Sunday, March 13, 2005

Why is it so difficult to do good?

I had a childhood friend dropping in at home today afternoon. We were classmates from nursery till tenth. The last time I met her was three years back. And, that itself was some 10 or 15 years after school. So, it was once again an occasion to go back in time.

She is in the process of relocating from the US to India. Whenever you run into a friend who is working in the US or has been there for some time, the conversation inevitably veers into comparing India and the US: the pluses and minuses of the two systems.

One thing I have heard very frequently, and from my friend today too, is the difficulty to get things done here in India. This friend of mine has been trying to get an animal welfare project off the ground in Coimbatore. She said she has been running from pillar to post to get things moving. Even at her work here she has to do lot more of paper work, get them cleared, etc compared to in the US.

She said in the US, on the contrary, if you want to do something good, it is so easy; sometimes all it takes is just a phone call. Of course, it is a different story if you have ulterior motives. Some months back a doctor friend, who keeps going to the US to meet his children who are working there, told me if there is any civic complaint just call up the official, and he personally looks into the matter and sees to it that the problem is redressed. Can't imagine that happening in India.

Here for example, it is next to impossible to get many well-meaning things done. Suppose the residents of a locality (like a residential layout) want to pool in money and get the the road tarred, or set right some civic problem. Theoretically, it should be easy. There shouldn't be a problem since the funding is by residents themselves. But, I don't think the corporation would let you do such a thing. But, the government will easily give permission to put up loud speakers and hold rallies or other functions.

Why are our priorities so misplaced? Why is it so difficult to get good things done in our country? Don't we boast of so many great things, as a country, as a society, as people? Why is it our great cultural values don't get translated into reality in our day-to-day lives?


  1. Who will define tapism,bribery,nepotism,damn the words. I approached a well known Social service organization with a few ideas for college students,they made me talk abt it all and no response,and they now have guts to apply same ideas in all the colleges here.Go to any govt office and if it is a choice between time to stand in a line or a bit of money to be given away and get the work done ppl select the second.
    while driving ppl laugh at those who wait for the green signals on a sunday when generally there is no traffic person there.
    now its time that we define ourselves,good or not and go abt it,let the world come with ur not,take the first step.

  2. The government must encourage people if they want to improve their locality. Like companies are offered tax concessions if they set up units in backward areas, people must be given incentives and concessions if they get together and improve the locality. But what happens is the other way round.
    Let us hope things will change.
    I want to know what will happen if the citizens lay the road without asking for permission. Will they be arrested? If it happens, it will be an excellent page one story.