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January 12, 2011

Book Review - Games Indians Play - Part - II

Some of the questions that the author poses in chapter 1 are very thought provoking like not who but why? That is not who does it but why do we do it? Why do we urinate on the roads, why do we spit on them, why do we write our name on Tajmahal, WHY, WHY, WHY. We can literally feel the anguish of the author ringing in our ears.

How does an anarchy like India function? Is it that we are lucky, divinely blessed or is there a method in madness in the way we do things? We are like this only! We proudly exclaim.     

Prisoner’s dilemma given in chapter 3 is very interesting and explanation of satisfaction points, dissatisfaction points, temptation points and punishment points are very thought provoking. In the era of dwindling profits, recession, focus on CRM practices the theory is of paramount importance. Examples of chilli powder exporters behaviour throws light on why many Indian businesses are not trusted. They are only getting their temptation points. Same is the case of a Joint venture between Indian companies and a foreign company. Are Indian bureaucrats listening? Can we hope that issues like Suzuki Motors Japan and Indian government slugging it out in the International court of justice be avoided in the future.  The author pigeon holes questions raised in the book into twelve canons of Indianness which are

  1. Low trustworthiness,
  2. being privately smart and public dumb,
  3. fatalist outlook,
  4. Being too intelligent for our own good,
  5. A abysmal sense of public hygiene,
  6. lack of self regulation and sense of fairness,
  7. reluctance to penalize wrong conduct in others
  8. mistaking talk for action
  9. deep rooted corruption and a flair for free riding
  10. Inability to follow or implement systems
  11. A sense of self worth that is messaged only if we have the ‘authority to break it’
  12. Propensity to look for loop holes in laws.
Very puzzling. Why would we deliberately bear with injustice, why is that we don’t have clean habits and when some one has we don’t appreciate them, why is that we can’t have self control and can’t stand up to injustice. Why is that we think that authority and position gives people the right to break rules and regulations? Why the question resonates through out the book

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