Himachalis have too much to lose


If you must have read through my earlier post, you’ll see that I’d mentioned clearly that Himachalis lack the self-confidence because they have too much too lose. We have a business running, we have agriculture that may not be growing but giving enough and satisfactory outputs. We are not ready to experiment. It was hundreds of years ago when apples came into India into Kotgarh. Today we have high quality apples available in the market imported from USA. But we are not taking chances to replace ours with high quality hybrid plants.

The theory also stems from the fact that when I see guys doing PhD and double MA and MPhil in HPU. Nothing wrong with that. But why double MA? One would have sufficed. But as a matter of fact one is getting a funding from back home. Honestly, I feel the phenomena is more with people from Upper Shimla. However, I’ve seen guys from Mandi, Kangra, who are more serious about making careers out of their education. But the one’s from Shimla, have a backing from home, money flowing from their orchards to take care of their luxury. Education is always an asset. But going back to Swadesh’s (a member of HimVani and an NRI in USA) theory of 0% unemployment for the lesser educated stems from here. Once you are there to pursue your PhD or MA, a job would mean at the age of 25 or even 30. But when we talk about India Inc., today its looking for freshers, raw, so that they can train them. And 30 is too old to be inducted . So what does he do. Try for a govt job or go back to his orchards. It also has something to do with that even education too has to be revamped. More career oriented education has to be imparted rather than conventional BA or MA.

But talking about career courses, I’ll say HPU is ill-equipped. They do have career courses but not good labs. Sorry guys, please update me if they have. As far as journalism is concerned its just theory and no infrastructure for practicals. Except for one teacher on who’s name all aspiring journos get a job. It will be improper for me to mention names here.

I’d been talking to a few guys, teachers here from Himachal in the past two three days after we started this debate. They yes, don’t agree with me that Himachalis lack in self-confidence but as soon as it is mentioned that this lack in self confidence to venture out into entrepreneurship stems from the fact that we have a lot to lose, they tend to agree. What I mean by LOT TO LOSE, means that we have something to lose, we have something to put at stake, we traditionally weren’t too poor. Everyone has if not much a little land holding or business, or immovable property. BPL (Below the poverty line is minimal or even nill. For statistics, we have to show them so as to get aid from the centre (this was told to me by a patwari, where the panchayats try and identify and create BPL families, otherwise there are very few.) I don’t say that all Himachalis lack self confidence to venture out into entrepreneurship. But yes, I’ll reiterate as earlier, at least the majority… may be 60/40, 70/30 or whatever. And as once somkebody mentioned that it could possibly in the genes as well. Why I agree with him is that having studied anthropology… and my sister too a PhD student from JNU in Sociology, (her topic was related to Ayurvedic medicines in Himachal), with whom I was discussing… is that we Himachalis are in a sense a self-contended lot. We are a happy lot and contended with whatever little we have. We are less materialistic than the Punjabis… we are less show-offs of riches than Punjabis. If we have the riches, we do not flaunt it. And when we become self-contended, somewhere that competitive spirit diminishes, where we don’t want to get ahead of the other. I am not saying that it is bad. May be that is an ideal life. But when we are there in an open economy and when we are moving to a liberalised world, away from the socialistic Nehruvian society, it means survival of the fittest. Smaller fishes will be swallowed up. Again that doesn’t mean that Himachal would be eaten up. It means that we would be left behind. We have a rich history of education and literacy and road development. And that has to be encashed. Today, Uttaranchal is growing at a faster pace. The market today grows on by creating a buzz. We have to beat our drums a lot, advertise, and market ourselves. That’s what the economy is all about. We have to promote ourselves.

Well I have something to say about Himachal government’s reluctance to woo NRIs or FDI (except for Ford putting up an adventure village, which too has run into trouble), but I’ll talk about it later. If understanding the development and resources available is important, equally important is to understand the psychology of the people who would adapt that and take recourse to the resources.

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A perfect story-teller, who is madly in love with the hills. Shimla is his first love, and probably the last too. Won't get tired reading Rudyard Kipling. Hopes to pick up poetry again soon.

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