Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Indian Interdependence Day

That’s today’s editorial in The Times of India. “Independence Day ought to be a day of reflection where we consider whether mindless politics is the way ahead, or whether true independence can only arise out of acknowledging the interdependence of all,” it says.

Foreign policy expert at John Hopkins Michael Mandelbaum, who spent part of his youth in India, said, Y2K should be called Indian Interdependence Day, because it was India’s ability to collaborate with Western companies, thanks to the interdependence created by fibre optics networks, that really vaulted it forward and gave more Indians than ever some real freedom of choice in how, for whom, and where they worked. (Quoted by John Friedman, in The World is Flat, page 136.)

Long before Y2K, Mahatma Gandhi used the word: “If it’s man’s privilege to be independent, it is equally his duty to be interdependent.”

As India today enters its 60th year of being a sovereign democratic state, my only wish is that our political class puts a lot more effort in governance of our country, and ensures that development of India’s infrastructure keeps pace with advancement in information technology. Because, we still aren’t able to derive the complete benefit of our scientific progress since infrastructure is so way behind electronics and IT.


  1. Very very true, in fact I was wondering about the same thing yday at think pad. We have survived despite the politicians but for how long and to what extent? Good one!!!

  2. Silverine, thanks. I hope things will change for the better sooner than later.

  3. Well written. Thanks for the Gandhi quote on interdependance. Unfortaunately, we do not fully understand this. The new generation thinks a lot about personal dependance and not believe there is something called interdependance which manifests as a sweet lullaby at the end of day when you lie down.

    All entries well written and I would keep visiting

  4. Me:)
    Thanks for dropping by and comments. There was a sense of purpose during the pre-Indepndence Day days. AFter we become a sovereign there's a vacuum, there doesn't seem to be any purpose.

  5. I really don't understand Infrastructure vs IT progress debate. A classic example is Bangalore. Inspite of some many hassles, it is still No. 1 destination.

  6. u know pradeep, this y2k comment got me thinking. The first wave of technologists and docs went from india as a steady trickle since the 70's and 80's. They rose to visible levels in the west, particularly US around 2000 or so and got counted. From 2000 the less brilliant lot started the exodus...but then it was more quantity that got counted rather than quality..Probably it is important anyway!! It did create the inter-dependence.

  7. Kishore:
    Well, The IT sector is quite cheesed off with the infrastructure. The have made it more than clear.

    I have been asking around trying to solve this paradox: If things are so bad in Bangalore, then why does the whole world flock in here?

    Most people have cited climate as the tipping factor. Barring infrastructure there'sn't much to crib about... So, climate + cosmo crowd + cosmo culture + the small city looks (Del, Mum, Chen and Kal are much bigger) all seem to outweigh one single defiiciency.

    I am sure if our politicos don't meddle, in 4 to years Bangalore should well and truly begin sporting a new look...

  8. Maddy:

    As always, you have brought in a very very valid point. It's the numbers post-1990s that has caught the attention of the world.

    But don't you think, quality is still good as before, even though the quantity has gone up?

  9. Well said / written / blogged. Politics or no politics, terrific infrastructure or terrible infrastructure, our nation can rise from its shackles and be a world class society if and only if we learn to value TIME.

    TIME is of essence. Once we learn to value and respect TIME, development and maturity of the society as a whole will follow!

  10. Kazak (Sebastian):
    Thanks for dropping by. It was a pleasant surprise. You made a very valid point...
    By the way, where are you now?
    -- Kazak 1159/82 (Pradeep)

  11. In true "interdependence mode" Pradeep, i feel the SSK tower needs a mention in this blog in your inimitable way. Words fail mere mortals like me.. but the feeling as you'll know very well is classic bittersweet...

  12. Rony:
    I shall do that... In fact, I haven't written anything on my blog about our alma mater... Guruthaked as they would have said in Malayalam.

  13. Thanks to Sam Petroda for all the cable he layed :))

  14. Byju:
    Very true. It's Rajiv Gandhi who brought in Sam Pitroda. It was a significant turning point.