Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Switzerland and India

This December I went from Zurich to Delhi. The first thing that hit me was how opposite Switzerland and India are. While Swiss are the definition of punctuality, timetables have no meaning in India. Right at the immigration counter, you could see the stark difference in Zurich efficiency and in bored kaam-chalu behaviour of "babus" at immigration desks. Some of them were randomly chatting, playing no attention to passengers waiting in line. Some were really rude to Indians and some were equally rude to foreigners too. Baggage as usual took forever. I was not expecting any efficiency there anyway.
While boarding the domestic flight in Aurangabad, the said departure time (after already 2hr delay) was 7:30 and that was when boarding started. Flight left 30min after and there was no apology. As if no once cared that flight was delayed by another 30min.
While Swiss have so much national pride, they seem to always want to use swiss made (that's my impression), take pride in speaking their language, Indians only run after American and other western cultures. In the bus I was speaking to someone in Hindi and he was replying to me in broken English. I almost felt like retorting - Don't you know Hindi? (It was clear that he was native Hindi speaker).
While in Switzerland, or any other developed country I have seen so far, people take their work seriously and responsibly. India of course is complete opposite, there is no accountability or responsibility of work at any level.
These things just make me wonder if our poverty and lack of advancement is really just the fault of this kaam-chalu culture. What if it changed one day and people became responsible and took their work seriously?

1 comment:

Sandhya Prabhakaran said...

What you say is true.....a country is defined certainly by the *mentality* of people. And given such a big country with poverty and corruption, it will be very hard to even compare a small overtly-disciplined country like Switzerland to ours.

Wonder if things will ever change in India.