India and Indian companies have no presence in the top technology innovations of the world. Read this thread.
That India is an IT superpower is a misnomer. India is ranked a lowly 46 among 64 countries in global IT business in terms of competitiveness. We are producing a large number of poorly paid IT professionals who are fluent in English, but this will not make India an IT powerhouse.
The mystery of not inventing or developing any public utility in India is not unique to the present era and so the inquiry has to transcend the matrix of a particular government or party. Indians have not invented anything worthwhile in the entire epoch of modern history.
If we just look at the items in our homes — bulb, fan, cooler, air conditioner, air purifier, OTG, microwave, pen, watch, phone, TV, radio, etc. We can’t attach a single invention to an Indian name. This proves that India being a no invention nation is not limited to IT.
Historically Indians have segregated work from knowledge. The dominant Indian belief considers manual labour a ‘lowly’ job to be done by ‘lowly people’. This also means that there is little technological brainstorming towards making manual labour easier.
Moreover, large swaths of the population engaged in manual labour have been historically kept out of the knowledge domain. This disconnect is detrimental to the advancement of technology, which only prospers at a workshop. James watt invented the steam engine in a workshop. Modern watch was invented by a locksmith. So was the printing press.
In India, however, these works have been done not by individuals but by castes, whose members have no access to knowledge. We had (and still have) a caste to wash clothes. The knowledgeable rishis in gurukuls never felt the need to make a machine to make their work easier.
The Indian idea of knowledge is grossly mistaken. We do not accept that the artisans, farmers, persons associated with animal husbandry or the tribes have produced any knowledge. The Indian idea of knowledge has religious connotations and puts a premium on memorising texts.
China has a tradition of writing texts, whereas in India, “mechanical rote learning of orally transmitted Vedas, Shrutis and Smritis” is considered the highest form of knowledge.
Professor Kancha Illaiah Shepherd, in his book Post-Hindu India argues that all knowledge produced in India belonged to the subaltern classes and tribes.
Traditionalism has killed the spirit of capitalism. The Hindu dogma of samsara (world) and karma (deed) has put shackles on the Indian mindset, making us believe that all individuals are born into a caste because of their deed in the previous life.
Sociologist Max Weber explains that, “So long as the Karma doctrine was unshaken, revolutionary ideas or progressiveness were inconceivable. The lowest castes, furthermore, had the most to win through ritual correctness and were least tempted to innovations.”
Weber goes on to argue that “it is extremely unlikely that the modern organization of industrial capitalism would ever have originated on the basis of caste system.”
He explains that since Hinduism holds any change in occupation as ritual degradation and bad karma, it is not capable of giving birth to industrial and technical revolutions.
Despite constitutional provisions of reservation, all centres of higher learning in India are mostly manned by members of the upper castes. Most professors at universities belong to this small caste group.
Journalist @RTIExpress of The Indian Express has reported that 95.2 per cent of professors, 92.9 per cent of associate professors and 66.27 per cent of assistant professors at India’s central universities belong to the general category.
Renny Thomas, while studying the upper caste domination in India’s scientific research institutions, undertook an ethnographic fieldwork at the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and found that there is “a Brahminical identity to science in India”.
“They (Brahmin and upper caste scientists) have been perceived to be the natural inheritors of scientific practice.” This hegemony of the upper castes limits the catchment area for talent, and makes these places of learning incompetent and uncompetitive.
Unless these factors are acknowledged and efforts made to counter their prevalence, we can only dream about that day when the US or China will threaten to ban Indian apps. The Indian idea of merit and knowledge needs a catharsis.
Until we achieve it, we can be happy being a self-proclaimed IT guru and keep on supplying cheap coders to the world.
What’s a machine? Machines are things to make life easier, to make processes fast. Why will you invent if you have castes to do your works? If you have Washerman caste, why will you invent Washing Machine?