A book of many truths
The book 'India's pathways to success' makes you anxious for all the right reasons. ‘Nation-building has several causal factors’, says Narayan Murthy in a foreword that’s worth its weight in gold. His explanation of culture - ‘the importance we place on competence for a given job or responsibility’- is brilliant.
Edited by former chairman of NASSCOM, Ganesh Natarajan and Ejaz Ghani an erstwhile lead economist at the World Bank, the simplicity and foundational nature of the arguments in the book are akin to your grandmother reminding you of truths too inconvenient to implement.
Culled out from the nine essays in the book, are our Bookstrapping insights, limited only by availability of space.
1.Raghunath Mashelkar’s essay talks about ‘denial-driven innovation,’ among other things. When someone does not give you the technology, you say thank you and develop it on your own. This has been a key factor in the development of India’s character-as a nation and as a global voice. So relatable!
2. The essay by Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah makes you wonder about the connection between ‘state capacity’ and ‘social capital.’What are the constituents of each and how do they affect development?
3. Uma Ganesh and Shilpa Phadke are appropriately ruthless in their assessment of women’s participation in future growth. If technology is one engine, then its high time we recognise that women are the other engine to catapult India’s economic potential.
4. Ravi Pandit and Kaustubh Pathak take a pragmatic, solution centric approach in their essay on mobility and sustainability. For eg; why can’t vertical city based farms, or 3D printing ease our logistical nightmares? There’s a career tip too- have you considered being a drone pilot?
5. A quick tribute to the visionary F C Kolhi features in Ganesh Natarajan and Manoj Soman’s essay on the ‘trillion dollar digital economy.’ They're able to connect complex technologies to the imminent need for ‘safe exchange and interchange of data’ that solves the core needs of our citizens.
A day after reading the book- I was wondering whether there was some kind of a blueprint in there, which could’ve made for a potential tenth chapter before the epilogue. The book is a placeholder for a period in time, for those seeking to make sense of India’s somewhat dawdling, often chaotic but determined journey post independence.
Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta is a columnist and bestselling biographer. She is credited with the internationally acclaimed Red Dot Experiment, a decadal six-nation study on how ‘culture impacts communication.’ On Twitter @OfficialReetaRG.