Over the last 10 days or so, I have been interacting with the US folks (See how I am talking about 'folks' ?)
I have been impressed by the kind of energy that I see everywhere. The people with whom I have interacted with are all professional, matter of fact, talking loudly, clearly, courteously and to the point..
I mentioned this to my friend Ebby. He has been in US from 1996. He maintained a different opinion.
'When I came in '96' (Said Ebby) 'I also shared the same opinion. I thoughts that the american people and different and smarter. But over the years, my views have changed. Of course, there are smart people in US. But there are smart people everywhere. It is not that people in US is exceptional in any way. One this has to be granted. The people in US are more process and systems oriented than people in India. We are always 'managing'. We know that at the end things will work out.', boy, didn't Ebby have his opinions.
'There has to be something about US', I pointed out, 'for it to come out with many path breaking innovations over the years?'
"The most important characteristic of US is the right to free speech, the right to voice the opinions. This is guaranteed by the constitution, (the first amendment) and is jealously and vigorously protected. This ensures that different opinions have a chance of being aired and heard and incorporated in the decision making process. This strengthens and improves the decision making process and ultimately leads to better quality decisions." Ebby Said.
"This is not possible in India", I pointed out, "Even if you do not like someone's opinion, the social conventions mandate that you have to express the opinion carefully and without offending the people concerned. In addition there are all those 'affected parties' that can harm you, as demonstrated by what had happened to MF Hussain".
"That is not the problem with free speech. It is more of a problem of Governance deficit" Ebby pointed out. I had to agree.
"I have observed one thing. Most of the Indians who come to US do well. There is something in the Indian DNA that makes us genetically peripatetic. We travel all over the world, settle down anywhere. We literally follow the Hindu principle of 'Vasudeva Kudumbakam' (Universe is one family)" Ebby Said.
"Probably we find it easy in the US. After navigating through the daily struggles in India, we find it easy in the 'process centric' culture in US. For example, once I know the traffic rules, it is easy to drive in US. It is not like that in India", I pointed out.
Ebby was tired of this discussion. "May be", he said.
And that was that....End of a scintillating discussion.