Blogging and general online activity has been slow since I am in Brussles nowadays looking for work, but I naturally paused and clicked when this headline from the NYT popped up on my RSS-feed.
This article talked mostly about how Indian expat-professionals found themselves disillusioned and disappointed by working culture back home . It provides interesting and entertaining caricatures of Indian bureaucracy and cultural values:
There are no shortcuts to spending lots of time working in the country, returnees say. “There are so many things that are tricky about doing business in India that it takes years to figure it out,” said Sanjay Kamlani, the co-chief executive of Pangea3, a legal outsourcing firm with offices in New York and Mumbai. Mr. Kamlani was born in Miami, where his parents emigrated from Mumbai, but he has started two businesses with Indian operations.
When Mr. Kamlani started hiring in India, he met with a completely unexpected phenomena: some new recruits would not show up for work on their first day. Then, their mothers would call and say they were sick for days in a row. They never intended to come at all, he realized, but “there’s a cultural desire to avoid confrontation,” he said.
While reading Pardeep Singh Attri’s account of his experiences as a Dalit activist traveling in Hungary in the brilliant Insight Young Voices blog, I was struck by the similarity of the plight of Hungarian Romas and the Dalits ( regarded as Untouchables) in India. Both groups are victims of deep and persisting discriminations arising from their historical status in society. What struck me even more though was the appropriation of the ideas B. R Ambedkar by the Roma in their struggle for equal rights. Writes Pradeep:
One of the most interesting facts that Derdak Tibor informed me was that his group of Roma activists and community leaders in Hungary derive their inspiration from Babasaheb Ambedkar and Buddhism and trying to inculcate Ambedkarite thoughts in their movement towards equal rights for the Roma community. They have created a support network called Jai Bhim Network, embraced Buddhism and opened an high school in the name of Dr Ambedkar High School for the Roma children in Hungary.
Roma activists find their situation in the otherwise ‘white’ Hungary almost akin to the Dalits of India and therefore they now call their community, ‘the Dalits of Europe’ as the Romas are also found in other European countries too and face the similar prejudices and discrimination every where.