To my brother-in-law

Heute schreibe ich in Englisch, denn ich schreibe für meinen Schwager.

Vor einigen Wochen hatten wir per whats app (!!!) eine „Familiendiskussion“ in der Schwiegerfamilie. Anlaß dazu war die indische Politik, von der ich ja zugeben muss, dass ich nicht die geringste Ahnung habe ; )

Damals habe ich meinem Schwager versprochen, hierzu einen Blogpost zu schreiben. Und hier ist er nun: Mein Post für meinen lieben Schwager:

Before I start writing I should mention:

I am not a politically affiliated person, neither do I want to get political in this blog, nor do I want to take any political stands.

I have no idea about Indian Politics but I am just fascinated with the country and its culture, tradition, handicraft, fashion, architecture and so much more. I am a so called “Videsi” – a foreigner, I have never lived in India but know the country only from various vacations. But still I somehow or the other ended up making myself being part of the family-whats app-discussion about Indian Politics. Funny, right?

My aim and motivation in this was certainly not to prove anyone right or wrong, neither was it to judge Indian Politics. But my approach and view onto things were just an ethical one, a pedagogic one, a family one, a philosophical one, a common one. Or, maybe you could sum it up in just one single sentence:

My view was simply  “A human view”.

So here we go….to my dear brothers and sisters in India:

The discussion started off with regards to high taxes, election promises not being kept. Main point of stress being that the social infrastructure not in place and emphasis being on Trash and Recycling system as well as Public Health Care not being properly in place for which mainly the current and partially the previous government were blamed.

I as a usual silent listener and spectator, read these complaints going back and forth in our family whats app group. Suddenly I thought by myself: „Nothing in India is ever gonna change under any kind of government as long as mind set and behaviour of the people does not change. It all starts in the families, it starts with education and mind set.

So, I participated in the discussion and my whats app message was:

„It’s all about the mind set of people and the education of all because life and responsibility starts first, before being political, in each family, that is the base. And it is somehow education and poverty that determines everything”.

Obviously, I did not mean to step on anybody’s feet with my comment or view – remember: I have no idea about Indian Politics; )


It was just that I suddenly felt, it’s not Politician X or Y or Z who can solve things and bring about the desired changes but it’s the whole system and that very same system does not just include Politian’s, Bureaucrats, Scholars, Law Makers, Laws, Rules and Regulations. This is system, and System includes people and the mind set of people:

  • Do people keep Public Places clean?
  • Do people stop others when they see them littering places?
  • Do people confront or intervene when they see that there is something unjust happening?
  • Do people respect space and privacy?
  • Do people have common sense?
  • Do people give equal rights to women in all levels of society equally?
  • Do people abide to daily rules and regulations set by the authority?
  • Do people want a social system and compulsory Public Health care and are willing to pay for it with time and effort?
  • Do people prefer the status quo system with social gaps and privileges for higher middle class and up class people?
  • Do people prefer a service-based-society with housemaids/-servants, laundry being done outside etc.
  • Do people understand what waste management and recycling means, how it works and what it’s good for?
  • How do people go about “small daily corruptions” on the streets and in offices etc?

So many more questions I could think of in my mind that stops India’s real growth which should be in all the levels that contributes a big change especially to the poor and needy.

To make any system work well, it requires education, an open-minded approach and some common sense. And to my opinion these things come along with one’s education. Obviously with the formal education at school but to a big extent with the education at home, in society, the treatment and dealing that one receives in the family. Family is the place where the emotional strength, the behaviour, the personality of a person is formed.

If in the family – and that to in the early childhood – one gets equipped with the right tools such as respect, tolerance, trust, mindful acting, honesty, responsibility, empathy, helpfulness, then one is highly likely to grow into a responsible, non-corrupt and mindful acting adult and person.

I feel that corruption and the 2, 3 or 4 class society along with poverty are the biggest challenges to overcome in order to develop the country and make things work better.

Lots of things may not work at times, may be slow or seaming impossible but then with a few Rupee notes one may be able to solve situations, speed up processes, open certain doors, move certain files etc. One may not actually want it, one may not actually be corrupt as such, but one does it, to find their way. It’s a two-way thing. We all contribute to corruption. On one hand we have the person who is at the receiving end and accepts, possibly expects the “donation”, and on the other hand we have the person who is at the giving end, who cannot reach to or through certain things and procedures and wants things to simply get done.

But to make things work right the receiving and the giving must stop this.

The so called receiving end needs to do his/her job and stick to the rules and regulations, without expecting extra money for the job he or she is anyways being paid for by the tax payers or his/her employer.

The so called giving end as well must respect rules and regulations with no exception or special consideration and plan with adequate time keeping in mind the bottlenecks and time that may get consumed.

Looking at all this I feel that to bring about a change in India and to make the system work, it does not just take a good, fair and smart Politician, but it will take a generation or two and education to slowly change people’s mind and habits. And it should be something that concerns everyone regardless the class, cast and religion.

If people move on from the mind set of – exploiting others needs buy under paying them for a fair job, using others for their own comfortable life and rather look at the scenario which is assisting one another, be solution oriented in contrary to being problem oriented, India will be a all together different place to live and visit. Its one thing to be a great Economic Power worldwide but its all together another thing to have happy citizens with basic necessities like health, education, food and security for all. All need to work and hand in hand.

PS: This has been by far the most difficult post to write.

On one hand, there were my feelings about India, my passion for the country, the perception I have about the country, the hurdles but also the beauty, customs, culture that I personally experienced in India. I had to find the right words for all these feelings, impressions and experiences and at the same time I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and emotions with my words and my very personal view. To find the balance in all this was a challange and has taken me a long time. So many times, I started and ended up deleting everything again, it just never seemed to be right.

I hope I have managed something now, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

A special thanks goes to Daddy Cool who has been motivating me and has been the driving force in this particular initiative and pushed me to keep my promise to my Family in India.


4 Kommentare

  1. very well written, excellent perspective, I agree the changes we expect can only be achieved by engaging and educating a whole generation!! Which requires patience and is a uphill climb!!

    • Yep, I guess patience and endurance (and passion for the country) is the key!It is an uphill climb and possibly a steep one but it can be done slowly and steadily with united forces : )

  2. Daddy cool is there to promote , motivate, guide and push you to the limit so the best of you glowing and shining.

    India is very emotional subject for me too.
    I see the problem as a devils circle : with 5 points on the circle
    – Lack of Education leads to increase in Population.
    – High rate of Population depletes Resources.
    – Lack of basic Resources pushed people into Poverty.
    -Once in Poverty , people strive hard to to put daily bread on the plate.
    – No possibility to send children to basic education as they start working as early as 5 years .

    It starts all over again………….

    We all need to break this devils circle. It’s a collective effect. Ensure that our domestic helps are having Resources like access to education, food , shelter and health.
    Sent from my iPhone

    • Yes, by all means this is the way it is, one devils circle and that can only be broken if all participate and go hand in hand.
      And thank you for the „pushing to limits“, it is at times a challenge but by the end it makes me reach and I can see a development. And just in case if you did not know yet:Your criticism and feedback is the one I care about most! : )

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