Atanu Dey On India's Development

Oh No! India Shinging Again

From the “Don’t Know What’s the Point Department,” the new release is I am India on Google Video. A collage of images–a field of wind power generators, a soaring jet in the blue skies above a lush green field, the majestic fall of water from a dam–introduce words of ersatz wisdom: “A man’s karma is to forever turn the wheel of life towards a better future for all.”

Wow. How absolutely majestically profound-sounding. Of course, I paused the video to ponder it for a bit and gave up after the screen saver kicked in after the usual 10 minutes of inactivity. Time to move on.

The sound track were the usual shlokas from the Bhagavat Gita set to a fast paced fusion type music. Mr A R Rahman, is that you?

The creator of that video, Bharatbala Production, have “unconsciously internalized” the movie Koyaanisqatsi, no doubt. Kaavya Vishwanathan, you are not alone. Check out the time-lapse photography, the images of crowds flowing like water, the random shots of people busy in high tech activities, the heavy crucible of molten steel, the hot-rolling sheets of steel, the welding robots busy at a car assembly line, . . . OK, I will not spoil it for you. But here is the blurb:

“This film is a journey through emerging India,”the fastest growing free market democracy in the world”. It celebrates the relentless spirit of the people of India, who through their karma give it a place amongst the leading economic nations of the world. Conceived and produced by Bharatbala Productions (BBP) for India Band Equity Foundation (IBEF).”

Wow again. I am impressed.

Fastest growing does not mean particularly much at all. Growth is neither necessary nor sufficient for any meaningful assessment of a system. But even then, fastest growing economy has to be qualified with “democracy,” of course. With sufficient qualifiers one can pretty much make anything shine.

I am still trying to figure out what “the relentless spirit” and “their karma” has to do with it all. But let that be for now. My meta-puzzlement is this: who are the idiots behind this sort of stupidity? Where did the money come from (even though it could have been put together by a few college kids with a decent video camera and some editing software)?

I have a thumb rule which goes: if you really have it, you don’t have to shout about it. The really academically qualified person does not have to put “B.S, M.Tech, M. Phil, PhD” after his name, nor a “Dr” before his name. The really wealthy person does not have to advertise that he is rich. A truly vibrant economy does not have to produce promotional videos.

The day that these idiots stop producing these silly “India Shining” videos, we will know that India is no longer at the bottom of the heap. Until then, enjoy the videos.

  • http://www.suhitanantula.com Suhit Anantula

    Atanu:

    Point taken. Even though the video is inspiring in a good kind of way.

    The idea could be to make some of the westerners change their view point that India is more than poor people and cows on the road.

    But you are right, if you are good enough you do not need to brag.

    In a way Marketing is all about bragging and it does serve some purpose.

    Suhit

  • M

    That evinced a sorely needed laugh for today from me.

  • http://chrestomathic.blogspot.com Jyoti Iyer

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, ney? :)

  • little Ram

    If this video is about marketing, someone has got their understanding on the principles of marketing thoroughly wrong.

    To Suhit- with due respect, marketing is not about bragging. It is about identifying and fulfilling needs.

    The worst thing a piece of communication can do is to work against the product proposition. In my view- this video would do the right opposite of letting the world know that Indians are confident and proud of their heritage, culture and progress. This is assuming that this is a valid proposition. Also, we need to ask the procducers what is the objective of this whole exercise. I would imagine it would be to get tourists to visit us, investors to invest here, prospective employers to hire Indians, get the ordinary world citizen to feel that India is a responsible, creative nation, etc.

  • KB

    Oh, This video is another one of those.

    I wondered if the producers behind this video have travelled to a western country.

    they show all these car manufacturing plants that have only come up here because of the cost advantage. Its not like we have invented a “state of the art” manufacturing system. Its more like…”there are billions of ppl who are ready to work for peanuts, lets build our cars with them rather than to spend our time in that”. As a fallout, economy is growing and it will only grow as far as the west wants it to.

  • http://www.engcommunity.com Raghu

    As long as there are negative people like you not much progress will be made. In this generation or way of living unless you advertise yourself nothing gets recognised my friend. Even mother wont give you food to eat unless you advertise that your hungry?
    Change your attitude stop these stupid blogs and do some productive work ah

  • http://onlyvoid.blogspot.com Shivani

    Funny post.

    Wrt last comment posted by Raghu.
    –> Negative? or being Realistic.
    Its impt. to face the facts as they are, even though they are negative.