incrediBILL, nothing I say applies to everyone in India. I'm describing the larger picture and you'll find most of my fellow Indians here will agree. There's no doubt that there is a reasonable workforce of right-brained workers in India. We have writers, authors, filmmakers, product designers, consultants in every industry etc. Yet, if it comes down to numbers and creating an industry out of it, India is never going to be on the map.
India just doesn't have standards or a desire for excellence. For instance, if you look at product design or architecture..you'll have one person deciding the look of a flyover or bridge that is projected as being path-breaking and world class. Then we'll have workers paint it like they were painting a tea-stall in their village. Our train compartments are not standardized. No two bogies are exactly the same in Mumbai. I can show you two brand new Indian cars of the same make that are not identical.
I believe this can be attributed to something like Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Until you meet the basic needs of people, they're not going to think on a higher plane. Personal security, financial security, health and well-being and a safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts is the first level. Why would a worker who gets paid $2 a day give a damn whether the coat of paint he's applying is smooth when he's worrying about his hungry kids at home. This is the lowest strata of society and the most obvious example. This applies as much to the middle class and the richer class where excellence is almost never a goal.
India's priorities and yardsticks are different. If you're a brilliant sculptor or a painter and make a decent living a month, you'll get less respect (from almost anyone) than someone running a convenience store who makes twice as much and has a larger car even if he never finished school. Millions of parents push their kids to dance in reality shows on television to pre-recorded music. Those are Indian so-called 'right-brains' at work. How many of these people have ever composed an original song? When was the last time any of these people read a non-fiction book that wasn't a text book? Outside our trashy Bollywood, how many independent successful music bands do you know from India?
Some of our most talented sports persons beg for sponsors to pursue their dreams while large corporations spend billions of dollars each year on some of the dumbest television soaps ever made. Unfortunately that's where our priorities lie.
We're country of 1.2 billion people and 40% of them can't sign their name. India's problems are too many and too complex. We're going to spend 1,70,000 crores (about $35 billion) in an education program over the next few years. Rahul Gandhi, arguably the most powerful man in India has said on record that only 5% of the money the government spends, reaches the masses. The rest is siphoned out by politicians. So let's assume that $2 billion will really be put to use. That's $4 to educate every Indian. That wouldn't buy you a good pencil box in the United States.
[edited by: lawman at 4:31 am (utc) on Dec. 27, 2009]