I read a book – Games Indians Play by Mr Raghunathan a Professor in IIM-A and CEO of GMR group. I have written on this book earlier too – Individually smart collectively dumb. The problems with Indian – supposedly sharp – minds is given below in story format.
This story is from a book – ‘The prayer of the Frog’ by Father Anthony de Mello, S.J. This book has very interesting stories on religion, spirituality and human relations etc. The story precisely explains how we – Indians – think and act.
A great festival was to be held in a village and each villager was asked to contribute by pouring a bottle of wine into a giant barrel.
When the banquet began and the barrel was tapped what came out of it was water. One of the villagers had had this thought: “If I pour a bottle of water in that giant barrel, no one will notice the difference.” But it hadn’t occurred to him that everyone else in the village might have the same thought.
This happens in Indian political system. Everyone thinks that yes there is corruption, but I am paid 100/- let me vote this corrupt politician. Others would not vote him… similar to the story above. Every poor person gets an incentive to cheat – that cheating is a responsibility of politician – development Vs one time benefit to voter – 100 rupee note or a quarter of alcohol etc.
The interesting part is we Indians more complex yet cheat always. We think in two fashion. 1. the way story suggests above and 2. why should I do it when everyone else is cheating?
Option two suggests that every Indian knows what others are going to do and thinks why should not I do the same?