myself to work on whatever little I had at hand, and surrendered my ‘conditioned’ mind at His altar, I was guided by His instincts, the light from my Inner-core, my own soul which is a part of Him.
And today, I feel enchanted every time I pick up Mint (a financial newspaper that explains business terminologies in lay-man’s words, even as it serves you the news).
I look toward taking up some practical courses in Investment. I make my own budget on the Excel software of Microsoft, and am enchanted by what technology can do for my calculations (all that formulae that I can feed into my Excel sheet to work out my expenses and incomes).
No wonder then, I am positive about India in the 21st Century. Make way Eagles and Dragons, here comes The Elephant !