Monday, March 06, 2006

Commenting is becoming such a jhamela

Some time back I commented on a couple of posts and got seriously embroiled in arguments on both sites. Both topics were super sensitive and highly emotional, but what really surprised me was that people with a high level of education (most are university students or have completed graduate level at least) could be so extremely backward in their thinking and so stuck in the conventional mind-set that is ingrained in their system.

The first post I commented on was discussing the pros and cons of allowing FDI in Retail in India. Now, to my mind, this is the most simple decision. As a retailer, you must move in tandem with your customers needs to be successful and as a customer, you decide on where to shop based on cost, convenience and quality of products. Both these are heading in the same direction---keeping the customer happy and the retailer profitable. Unfortunately, most people don't seem to think so and want FDI to not be permitted to 'protect' the small kirana store owner. The kirana store owner, who does not pay taxes, charges the maximum amount on the MRP, does not need this form of protection, instead will be do better with the backup of an organized supply chain. Most people did not agree with me and felt that the day Wal-Mart opens up shop in India will be the saddest day in Indian history. I was amazed and appalled at the ridiculousness of the sentiment.

The second argument I got involved in was on a Delhi-Mumbai comparison. I love the resilience of Bombayites (not Mumbaikars, and yes there is a difference between the two..........sorry I don't know Mumbaikars in the one year that we have been here and would like to stay away from now on anyways) that was displayed during the July 26 flood last year, their cheerful and friendly nature. But what I don't like and understand about the people of Bombay is how they can be so blind to a city that is crumbling around them. If they really love the city, then why aren't they interested in improving it, instead of always fighting with North Indians...esp. Delhi-ites, about how much better Bombay is? Bombay people love to bash Delhi,its people, its DTC buses, its eve teasers, but they are losing the race to be the better city, because Delhi is reinventing itself, as it has done so many times before. Bombay, on the other hand, is going to collapse, its just a question of when.

I'm have lived in both cities and have enjoyed the experience of it but disappointed with the mentality of the people of Bombay. And yes, I am eagerly waiting for Wal-Mart or Carrefour to open and when they do, I hope to be one of their first customers.

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