What changed ?

Read an interesting post here, which has an ongoing discussion about what has changed in India, and its people over the last couple of decades…and how people are more patriotic these days..(or nationalistic as one of the commenters put it)

Well i think a lot began to change the day cable TV came along into our lives 🙂 For those who might take me too literally, am referring to the time when liberalisation was ushered in and the ‘protected’ Indian economy was opened to the world…

Till then India was like the proverbial frog, unhappy in its own well but not ready to pollute its young minds with western (read US) cultures…one was supposed to work towards being a good student, get a stable job (Read doctors, lawyers, engineers) get married, procreate and….you get the drift…

Going abroad (for either work or studies) was a ‘dream’ for most of middle class India…and people were happy in their own sort of way 🙂 the elite and the meritorious (mostly IITians) continued to go abroad, get their PhD’s and live the life…

i.e till Cable TV changed our lives 🙂

Suddenly, ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ was popular in Bihar, and young impressionable minds were exposed to a whole new world out there. With the opening up of the economy, the opportunities increased manifold.

The broadband bust in the US resulted in excess(and cheap) bandwidth across the globe, and the americans (and a few enterprising Indians) realised that a lot of work could be done in India, both cheaply and efficiently 🙂

The IT success story has been documented enough and although i wouldnt go out and say its the sole reason, i believe it has been responsible to a great deal,for the changes that we are seeing in India today…

suddenly, you had a whole bunch of people who got a chance to travel all over the world, soak in different cultures, understand what it means to be an ‘alien’ in a different country…and how amazing it feels to be back in India.

Till then, ‘The American Dream’ was seen as the best thing that could happen to a person…but when most people got the chance to actually live it, they realised that there was a price to pay for such independence and economic prosperity…but am digressing…

The IT boom had a ripple effect on other sectors in the economy…Housing, education, entertainment, transportation, public infrastructure…

All of a sudden, you had a group of people with access to money and who were willing to pay for ‘world class’ facilities…and this resulted in a windfall for people in India who were willing to provide such ‘support’ services…

Suddenly, it was possible to work in India and earn enough to live a lifestyle which would be comparble to what one might experience abroad…ofcourse it wasnt exactly the same thing, but when you put a price to the cost of living close to your friends, family and as a first citizen, it felt good to be an Indian living in India

so coming back to what changed ?

Well, India did…and in enough ways to make you feel proud and CONFIDENT to be an Indian..enough for people to believe that first generation billionaires could be created in India…

So that’s why, you have a generation of indians who are comfortable with the ideals of the west, but are more importantly aware of what it means to be an Indian( So what if you ape the west and put your hand on your heart while the national anthem is on…)

Unfortunately, this change has touched only a small fraction of India…it needs to touch a lot more people…