Impact of innovative mantras like Digital India, 100 Smart cities, Skill India and Make in India has boosted the morale of Indians across the globe. India is rapidly growing in her economic stature in the global market and today India is the most sought after destination for investment and technological innovations!
With the concept of Make in India revolving around facilitating and fostering investment and innovation we have been quite successful appealing to the global citizens at large with our make in India surge and are pacing up on the growth, innovation and leadership index but the bigger challenge lies back home in India to make the Make in India impact more successful! Although we take pride in these wonderful initiatives outwardly the ground reality is somewhat different.
A recent encounter with a medical counselor at a renowned eye hospital revealed how we Indians are engineered to believe that everything that is of a foreign make is superior to a product manufactured in the Indian subcontinent.
The lady gave us 3options before the cataract surgery _ first a German made lens _ the most expensive one, second an American make _ the best sold lens in the market she exclaimed confidently and lastly the Indian lens which she meekly offered and admitted that very less people sought them. When I enquired if the qualities were at par she said they were all equally good, then I asked her if the imported ones were better in any way she said she was not quite sure and that the general public sought the imported ones and so far there were no negative feedbacks about them.
By now, we were half convinced that we better go with the audience poll, even without looking for any data if the people had really sought them!
But I enquired again if the Indian ones had any negative feedback, she smiled and told me that there were none. I then prodded her as to why the others were more expensive? Because it is imported came the reply!
I came back home wondering which one to choose, just then a detergent Ad screamed out on TV _ “power boosters with German technology”!
At the furniture shop, the salesman exclaimed that it was Malaysian Mango wooden frame with Srilankan leather and Indonesian legs, hence expensive! I turned the radio on and the RJ yelled that the hottest property in town was some blablabla brand with Italian marble with latest German fittings! I am not implying that all Indian stuff _ even those incompetent ones should become as expensive as its foreign counterparts but I am only trying to understand why we still have this kind of colonial hangover!
I recently went to an export house sale and discovered a heap of waste tags of an expensive foreign brand apparel company which is a prestigious rage in India, but the apparel and even its ‘Made in XX’ tags are manufactured here in India but interestingly we do not stop short of flaunting that Made in Japan, Germany tag, wait! our foreign fetish does not end there; a distant relative in the family wants only a US/UK based NRI for a husband! Hanging out at Tacobell is somehow more trendy as against polishing an IdleeVada plate at a fast food joint as it is a little unsophisticated claim my teen friends! A domestic travel experience is far too primitive and below dignity to be shared and our Bolly/Tolly/Sandalwood numbers are incomplete and even obsolete without the white skin baring junior artistes!
Anyways succumbing to the Junta Ka Vote and our apprehensions that God has blessed us with only one pair of eyes and that we cannot risk it, we finally chose the American lens and now after 3 months realise that the vision is still little blurred and the eyes feel slimy.
When we sought an advice from the hospital we were told that it was a normal symptom!
It is another thing that we read in the newspaper, a little later after my mom’s surgery that the famous surgeon who operated upon my mom had to undergo a cataract procedure himself from a German doctor who was specially summoned to India for the surgery!!
I am not averse to the wide choices available today but certainly amused at our glorious myths of take outside of India and all that mind engineering that goes into it! The word risk still rings in my ears and wonder why we think anything Indian is risky and anything beyond that is fantastic with eyes closed!
The day we start believing in our systems, our machinery and management, the day when the Government body delivers and aids us to believe and take pride in everything Indian, that day the Make In India mission will be fully accomplished!
India will be a stronger economy only if we make up the Indian minds to make and take in India!