November 27, 2020
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WHAT IF...

What If India Were Really To "Shine"?

Will we be happier? Will all of us have a job, a house, a car, a driver and even 3-D mobile phones (whatever they will be)? Or will we all be divorced, drunk, fat, cramped for space, lonely and in debt?

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What If India Were Really To
What If India Were Really To "Shine"?
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There will be more women studying and more women working. So, there will be more "love marriages". Many of them will be "inter-caste". This will drive national integration and remove the caste divide. No amount of legislation can achieve this as much as economic progress will.

As women will become financially independent, divorce rates will jump up. And those who are fond of saying "This generation is not willing to compromise", will do well to remember that everyone will be doing all the compromising at the work place; with their boss, with their colleagues, with their missed promotions and with their small increments.

And, as more and more children will be born, whose parents (or, ex-parents) speak different languages, English will become the dominant language of India. Valentine Day will become an Indian festival, coming exactly on the full moon after Makar Sankranti. South India will celebrate it one day before North India.

There will be many more vehicles on the roads. But the amount of road will remain the same. The growth rate will be enough to get you a vehicle, but not enough to create funds for infrastructure after greasing the mandatory pockets.

Flyovers-in-construction-forever will be the dominant visual of the country. They'll take up most of the driving space.

Driving will become such a pain that everyone will have a driver. Supply will not be a problem. In fact, it'll be the career of choice for most educated youngsters who can't get into a call center.

Eventually, half of India may be working in call centers and the other half may be their drivers. But it sounds too far fetched. All the marginal farmers couldn't have committed suicide.

Call centers will not be called call centers. They'll not even be called BPO. A new, more respectable term will be created. Something like "Global Business Enabling Hubs".

China will not replace India as the call center capital of the world. They'll learn English but it'll sound like Chinese because they don't have a culture of laughing at the other person's English accent, like we have. Analysts miss this important competitive advantage.

Even Patna will have an IIT. There will be over 500 of them in the entire country. American TV channels will make programs on how IITs produce the best call center employees in the world.

Maids will still be available. But, since most of the unemployed women will have a son or a brother who speaks English, and is a driver or a call center employee, it'll be beneath the dignity of the family to have them work as maids. So, they'll become expensive; like everything else except the drivers. And they'll be called Domestic Supervisors.

The houses will get smaller. They'll be full of gadgets which we will not use but will be forced to buy by the marketers. Most of the gadgets will be more intelligent than us.

Life will be busy with important things like being stuck in the traffic. Watching music videos on a 150-inch wall projection, alone, will be the preferred mode of relaxation. Because the house will be small and the screen so big, everyone will have a perennial headache.

This will bring down the population growth rate. It'll also drive up the drinking. More drinking will lead to more divorces which will lead to more drinking.

Prices of alcohol will stabilize, but that of water will shoot up.

We'll consume our annual domestic quota of power in the first 3 months with all the gadgets in the house. There'll be a thriving black market in the energy sector. Designer candles will be a boom industry.

There will be no "native place" for children to go to.

Paying for petrol will take up 20% of our combined (or divorced) salary. Everyone will have a minimum of 6 credit cards. At any given point, three of them will be over the limit.

Will we be happier? On one hand, many more of us will have a job, a house, a car, a driver and even 3-D mobile phones (whatever they will be). On the other, we'll be divorced, drunk, fat, cramped for space, lonely and in debt. I don't know.

But, it'll be a great time to be young and not be worried.


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