Knowingly or Unknowingly, I do tend to stereotype certain behavioral traits with a person’s ethnicity, especially Indians. May be, my bias is an outcome of the number of times I have been correct. For example, if I see a really slow driver on the road, I decide that it should be a chinese female or an indian female. The only time when I have been deceived is when I see a old man/lady drive the car. If I see a car in a non-parking space/corner with a hazard light blinking, I conclude that it must be an Indian guy. For some reason, I believe Indians think that hazard light is a panacea for any parking irregularities. If one asks, “Isnt it absolutely crazy to park your car in this weird spot which is dangerous to oncoming traffic?…”, the answer would be, “Dont you see, I have my hazard lights on.. I am untouchable now…I can park anywhere now..”. These generalizations don’t stop here. It goes all the way to Indian colleagues, Indian Managers, Indian CEOs so on and so forth. You may all be wondering at this point. Dude, you are an Indian too.. I know. But, I do try to correct myself from the common criticisms if it makes sense to me. Though I am not perfect, it still cringes to see people whose definition of being perfect is imperfect.
I recently read an interview from one of the freebie indian magazine. This guy (Raghunathan) has written a book called “Games Indians Play”. It is an elaborate interview. But, it centers around 2 major points. (i) Indians have a mentality to look for short-term gains even if it means that they are forfeiting long term profits (ii) Indians are not self-regulated and the actual regulation (in India) is not strict enough to impose self-regulation. In other words, the laws in India are not strong enough that people have little/no willingness to follow the system (his analysis is based on games theory, so mad-max, you will certainly be interested to read this book). I do agree with both of his observations. While many talk in great lengths about how good democracy is. The way democracy has unfolded in India is pitiable. Common good for everyone is a topic that is completely forgotten.
My theory is that, Indians are very aggressive. As Indians, especially from the lower to middle class families, daily life revolves around fighting for meager resources. Whether it be getting a ticket in a cinema theater or getting a seat in a bus to getting an engineering seat. It is always about how aggressive you are to survive the odds of being successful. As a result, we rarely trust anyone. We rarely accept or praise someone since we think that it represents weakness. We tend to be more selfish about our personal lives and end up optimizing resources for ourselves and seldom care about how it impacts the society. Western culture is the entire opposite of what we experience(d). The fundamental reason being, everybody believes in the system, which works. Also, they hope that, by being good at micro level, the macro level outcome will turn out to be good. I am sure that there will be exceptions, but then, exceptions are just exceptions and not the norm. I can continue my rant on and on. But the fact remains the same.I can only hope that the future generation will be better.