Ever thought about why we Indians are always in such a hurry? None of us seem to have the time to stop for a moment – greet people around us, or even keep the door open for someone behind us. This never happens with any other Nation. So, why only us? Is there something we lack, or is there a genuine reason? There indeed, is a valid reason for this nature of ours. It is because of Imperialism and India’s huge population density.
The real reason goes back to a few centuries in the past. Naturally, India had been a very resourceful country. Land was rich in mineral resources, culture was rich, intellectuals were prospering, innovators and pioneers were pushing the boundaries of world knowledge. We were self-sufficient and thriving.
Then, something happened to India. World powers started playing the game of “Age of Empires”. They wanted to gain control over as much territory of the world as possible. India had to deal with the superpower of United Kingdom – and the Britishers were great players of this Colonizing game.
When Britishers came to India, they were very little in number. Strategically, they established their stronghold in the country and eventually formed a government that was literally running India! They figured out all weaknesses of the nation and used them to their advantage. The Britishers, even though very underpopulated – took control over almost all the resources the Indian land had to offer. Indian farmers grew crops that UK wanted and not what India needed to meet its own supplies. This chaos created a huge imbalance in India’s Demand-Supply chain. Had the imbalance existed for a few decades, we would have coped up fine – but Britishers exploited India’s precious resources for Two complete centuries!
For almost 8 generations in a row, Indians had to fight for literally everything in life. From facing hard struggles to get whatever they wanted, to standing in long queues and waiting everywhere – Indians had to run an indefinite race to obtain even their daily needs. Hurrying and rushing up just got Hard-Coded in the Indian DNA.
First come first serve had became the norm of life.
Take this example – Whenever a cat sees a mouse, it chases it irrespective of whether she’s hungry or not. Her predator senses wake up whenever she sees a mouse and she goes for the kill. She just has to – and she doesn’t have any control over her mind whatsoever. Chasing any mouse that comes her way is just Hard-Coded in her mind.
First come first serve got instilled in us Indians during those 200 years. Today, even when resources are sufficient, when demand matches supply – Our survival instincts come into play and tell us to not take it for granted. We just have to be there – First!
Rushing to board a bus before others do, makes sense in order to grab a seat. Rushing is not needed though, when you already have a reserved seat. But we just don’t happen to get it! Most of us want to be the first ones to get in, even then! We have to. It just happens naturally!
So, what do we really need in order to end this habit?
Slowly, different sections of the society are achieving this state of resourcefulness – travelling on their own path. Many of us travel the world, learn the best practices, and get to know what the world has to offer. Today, we are aggressively getting over our obsession on things that were holding us back like the Caste System, Child Marriage and what not. The Young India wants a better life for themselves and as a side result, they are making India a self-sufficient, a peaceful, a respectful nation that it deserves to be.
Population growth is nearing its asymptotic value. Rate of population growth is rapidly falling and in 70 years or so it will stop growing insanely. India now has more than 1.3 Billion people, and we’re soon expecting to cross the 2 Billion mark. This creates the huge demand. We have to design a nation for 2 Billion people, no less.
The gap between supply and demand is decreasing today. We are building infrastructure, services and sustainable ways of doing things. We are working hard to create a resourceful nation. When you have lived significant amount of your life amidst resources that you didn’t have to run around for, the tendency to rush slowly fades away. Your brain slowly trains itself that there is enough for everyone. You learn to chill, sit back, and relax.
As a wise man once said – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. So, stop rushing out of airplanes, stop pushing and pulling to board a bus, stop running around mindlessly. Just remember, you might overtake the car beside you, but you will eventually have to wait at the traffic signal, and he’ll be right beside you, once again!
Just in case, you want to find out how much of India has changed, try this experiment – As soon as the pilot says: “Keep your seat belts on till the plane comes to a halt. We will be opening gates shortly” – Look around and see how many people stood up from their seats. If that number keeps decreasing – well, India is changing!