"Indians defecate everywhere", commented Naipaul in his "Area of Darkness", first book in the trilogy on India. As an outsider this is how he viewed Indians on his first visit to India.
Off course, many of us thought it to be a statement made due to ignorance of what Indianness is and we openly romanticize the idea of 'maidan' visit early in the morning. Sanitation is a western concept and therefore we don't really think very highly of it. We do not want our faeces to go waste and would rather use it to fertilize our agricultural land. We take pride in such organic way of life.
With scarcity of space in urban environments we have been forced to defecate in our own homes. A revolting idea. We do that with a lot of shame but we do make up by urinating in open public spaces. It satisfies our urge to be and behave Indian. The Indian government being Indian supports this idea of Indianness by not providing for basic sanitary amenities and utilities in our cities. By not providing for basic amenities the Indian government helps all of us to protect and preserve our cultural heritage. An important mandate of the government.
Within CWG village complex the government and the organizers did not think it to be economically prudent to have sanitary amenities for the workers who on bare minimum wage are toiling hard. He is to behave and be Indian. He is encouraged to defecate anywhere available and also have another trait of an Indian-to be ingenious. He is expected to build strong safe structures out of contaminated cement and raw materials.
Management is a western concept and again we really don't think very highly of it. Management in the way understood by the westerners is a retarded framework for handling things. It provides no space for individual brilliance and ingenuity. Our superior faculties are challenged only in crisis. So we allow things to slope down to a state of crisis and then we summon all our faculties to manage that crisis. We believe management is needed only during a crisis. Management without a crisis is pure hoax. So while a western idea of management is to avoid a crisis, the Indian idea of management is to handle a crisis. And we are supremely proud of it. We have a name for it that we toss it whenever it suits us -'Jugaad'.
We believe the outside world is yet to evolve to a level to understand and appreciate our 'jugaad' philosophy. They will soon we believe, there are positive signs. The way the world is handling the climate of the world is very Indian. We as a planet are letting the climate scenario slope down to the point of crisis and then will pull our socks up to manage the crisis.
Family comes first in India. Our sense of identity is nailed to the family. What we do is dictated by the family. We are corrupt because we have to fend for the family. Anything done for the cause of family is not only accepted but also appreciated. So, when a builder is making money by using low quality raw material during construction we as a nation emphasize with his need to fend for his family. We appreciate the builders and other players responsible for arranging the CWG 2010 and their ingenuity in shooting the total cost for hosting CWG to more than Rs. 50,000 crore. We envy their position, the opportunity they have and we also appreciate their ingenuity in making most of this opportunity.
It is this empathy and appreciation that keeps us silent to widespread corruption all around us. It is not apathy, as reasoned by most, but empathy that dictates our docile attitude towards corruption and injustice. Only when something happens that directly affects our family and its well being that we stand to make a protest. We believe family units are building blocks of society and the nation. If we fend for our family our obligations to the society and the nation are automatically taken care of. By fending for the family we are being true to the society and to the nation.
We have strong cultural heritage and we are open to change. Organic life style, ingenuity and our concept of 'jugaad' and our family obligations are non-negotiable. These are the three pillars of Indian way of life. The rest is negotiable. CWG 2010 is testimony to our philosophy and way of life. It is because of this that I feel hurt and saddened when misguided individuals call CWG our shame. It's time we take pride in CWG 2010. It speaks of who we are and hence we should be proud of it. Shouldn't we?