Thursday, August 12, 2010

To twitERR or NOT

I was on a train, talking to my friend over my new mobile phone… infact, boasting about the free Skype and Twitter access I got from the provider.

“I can now Tweet on the go… isn’t that cool?” I said with excitement. Everybody has something to say at any point of time and I thought blogging on the go is probably the coolest thing in the world.

“What is that “tweet” thing son? My grandkids say that all the time” an old man in the train asked me as soon as I hung up. I knew for sure that the old man had no idea about micro-blogging, social networking sites and tweets. So, I sat next to him and showed him how to use twitter from my mobile.

“Mr. Barnes says Good Morning to you all” I tweeted on the go for him! I was feeling so elated about what I just did, but that did not convince Mr. Barnes.

“How does this work? You just wrote something on your mobile. What makes you feel elated?” he asked.

“Well, I have a few followers and they will receive this message real time. And I follow a few people and their message would reach me as well. So we all stay connected,” I said, with pride. Then I showed him the tweets of people I follow.

“Had two idlies for breakfast!”

“Saw one big Teddy bear in the mall… Choo cheewet”

“Don’t know what to tweet today... so, just tweeting ”

He scanned through all the tweets with a weird expression on his face and said “So, lots of useful information huh?” with a sarcastic smile

He then asked, “So, you tweeted just now. What will happen then?”

“Oh! That good morning message? It would have reached a few thousand people now”

“And....?” he asked.

“Everyone will say good morning back to you now” I said and smiled.

“I see… and that’s what you kids do all the time” He said and grabbed my mobile and had a closer look.

“If I understood this correctly… your whole tweet thing is a royal waste of time” he said and handed the mobile back to me

All my smiles faded. I read all the tweets once again. Perhaps, the old man has a point to ponder!

Dependence on independence

Sixty three years ago, at around midnight, India was declared an Independent state by the British Raj. It almost took a couple of centuries of struggle, both through arms and peace, for this achievement. Although the great leaders of India who fought for the freedom movement were elated, everyone knew that we only achieved political freedom. And there was still a long way to go for a peaceful society living in harmony.

After a lot of struggle, two and a half years later India became and republic and first general elections were held in 1952. When the first Government was formed under Nehru, very few had experience in running a country, which is so vast and diverse. Nehru sent experts to USSR to find out how a big government should be run and so India followed much of its policies. Hence almost all the industries were run by the state with a very heavy red tape around it.

Another 40 years on, Indian growth rate, which was already moderate, got to a standstill. No foreign investors were allowed to invest in India to protect the local business. Dr. Manmohan Singh then abolished the license raj, liberalised the economy thereby allowing investors around the world to invest in India and allowed disinvestment and privatisation. In effect, forty years after gaining political independence, India achieved economic independence, which is one of the defining moments for India Inc today.

Whenever India struggled someone from somewhere had the vision to take the country forward. MK Gandhi should be applauded for his vision at the time of freedom fighting. He knew that Britain was going through industrial revolution and so it needs the resources from India and also end customers from India. Britain’s economy was booming. But, Mr. Gandhi was a big advocate of “Be Indian Buy Indian” slogan thereby cutting the British’s business interests in India. Without using any weapons, he knew where it hurts the most for the British. India has seen a lot of visionaries at times of the need.

Today, even though India has a firm grip in G20 league of nations, have we achieved independence from poverty yet? Have the deep interior rural people have independence from hunger yet? From corruption? From ignorance? The list goes on…

Even though India is progressing, clearly there is still a long way to go to achieve the real independent status. But, these sixty three years are a good start!

Lets celebrate independence and help India grow! Jai Hind!!