Nation Building

“Are we of no service to society?”

The office bearers of the Medical Council of the nation had no response when the question was posed by participating doctors at a recent meeting.

Neither could the bar association come up with a convincing reply, even though its members were known to have all the answers in the most complex cases including rape and murder. The simple question asked was, “Does the nation think that we are a burden?”

The Institute of Chartered Accounts, with their ears to the ground, have cancelled the upcoming annual meet for fear of difficult questions being raised.

Voices of discontent are being heard from every nook and corner of the nation, from sanitation workers, from government employees, from pilots associations, from electricians, from cab drivers, from software developers, from managers, from the managed, from vice presidents and CXOs, from farmers, and everyone else you can think of.

Losers! All of them.

Except the people behind micro, small and medium enterprises, or MSMEs.

Their lives are about to change. No question about that. In fact, they may already have, since the video was released at least a couple of days back, if not more.

Video?

Yes video. Who would have though lives could be changed with a single video. But then, that is what leadership is all about, is it not? Thinking the unthought. Doing the not-done. Going to places not gone before.

What is the big deal in spending other people’s money to demonstrate leadership, you might ask. After all, the government collects billions in taxes. Spending a few thousand on hiring an agency to create a video will not even be a rounding off error in the government’s accounts.

And that is the beauty of this video. It has not been created by the government. Why should creating goodness all around be the sole responsibility of the central government? Is it not up to us to participate in nation-building?

Creating a video is nation-building?

Yes, it is, if the video has a soft tonal quality to it, mainly black-and-white footage, indulgent smiles, a slow tempo with soft sounds, smooth, slow voiceover, camera panning indulgently, and the national flag flying in slow motion, what is it if not nation-building? Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. The voice-over is in Hindi but with the help of English sub-titles, people not familiar with the language should also be able to follow the script.

Isn’t it amazing? What a message? Never before seen or heard anywhere. “…they are working tirelessly for their country, although in silence. Their tribulations are frequently unheard of. They make mistakes along the way, but they always come back stronger.”

After all, who has ever worked tirelessly for their country in silence? Or, whose tribulations were unheard of? Or, who have made mistakes but come back stronger? Isn’t it important to highlight these unique characteristics?  

Respect.

So, how will this help? Will it help MSME business owners get better prices for their products and services?

No.

Will it reduce competition and help them sell more?

No.

Will it help them reduce the cost of production?

No.

Will it help them pay better wages?

No.

Will it help them make more money?

No.

OK. Will it reduce atmospheric pollution in Delhi? Or, make politicians truthful?

No and no.

So, how exactly does it help?

I cannot believe you are so narrow-minded. Always looking for proof. Always asking for data. Only interested in actual benefit. Is it not enough that intelligent, educated, smart people have made it a priority to forward this video again and again and feel great about their contribution to nation-building? And I am not talking about MSME owners only. I am talking about everyone. Would it not make them feel proud to view such a video that even has a CTA, a call to action, of asking viewers to be respectful towards MSME owners. Where they don’t have to do anything; just watch and forward and build nation, watch and forward and build nation. Repeat, ad infinitum. Sometimes with added comments such as, “For the first time an Indian government released video for businessmen. What a video! 😊 Do watch it.”

But that is a lie, is it not? It is issued by MSMEX, which is a private company. It claims to be an “experienced MSME edtech company with highly qualified staff to help companies grow in their industry and attract more visitors online” and aspiring to “serve 10 Million MSMEs Worldwide.” I might aspire to have 100 million readers of my books. It makes me aspirational, yes. Nothing more and nothing less. Not a representative of the Indian government.

Again fact? Again data? Again truth? How does it matter? You can never be a patriotic son of the soil. How does it matter that it has been created by MSMEX? What matters is that people think it has been created by the Government of India.

How does it matter? How is it any different from the many commercials made by companies that tug at your emotional strings in an effort to make you buy something? While I have nothing against them using emotional appeal in their commercials since it is up to the buyer whether she chooses to be convinced about the message or not and opens her wallet, calling it nation-building is rich, is it not?

By evoking guilt companies make you spend money on things you don’t really need. What is that if not nation-building? Keeping the wheels of the economy moving.

Like the true leaders they are, the government has noted the simmering discontent after the release of this video, and instructed all industry associations and all representative bodies of doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, sanitation workers, government employees, pilots, electricians, cab drivers, software developers, managers, the managed, vice presidents and CXOs, farmers, and everyone else you can think of, to make a nation-building (read emotional) video for their members so that they can feel good while watching it and contribute to nation-building by forwarding it again and again.

An opposition party has gone a step further. Recognizing that making such videos creates so much good for the whole nation, they have decided that if voted to power, they will ban all other professions and jobs and trades such as doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, sanitation workers, government employees, pilots, electricians, cab drivers, software developers, managers, the managed, vice presidents and CXOs, farmers, and everyone else you can think of, and ensure that each individual will, henceforth, only be a maker of emotional videos, creating everlasting goodness.

The head bows down in reverence.

11 thoughts on “Nation Building

  1. Judging by the endless comments this feel-good video has caused people to write, I conclude that behind all the goosebumps it created, there is a nostalgic yearning for a better world among the people of India and the world.

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