Nandan Nilekani: The 6 things that changed India

Nandan Nilekani, the co-chairman of Infosys Technologies and Thomas L. Friedman‘s muse for The World is Flat, is working on his own book titled Imagining India; his attempt, as he puts it, to address a gap in understanding India.

Delivering the global leader lecture at Johns Hopkins University’s school of advanced international studies last week, Nilekani spoke of the six things that changed in the mindset of india, “which is really responsible for the dynamism, the vitality, the energy you see today in India,” reports Aziz Haniffa in India Abroad.

1) Earlier, population was looked at as a burden and a lot of things that happened in the 1960s and ’70s—like family planning and sterilisation and the Emergency and so forth—were related to the belief that population was getting out of control and that it was actually a problem to have a large population. Today, we think of it as human capital. And, this has become even more critical because India is going to be the only young country in an ageing world and that really makes a huge difference.

2) Entrepreneurs are no longer viewed with suspicion but as icons of economic growth. Since 1991, there has been a huge expansion of enterprise, there is a far bigger role for the private sector and for industry. India today has the largest pool of entrepreneurial talent outside the United States. Indian entrepreneurs are not afraid of liberalisation any more. They are very confident and globally competitive and they are not only investing abroad, they are buying companies abroad.

3) English is no longer viewed as an imperial language that has to be jettisoned but as a language of aspiration that has to be really cultivated. All the political angst about English has disappeared largely because of the growth in the economy, the growth of outsourcing, the growth of jobs. More and more people, whether they are in villages or small towns, are realising that if they want to participate in the global economy and bring more income to their lives, they have to learn English. And the political system has accepted this because more and more states which had stopped teaching English are now going back to teaching English from class one.

4) The notion of democracy has undergone a major transformation from the time of india’s Independence. In the 1950s and ’60s, it was really a top-down idea. It was an idea of the leaders who had a certain vision of the kind of country they had to create, and it was given or gifted to all the people who may not have necessarily understood the value and import of what was happening. Today, it has gone on to become a bottom-up democracy where everybody understands their democratic rights. You see people taking charge and doing things without waiting for the state to do the job.

5) Technology has helped India leap-frog several decades from a very antiquated system to a very modern system. What people don’t realise is it has played as much a role in India’s internal development as it has in terms of the $50 billion in IT exports. The entire national elections of 2004 across were done digitally using electronic voting machines—there was no paper. Today, thanks to technology, India has the most modern stock markets in the world. The mobile phone has become accessible to everybody. It is touching every individual and we are seeing more and more applications, causing a quantum leap in productivity, fuelling economic growth.

6) India has adopted a progressive view of globalisation. Fundamentally the confidence that India has gained has made our worldview on globalisation far more positive. Our companies have become globally competitive and are willing to go out. More and more people are beginning to become far more comfortable with globalisation and they are realising the benefits of an open economy, of having their workers and their people all over the world, and of Indian companies exporting capital abroad.

Photograph: courtesy Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: Ramachandra Guha: What has kept India united

Nandan Nilekani: The five steps for success

Dear Nandan: quit Infosys, start a political party

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55 Responses to “Nandan Nilekani: The 6 things that changed India”

  1. Bangalore Boy Says:

    Great points, churumuri thanks for a nice, unbiased, apolitical, uncontroversial article :)

  2. Narayana Says:

    Population == human capital..

    I couln’t control laughing.


    Siccapatte Important Company == Body Shopper

  3. subbulakshmi Says:

    1. population – human capital.
    2. bottom-up democracy where everybody understands their democratic rights. You see people taking charge and doing things without waiting for the state to do the job.
    3. Indian entrepreneurs are not afraid of liberalisation any more.
    4.The mobile phone has become accessible to everybody. It is touching every individual…..


  4. Karihaida Says:

    super anna :)
    For the sikapatte important company(ies) the term is human stock.. as in livestock ;)

  5. tarlemaga Says:

    Doodu sakashtu maad addha mele, rajakiya sanchara na..
    Capitalism has made Billionaires like Nandan, NRN… They sit on wealth and give wonderful bhashana to some cronies.
    In India Rich – Poor divide is all time high.
    Rich people like Nandan have setup sweatshops in India and exploiting poorer classes.

    Human Capital = Profits into the Pockets of Nandan and NRN… All Billionaires without a cause. Feed the Poor during Inflation then we will know what is Human Charity.

  6. sisya Says:

    ahaaahha… aar muttu.. oTTige udurisbiTTidane. ivana eega Chief ‘Mutt Udursing’ Offiserru… of the sikkapatte important company? aa haLaba Enada?

  7. tarlemaga Says:

    Land of the Farmers is bought through the Govt machinery at dirt cheap prices by Infosys and they setup huge campus all over.

    While Nandan,NRN enjoy being Billionaires, while our farmers commit suicides. This is Tell Tale liberalised India. They only service abroad.

    Overall revenue accrued from the India Business to Infosys is 3% while they exploit our farmers and create large sweatshops.

    Directors turn Billionaires and sit tight on cash..

  8. Chintaka Says:

    People who talk about farmers and suicide in the same breath when they talk about Infosys are either blind or have a tunnel vision.

    This talk is like secularists repeatedly calling Gujarat as genocide inspite of the evidence that almost an equal number of hindus got killed in the riots. They conveniently forget that part and keep harping about the muslim killing part.

    Similar is the situation here. Infosys might have taken the land of the farmers. But to what extent? How many farmers were actually displaced? How many acres of land did they take? No answers. Some fool somewhere said infy is taking land and suddenly it became the buzz word everywhere.

    Question to be asked is, did companies like Infy and Wipro give back to the society much more than they took??? Even the most die hard critic of Infy, wipro etc will agree that this is indeed the case. Middle class has benifitted immensely from the kind of organisations these companies have set up, whether they are sweatshops or not, who is bothered??

    In the movie Guru, when Abhishek is entering into the hall to reply to the charges framed against him, a man walks to him and says that he performed the marriages of three of his daughters from the shares he sold of Guru’s company. And everyone knows that Guru is based on Dhirubhai’s story. Dhirubai and his sons might have become the richest men in the world, but they have also spread across their wealth thru capital market.

    Same is the case with NRN, Azim Premji, Nandnan etc. They have become rich. They have become billionaires. But so have the people who are working in their companies. If not billionaires, atleast they are having a lifestyle and income which is much better than what their parents ever had. And along with the employees, the wealth has percolated down the stream and made others in the system to earn well too..

    And most importantly, by setting up a world class organisation like Infosys, the founders showed us what is possible. And this, my dear cribbers, is the real contribution of such companies.

  9. Chaitanya N Says:

    “inspite of the evidence that almost an equal number of hindus got killed in the riots”

    Back that up with the evidence that you claim to have or retract it.

  10. Aatmasakshi Says:

    @ Chintaka: you don’t seem to let the facts come in the way of a good story, do you?

    BBC quoting the Union minister of state for home in the Rajya Sabha says 1044 people were killed in the violence – 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus including those killed in the Godhra train. Another 223 people were reported missing, 2,548 injured, 919 women widowed and 606 children orphaned.

    Human rights watch puts unofficial estimates toll closer to 2000, with Muslims forming a high proportion of those killed.

  11. Andy Says:

    @ Chintaka

    Whatever be their success, one knows the dubious methods employed by Dhirubhai to make his billions. Since you are comparing Dhirubhai with Wipro Premji & Infy Murthy we can safely assume the “tactics” used by these gentlemen to make their billions.

    End justfies means, right ?

    The issue of land grab is something that media discovered and reported, albeit very late. This is something you seem to reiterate in your efforts to defend the Tech giants.

  12. Laughs Says:


    Of course, Hindus too got killed in Gujarat.

    The administration could neither protect Muslims nor Hindus. Complete lawlessness prevailed in that state, supposedly presided by a ‘strong’ administrator.

  13. Prashant Krishnamurthy Says:

    “Question to be asked is, did companies like Infy and Wipro give back to the society much more than they took?”

    This question can be used to justify anything and everything that has happened in the world since the dawn of civilisation. Did Hitler give back to the German people more than he took? Did Idi Amin? Did Josef Stalin? Did Sanjay Gandhi? Did Narendra Modi?

    The giant oil and mining companies that have wrecked oceans and flora and fauna, and caused countless wars, too have brought value to their millions of share holders. So do we excuse everything they did because they created jobs, helped the economy soar, etc?

    Narayana Murthy and Dhirubhai Ambani are not in the same league by any stretch of imagination and we do a disservice to both by comparing them. But at least Dhirubhai did not make any bones of the methods we adopted. Mr Murthy, on the other hand?

    We should salute the job creation and wealth creation by all means, but we would be a banana republic if we allow that to colour our vision of everything else they may or may not have done.


    That said, Nandan Nilekani sounds as vacuous as his pal Tom Friedman. He talks as if India was born in 1991, as if there were no entrepreneurs before 1991, no English before globalisation, no technology before that. Sure, 1991 was an inflection point but for the son of a Minerva mill employee, who studied in an IIT set up and subsidised by Nehruvian socialism, Nandan superciliously talks as if nothing good ever happened in this country before liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation. He is fully entitled to his view, of course, but it seems as hurried and unnuanced as Friedman’s.

  14. InduRamesh Says:

    Agree with Chintaka wholeheartedly.After living through the years when my mother had to go and stand in a queue at the ration shop to buy not only rice and wheat, but also firewood, charcoal and even millmade saree, buy dried potato chips imported from Australia, feed her children MPF(multipurpose foof made by CFTRI) because she could not afford fresh vegitables and fruits, I know how much India has changed and is changing. It is all very well to blame NRN,Nelikeni or even Dhirubhai Ambani for the problems of our country. But is it justifiable to pull down people who make money just because they make money? How come no one is talking about the crores made by the poor farmaer’s son whose contribution to the country is only two sons who want to to own the world and its uncle?

  15. Chintaka Says:

    @chaitanya & atmasakshi….

    Human rights figures are to be taken with a pinch of salt…. for them death of hindus is never to be considered… only muslims deaths count…

    The official figures put out by the Union Government, headed by a secular government which has nothing to hide, puts the deaths of muslims at 790, hindus at 254. So when the number of hindus killed are by no means insignificant, how can this be termed as genocide???? But for all the secularists, gujarat = muslim genocide. And in any of the panel discussions, in any of the news reports, in any of the human rights reports have you ever found a voice which said ” Hey look, lot of hinds too got killed and their killing was done by muslims, so muslims are also responsible for the violence that took place there?”. This is the kind of blinkered vision people exhibit when it comes to their favourite whipping boy, Infosys.

    Coming back to the question of Infy and land grab, how many acres of land have they taken away from the farmers?? The govenment gave 4000 acres to the new airport. Has similar land been given to the company?? At what price was the land acquired? And coming to the most important question, did Infy sell any part of this land later on at a hefty premium and make money out of the transaction? The answer, you know it already. Whatever land was given to them, they have built their campuses on it, generated employment and given back to the society much more than what they took.

    The era in which Dhirubhai lived and the era in which information technology industry took its roots in this country are different. Similarly the means adopted by Dhirubhai and the IT companies are different. IT companies operate in a much more transparent manner. True, they have got significant tax breaks in settin up their shops. But providing of such tax breaks was essential at that point of time to make the industry grow.

    I have worked closely with a very large number of IT professionals. From across the industry. And I know first hand how the industry has helped people from all walks of life get a better standard of life. Today in the IT industry there are people from different social backgrounds, different caste backgrounds and different communal background. Sweatshop or not, they are atleast getting a decent employment which is giving them a good life.

    If this is not contribution to the society, then what is?

  16. Chintaka Says:

    @Prashant Krishnamurty,

    If you want to compare Idi Amin, Stalin, Hitler etc to the kind of people whom we are discussing, all the very best…

    I dont like to argue for the sake of argument.

  17. rar Says:

    population=human capital….in abstraction perhaps defendable, but out of his mouth, extremely irresponsible. as if an India that plateaued with 800-900 million people would be at any disadvantage whatsoever to the current situation. not to mention the negative environmental externalities of a huge population.

  18. subbulakshmi Says:

    madam indu ramesh

    there are still millions of women (and men) who stand in q for ration and and dont get any of what you have said and cant afford vegetables. worse they cant afford even hooch. they steal, beg, borrow, do insulting work for an insult of a coolie and none of them have heard of your Nilakeni or NRN, Ambani. you have no idea.

  19. subbulakshmi Says:

    and nobody is pulling down anyone for MAKING money. we are pulling down or pulling him up for his remarks at “Delivering the global leader lecture at Johns Hopkins University’s school of advanced international studies” . let him present a correct picture. let him talk about all that above people have said. if he tells the Johns Hopkins University that in india population = human capitol, we should have been world’s number one by now. we are talking about what is he doing with the human capitol? Erasing them via hooch?

  20. jack Says:

    Typical leftist mentality. Running down on other people’s success story. Grow up, try to emulate them.

  21. tarlemaga Says:


    It’s right to be on the left side. You still need to digest that 80% of the population does not have 2 square meals a day.

    Billionares like Nandan and NRN have made even life miserable by increasing the cost of living in Bengaluru.

    They indirect contributors to elitist view in this country. They hold the keys to policy changes as well. Though they are not elected to the parliament or assemblies.

  22. aruna urs Says:

    Looks like churumri regulars have lost their mojo. Come on mates, Nandan is no mine or real (reel) estate mafia.

  23. tarlemaga Says:

    Chintaka claims that he worked in large number of IT industry across the Country.

    I need to correct him that I have worked too in IT as well. My views regarding IT Industry is that they are still serving the west. Not the Indian psyche. They deliver turnkey projects overseas, but the patriotism is diluted when it comes to INDIA.

    The moolah is delivered here to them on a platter. They still get the Tax holiday for serving vested interests. They do have a margin of 28% or higher, but they squeze the govt of India for tax holiday.

    While the Citizens within the country are subjected to VAT,ST,CST,INCOME TAX and what not.

    The Pyramid for Taxing tapers towards the TOP like Darwin’s phenomena..

    Billionaires sit tight on cash and govt should nationalise the wealth of these individuals give back to the needy.

    Else INDIA will never become debt free.

  24. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    If these are the six factors which has changed India, then the book is likely to be a big flop. Besides pointing out the obvious faults in the analysis of these factors, it is easy to question how some of these facors can bring about the change.

    But for one factor of democracy changing, none of the factors like the accepatance of English, entrepreurs, population increase as a positive thing and globalization being viewed as positive are questionable factors for many reasons.

    I would have expected a far more incisive book with some new and convncing analysis. Do we have decentralization? Mayor of Mysore is decided by the diktat of Congress High Coomand. Change in state sales tax are commanded by the high commands of the respective parties. English langauage has produced more “coolies” in IT sector and sapped our originality. English lanaguage and the worst form of globalization has made us into an imitaive country than a country to develop our own strategy and be a model for others. Why should we maximize GDP? Why cannot be have the exclusive goal of removing poverty as an annual goal? We will then follow completely different startegies than what we are doing.

    I was looking to read this book and I am now disappointed. This again proves a point that just because one has succeeded in one field and made a billion does not ensure success in other unconnected sector.

  25. Poli Hudga Says:

    Being an IT guy myself, I can assure you that Indian IT industry is just a zilch, Infosys/WIPRO/TCS are nothing companies in global IT Eco-system. They can be replaced by any other company in any part of world which provides low cost labour, its only a matter of time. In India, IT folks think themselves as god’s gift to humanity. They think their plum salaries are deserving and are myopic for other problems country is facing.

    Before these guys came into existence, we have had several public sector companies(navarathnas) giving employment opportunities and making profits. They didn’t crib like these Hi-tech MNCs about bad roads or bad infrastructure, they silently went about creating their own towns.

  26. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I have to agree with BVS. I am kind of humbled by the fact that it takes so little to be a CEO of mighty Infosys:) If these are his original thoughts, God save us all. “You should never get high on your own propaganda!”

  27. tarlemaga Says:

    Infosys is literally a sweatshop which made its workers in California work close to 20 hours per day on a average. California court has penalised Infosys in US for 20 million dollars as one of Desi Indian workers sued Infosys. This news does not appear in mainstream INDIAN Media.

    Thas is beacause the Talent awards in Infosys is presented by Barkha Dutt’s,Shekar Gupta’s and Shireen Bhan’s of the World. They are wellwishers of Infosys and create an spin in the media about all its good deeds.

    They export Indian workers to US through H1B to increase their ever increasing profits.

  28. Yella Ok Says:

    The most shocking aspect is glorification of population.

    1)Truth is more people are getting engaged – That does not mean population is an advantage.
    2) Yes, there are more opportunities – that does not imply we have reached an optimum opportunity to population ratio, it is significantly suboptimal.

    3)Yes, we have more enterprise – but not enough to employ (and employ gainfully and efficiently and ethically) the teeming millions of rural and urban youth (or middle aged or impoverished old people either).

    4) Yes, there is still lack of quality, skilled manpower – but that is because there is shortage of “resources to skill” not because there is shortage of “resources to be skilled”.

    I would give more credit to Nandan Nilekani than some others of his ilk (say, the Pai). But, what is disturbing is in a bid to justify and glorify (not much of either is required, honestly) the IT industry and its achievements, Nandan would (even if it is not intentional) dish out such half-baked half-truths.

    But, still, feel sorry that the Nandans of the world feel content with such speeches and book writing – if they were to inspire, they would rather make attempts (failure is not such a disgrace – they have nothing to lose) at genuine attempts in broader public life – Bangalore (IT Industry) Agenda Task Force doesn’t count!!

  29. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    What’s with the froggy look? The new executive style?

  30. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    I no longer worry about our population problem, Subbamma. The West needs our organs. The reproductive ones, too.

  31. Chintaka Says:

    When I read the kind of responses and reactions people have towards IT industry, specially the sould who claim they are working in some IT company and still crib about the industry, I wonder what will make them happy?? Or worse still, will they be ever happy at all in their lifetime???

    Millions, not having two square meals a day was there, is here and will be there tomorrow also, presence or non presence of IT industry be damned. So what do we do? Throw these companies out? Make them shut shop? Not bothering how many direct and indirect employment opportunities they have created?? What mindless thinking is this???

    A few people who claim to work in IT industry say that these companies are sweat shops. Agreed. They may not be doing any highend work. This is certainly a very very valid point. In my interaction with some of the senior IT professionals, I have also raised the same question and they had no answer. Having said that, if this sweat shop is providing some earning opportunity for thousands of young and educated people, what is wrong with it??? Progress will happen, over a period of time. Till then should we not be greatful for the kind of work we are having instead of sitting unemployed at home??

    In the last 15 years, I passed out of my degree in 1992, I have seen a tremondous change in the way people are getting employed. When we passed out getting an accountant’s job was difficult. Today getting a B.Com passout for the job of an accountant is proving to be difficult!!!! A B.Com or a BA graduate getting a five figure salary was a dream then. Today the same graduates are starting with a salary of 15,000-20,000! Im not saying that all these has happened only because of the IT industry. But IT industry had a very large role in creating this kind of an atmosphere.

  32. Pulikeshi the last Says:

    The techies can take care of themselves. How about the rest?

  33. Pulikeshi the last Says:

    I reread the gist of Nilkekani’s talk. It is somewhat reminiscent of “Promethius Unchained.”

    Sadly, my India is vastly different from Nilekani’s.

  34. Gaby Says:

    PTL actually Prometheus Unchained is a fast paced card game of tactical combat of ‘ STARSHIPS’ – closer to Nilekani’s India- even his universe than the real one.

    Did you mean Prometheus unbound by Shelley- yes his naivette in describing the ideal bloodless revoloution fits in with the wooly milksoppish thoughts of Nilekani. But does it have the power of the epilogue- to suffer woes etc etc – that is where the Ashis Nandys score. Language has a power which the coprporate types will never understand. Unfortunately on the other hand this powerful thing doesnt bring the wealth with it. At least not the obscene kind of weatl associated with the corporate types. Possibly the old Lakshmi – Saraswati yuddha that my Ajji used to talk about. Sorry I ve rambled again.

  35. Tarlemaga Says:

    Chintaka is day dreaming. Simple economics…

    Vidhan Soudha was built for 1 Crore indian rupees, but to maintain it today it costs ten times more. He is nostalgic about past and present salaries, which is not a comparison to go by.

    Industries other than IT has been paying well too. The service towards for the Indian growth story by IT is not all inclusive. It is still sweatshop for the West and will remain. To realise a growth rate of 28% in India for Infosys is still a far cry. Reason being they dont want to see India grow. They would rather allow other’s to profit from it. The contribution toward’s Indian IT in e-governance is zilch. They crib about Infrastructure all the time. Let them build township’s rather than limiting it to their campus.

    That’s true Public-Private partnership.

  36. pulikeshi the last Says:


    “Prometheus Unchained” (ca. 1997) is a book by a man named Singh who sold his soul to Procter and Gamble. He was the man in charge of selling Vicks Vaporub to us Injuns. He argues that thanks to Uncle Shaamanna, Bharathakhanda has reached or will soon reach its apogee as a world power. There are no problems in India, nothing is beyond the Indians’ reach, etc. It is like singing “The Star Spangled Banner” as if it were “Vande Maatharam,” or should I say, “Namasthe sadaa vatsale maathrubhoome?”

    Shelley could dream big time. He taught Yeats.

    Keep on rambling.

    Why is Lakshmi so much more important to our rulers than Saraswathi?

  37. pulikeshi the last Says:

    Once upon a time in the biggest country south of the Himaalayas, almost ninety-percent of the people were desperately poor. Now only 89 percent are so. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the miracle of one per cent escaping poverty, eating at Pizza Hut rather than worry about the good for nothing 89 per cent lafangaas and lafangis who drink kaLLabhatti, watch television, and die? Don’t forget the five thousand rupee compensation their families get.

    Naavu kaalu muttutheevi (pace Yed’s henchpersons); aadre eleyalla. E-ellide dammu?

  38. Yash from america Says:

    Ree, yen re idu??? Ha ha ha… tamashey chennagidey..

    a. one thinking in the management level, other thinking in the employee level.

    b. one having world perspective(what actually is happening), other looking at his life and extrapolating the facts to the whole country.

    c. one willing to work hard and make himself stand tall, other wants to pull down those who stand tall because they are sitting, and they think equality is important in society.

    d. one is trying to secure their future by intelligent thinking, other is so insecure about future and blames those who try to make things better.

    all these big ppl who you are talking of HAD A DREAM. and they WORKED REALLY HARD to realize them. sumne vatavata anlilla. try to achieve just 1% of what these guys have done, THEN talk.

    do you know infosys is studied widely in top american business schools for their business practices, its known fact that infosys did everything right what mckinsey got wrong. their business practices are studied by professors and made into cases so that the world can learn how to work efficiently and in a well organized manner.

    for a country to become developed, a generation has to struggle, it does not come out of thin air. hardwork hasnt killed anybody till now. it has brought courage, character and confidence to individuals.

    coming to the nilekani thing, he said that for a reason. in the west (where the actual money is), you need to show you are worthy of being invested in. you need to show investing in this country has a lot of potential. why will they simply give money to a useless guy who potrays his country to be a poor people’s sh*t hole with no good workers. if he doesnt say good about India, its markets and its people, there are many people out there from south east asian countries and african countries eagerly waiting to grab our lunch right from our mouth. and mind you, you will be left hungry like you ever was since the british times. talk about painting the right picture.. duh..

    i know india has poverty and other bad stuff. dont make that your flagship tool to assert your status in international arena and cry like somebody is going help you if you say india is poor, india is third world country. we are in competition with china everywhere, and you have NOO freakin idea how badly we are loosing business to the chinese. they never say they are poor anymore.

    socialism has failed the human kind and markets are here to be open for as far as we can see. get prepared for the competition or be trampled. i am not telling you to run the rat race out and out. learn how much to run, how fast to run.

    so stop cribbing and blaming, get back to your work and give it the best you have. maintain time properly. instill the confidence in your children that india is a great country because, india is the only democracy to have a communist party(imagine that).

    AND let these good ppl do their jobs, last thing they want is their own country men foul-mouthing them for their achievements.

  39. Chintaka Says:


    Comparing the cost of construction to maintenance is what?? Histoical cost of construction is always less than the current cost of maintenance. But remember, when Vidhana Soudha was being built, the cost was high for that era. And I am sure, there would be nay sayers like you to pull down the project. They did not succeed and we have a beauty amidst us today. What if they had won their argument for the day????

    You see. we are a nation of cribbers. We crib about everything. Even when something good is happening, we see the negative side of this good and crib. We crib about new airport & we cribbed about the old airport. We crib about roads or lack of it. We crib about the kind of politicians who are elected but at the end of the day we dont go out to vote (Bangalore had a dismal 40-42% voting this election). We crib about traffic, never mind the fact that the cars we use add to the congestion.

    In short we crib about everything and anything under the sun.

    Cribbing about IT companies being sweatshops is nothing new, nothing great.

    Question then. If these IT companies are sweat shops, why dont we shut them down? After all we take great pride in our self esteem and it must certainly be hurting to the self esteems of many to work in such sweat shops. Correct? So shut them down.

    Never mind the fact these sweat shops are generating billions of dollars of revenue, millions of dollars of tax payments (employees working in these offices pay tax, dont they). Never mind the fact that these sweat shops are also creating a whole new sphere of dependent jobs for thousands of young men and women of this country ( drivers for the cabs of these sweat shops for instance). Never mind the fact that these sweat shops have issued equities and the middle class India has bought them and has become rich in the bargain. Never mind…..the list goes on and on.

  40. Ishweshwariah Says:

    People like Friedman, NRN and Nilekeni have been repeating ad nausuem that the population boom in India is a boon and not a bane . This is dangerous and false proganda. The politicians also use this bait as their vote bank increases with increased population. The religious leaders are also happy as their following increasing.

    The biggest problem facing India is the population boom. That IT companies like infy could capitalize on body shopping by using the booming population of India graduates does not make this propoganda valid. With increasing population comes the scramble for the meagre resources available. How many people are employed in IT as compared to the general populace. It is just a fraction of the people.

    I just hope the government reintiates the population control and family planning schemes and advertisement. We seem to have forgotten that nowadays and become complacent due to the new found wealth through the IT sector in the last ten years.

    In my school days we used to see walls and bill boards plastered with advertisements of condom Nirod and the red traingle and the hum do aur humari do. Where have all these advertisement gone. The businessman, politicians and the religious leaders have made this into a non-issue.

  41. Pulikeshi the last Says:

    Many of seem to think progress means rampant consumerism. For a wonderful, satirical, and anguished take on our New India, read Aravind Adiga’s “White Tiger.” Bhale Kannada haida!

  42. Pulikeshi the last Says:

    “Many of us”

  43. tarlemaga Says:

    Some men think out here population boom, can potentially result his Corporate booming as well. This can be used during distressing situation, wherein the labor can be procured at dirt cheap rates.

    During US recession and undercutting they can even lower the rates as the whole population is at their disposal. Such Intellectual thinkers(like Chintaka alias Nandan alias NRN) has lost their nuts.

    Define Middli class… The one which hangs like a Trishanku between heaven and hell. The class which does not have a identity and hence calls its the middli clas… ha ha ha.

    This is exactly my point. They need to be inclusive and carry all Indian’s together. Chintaka’s blanket statement that all Indian’s are perenial cribbers proves that he is among them.

    Middli class enjoys being in the Good books of mainstream journalists and who cook stories about their private and public deeds. Rallies for them when Insult the National Anthem and also what’s to be in the race for the President’s post. That’s all middli is about. You are in the middli but dont know what is middli all about. Lost identity.


    Iddhidu idhange helidhare….. middli..middli…idli… yentha heluthane…

  44. Bombattu Huduga Says:

    Infosys sneezes it becomes a news in India… Mainstream media and intellectuals like chintaka love to be spin doctors for Corporates who spoil the environment. BIG MAC has which has the largest chain of restaurants in the World has created an OBESE AMERICA.

    Infosys has increased the cost of living in Bengaluru. Think about the Govt worker who does not earn like you but serves the public at large. He earns peanuts not able to match the ever increasing housing costs and other essentials.

    Infosys has ruined the cost of living in around BTM,JP NAGAR,JAYANAGAR etc. That does not stop them. They want more land of the farmers and want to convert it into flashy glass houses to welcome their guest from Americas. In addition they are tom tomming the cause of Nuclear deal which is an hidden agenda.

    Tom Tomming the need of Capitalism has created Billionaires in India and you can see the rich being subsidised by Govt retailed petrol,LPG etc. Let the Billionaires pay luxury taxes on Petrol,LPG and even the air that they breath.

    Based on the lifestyle in this Country the Taxation should increase not just on Income but also on luxurious cars,houses and daily essentials.

    Else this country is likely to be Governed by Billionaires who will have some glorified coolies dancing to their whims and fancies.

    Mathadu Mathadu Geleya…

  45. Bombattu Huduga Says:


    Millions of Dollars through IT can only increase the cost of living in the Country. Flow of NRI dollars have left ordinary Indian citizens high and dry. They pump dollars into India and create an imbalance into the Indian psyche and economy.

    Real estate cost goes high and other tertiary items have hit the roof. Make the Indian Rupee stronger and along with the swadeshi industry and agriculture the priority. The fundamentals related to Indian economy must be delinked from the dollar. The moment green pack dollar flows into India it can be instrumental in helping vested interests.

    This is my prescription for a Vibrant India.
    1. Create a strong Agrarian reforms
    2. Promote non fossil fuel technology so that we do not require petro based dollars.
    3. India needs strong rupee currency to beat the World. So that the so called IT Companies service India and not their western masters.
    4. Improvise the E-governance and make the fee per transaction absolutely free with Govt sectors.
    5. Create Agro avenues for based food product industries.
    6. Population explosion needs to be contained. It has become a style statement to glorify increase in Population. It’s a myth.
    7. Education for the masses be made mandatory till graduation. Both in Urban and Rural areas.
    8. Corporates to keep 20% of their income towards Charity. This should be made mandatory. The Motto should be just not profits but also to create a social environment within the society.

  46. pulikeshi the last Says:


    Is there any way you can insert here the text of Pt. Venkatesh Kumaar’s magnificent rendering, “Maneya Kattuvaruntu”

    Maybe we should think of the kothi that pulled out the wedge from the crack of the beam he was sitting on . . .

  47. Kuldeep Says:

    I don’t see what is wrong in criticising companies like Infosys if we feel something is wrong with them. Don’t these people crib and cry about infrastructure at the drop of a hat? Most of this mess like traffic has been created by these over-hyped companies.

    Job creation is not an excuse to defend everything they do. There are other fields also that provide far more employment than these publicity crazy companies. But they don’t make a song and dance about it. These IT bosses have been praised and pampered far more than they deserve.

    Regarding NRN, his “humble”, “son of a schoolteacher” image has been circulated ad nauseum. 90% of the people around us who are successful in their own ways are from humble backgrounds, what’s so great about NRN? And success does not mean business or creating companies alone.

  48. pulikeshi the last Says:

    Let the richies adopt K. G. Road as they have adopted M. G. Road. The IT-BT nexus doesn’t give a damn about the polluted air the weavers breathe in day and day out on Kilaari Road and its numerous gullies. Let’s hear something about NRN and his ilk contributing to making the City Market area less of a naraka than it is now.

  49. Shera Says:

    Seems like lot of jobless IT people vomiting(also called throwing up, barfing, spewing, puking and emesis) here.
    Dude, GO and do some CODING … if you want the salary this month….
    NRN or NDN are not going to pay you for vomiting on them here….

  50. Punter Says:

    @ Shera.

    Welcome to the club!!!!!!!!

  51. oochara Says:

  52. Gaby Says:

    Thanks Oochara for the link. I spent the whole day laughing at the twittering by Ms Narayan. What took the cake was this epic epitaph that Nilekani composed for himself and Ms Narayan called it ‘ simple’ !!!

  53. Ramanna Says:

    Nilekani has a right to his opinions. We should not question his right to express them. But what about those who take anything that Nilekanis, Narayana murthys and Mohandas Pais and treat it as the wisdom of Upanishads? that is the problem.

    Some facts however have to be placed on record. Infosys is described as many of the bloggers here as being an example of Indian initiative. Is it really so? If indeed Infosys was the product of the market, how come it got government waiver of the registration fee for the land it bought on Hosur Sarjapur Road – 6.5 crores if I am not mistaken? The then IT Secretary Vivek Kulkarni, cousin of Sudha Murthy (nee Kulakarni) placed the note before the Karnataka Cabinet which approved it. Why brag about your quarterly results if you are beggarly enough to seek tax waivers on the sly and on the fly? So this Infosys is our model of upright, clean, dynamic growth? Which farmer who committed suicide got any land registration fee waived? Please stop getting priapic and lubricious about INfosys. It is just another rapacious market player. It is not even worth discussing.

  54. bhattathiri Says:

    This is an excellent book for the progeess of India. Govt. May consider whatever can be implemented. Poor should be uplifted and brought to mainstream.
    India will become a super power by our engineers providing tech support to American bosses…Nandan will settle in America with the dividend income he receives in crores and he does not pay tax like Infosys mentor the great visionary Nanden..At least Infosys will sponsor his greencard the luxury they deny to many of their employees.

    Why these IT companies are lagging behind to take opportunity to spread and help IT in a large scale .So far they were depending on outsorcing only and now they should build software products and research on software like Microsoft,IBM .India is a huge market ,they need not depend on USA and western countries rather they can export their products to all the 172 developing and least developed countries .So far world economy was dominated by G-8 countries and they remain with in themself only and never bother to spread their base for marketing their products and intentionally made the products price high so that 172 developing countries never come close to their egoistic animalistic anti humanist persona .

  55. kumaran Says:

    yes nandan said is correct . This makes india more powerful

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