Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Inheriting India

"The heir has arrived!!" A popular dialogue in Indian movies. Or probably I should say it is a popular dialogue in our country itself. Right from the dynastic times in our country! So we are used to not dream big and leave it to the children of great people to continue the good work in the respective fields. If Dhirubhai Ambani built an empire out of scratch, his two sons chopped it into pieces and distributed it between themselves. Now, two more 'heirs' have arrived. But to my knowledge, none of the 'heirs' have proved to be any good. Can the children of celebrities set examples like their parents did??


It is natural for living things to inherit traits from parents. But for us, we also inherit riches if we are rich and poverty if we are poor. We are used to dynastic practices in politics, business, sports and cinema, the four famous pillars of the country. Ramachandra Guha says, in the case of Jawaharlal Nehru, the sins of the daughter, grandsons, granddaughter-in law and great grandson have retrospectively visited on him. Being the first prime minister of India, it definitely took a lot of effort from Nehru, with the help of his team to integrate the country and bring it into a constructive mode. But the moment he gave in to his daughter's wish and dissolved a democratically elected government in the country, the screen for dynastic politics lifted. The dynasty is still there and has just been weakened. Nothing else. In such an inheritance infected country, I am not sure how long a non married chai wala can survive at the top post. Of course I cannot imagine what would have happened to the country if the Shehzada is crowned the king!

How many success stories, inspiring ones come out of Indian entrepreneurs? I can only recall 'Infosys' Narayanamurthy. Forget the Tatas. They are a different story altogether. Be it Azim Premji or the Ambanis, though they are very good and highly successful, can some one wanting to become a business tycoon really get motivated by them? In the United States every entrepreneur has #Hem own story, inspirational ones. Micheal Dell's is my favourite. How many love Abhishek Bacchan as much as Amitabh Bacchan? The 'angry young man' from Allahabad has such a great journey to glory much like Shahrukh Khan. But do the kapoors or chopras have any such odysseys?? If Kareena is not a kapoor, probably she would still be trying to get a chance to be in the dancers group in the background. It is also natural that in a house of musicians, dancers or sculptors, the off springs generally grow up to be good in those fields. But this is not at all like the cinema. You have to prove yourself. No second chances. Sunil Gavaskar can only lobby to get his son a place in the National team. It is up to Rohan Gavaskar to play and impress the selectors and audience which he could not.

Why is it becoming difficult for children of celebrities to think of doing something different from what their famous parent did? It is not difficult to chose a field. There are hundreds of opportunities. Superstar Rajnikanths daughters chose their own different jobs, occasionally coming into cinema field but Kamal Hasan's daughter chose cinema. She might be good but she got established as a 'Hasan' else probably she would be singing maybe. I will abstain myself from talking about Telugu film industry which is infested by this stupid inheritance. It is so appalling to see a father acting opposite the same heroine his son acted with earlier! Are the celebrity children unable to see any other profession in this world of opportunities??

There is one more very serious problem in this inheritance way of the famous people. If India is to be among the top countries in the world, it is high time we think about creating entrepreneurs, politicians, singers, actors, sports persons...not giving birth to them!! Government reforms will be helpful. More than that a change in general mind set will be most welcome. One should be brave to be adventurous and explore various opportunities in life. If Sachin Tendulkar's son becomes a cricketer, a cigarette manufacturer, who is a big fan of Sachin also might feel that, if his favourite cricketer's son grows up to be a cricketer, then his son also, like him should enter the cigarette business! How right is that? Everyone should have hem own success story. This should be the trend now especially with the Prime Minister claiming himself to be a poor tea seller in his childhood and climbing the political ladder by hard work. Fair Enough!!