January 28, 2010 3 Comments
It was the second year of my engineering, 2007, and the Christmas and New Year holidays were just over. The routine hectic life was about to begin once again. Went to uni the first day I found one of my Indian classfellow having a brand new laptop — the brand was unknown to me. I congratulated him for this new laptop and asked him which new brand it’s as I was unfamiliar to that new brand he had. To add it, he recently came back from India after Christmas and New Year holidays and the laptop was bought during that trip. The name of that brand I couldn’t reminisce right now. Anyway, he retorted that it’s an Indian brand so you might not be familiar to it.
Below is our conversation:-
I: Uh-huh, nice. So that’s an Indian brand
Naman: Thanks. Yeah, quite popular in India too. And you’d not believe me if I tell you its technical specs and the price
I: You sound like as if it’s something phenomenal
Naman: Yes, it’s
(And then he starts telling me about the technical specs — and I kept on nodding at his words. The specs were sure phenomenal
I: Excellent. So what’s the price? Indian Rs. or Pounds?
Naman: Well, it’s just 25,000 Indian Rupees.
I: Don’t tell me. I’m sure you’re hiding the real price (with a laugh)
Naman: See, I told you you won’t believe me (with a laugh)
I: Kidding, yaar. But I’m surprised really. If you go out and buy a lappy of same specs, I’m sure you won’t get it in less than 500 or 600 quids.
Naman: Well, yeah. You’re right. And you know something. It comes with an year warranty and the machine is sure good.
I: So is this the reason you preferred to get this machine because it’s cheap and good?
(I didn’t say to him squarely, rather I questioned him to find the reason just in case, as I knew he belongs to a well-to-do family back in India, and he’d really not opt for such a brand of machine rather than some Sony Vaio or Dell just because his was cheaper.)
Naman: Yaar, this is actually because it’s an Indian product — made in India.
His response to me was quite simple. And I just smiled back at him.
Today, I was thinking about the ways to improve Pakistan’s economy and just during the thought process I started reminiscing the conversation between me and Naman which helped me understand many things.
In Pakistan, how many industries do we have? And how many are closed lately due to the power scarcity? We’re mortaging our nation’s economy on war, on defence and excessively on many things, but there’s not enough money being bankrolled to overcome the power scarcity yet after decades. There’s not a single Pakistani company manufacturing cellphones or laptops and other such products which are, in this skyrocketing era of globalization, becoming a part of our everyday life. Why? Do we not have enough talent in Pakistan to begin with such industries?
Well, there’s one another unfortunate situation that requires a quick solution from not hampering further. It’s the real patriotism — by supporting our products and directly our country by buying them rather than hunting to buy something internationally flamboyant — Sony, Siemens, Apple, Nokia, Blackberry etc. etc. Once we’re not under the control of such patriotism, I believe our country’s economy would always hamper as it has been for decades now.
Just few days back I was watching a video on Youtube. There was a guy on some Pakistani TV channel telling the host about his achievement of how to overcome the power crisis prevailing in Pakistan for long now. The guy was working on a project which will produce electricity wherewith simple water. According to him, he has been working on this home-made project individually and the source of funding is where he lacks in order to accomplish the mission. He earns through tuitions he teaches and spend a prescribed amount of money from it to buy the equipments for his project from Shershah, Karachi, and this is how he’s slowly and steadily progressing. Besides, adapted to the words of him: if I get the finance, I’ll eliminate the problem of load-shedding from the country. The setting up of two or three units of my project in the city would be suffice to deep-six this big problem. Now where’s the government, I ask? And where are the political parties spending millions on hoardings for election campaigns, but feel ashame of spending something that would bear the fruit; because I still believe and optimistic that we’re no devoid of talented people in Pakistan. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Dr. Abdus Salam, Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Dr. Atta ur Rahman, Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Dr. Javaid Laghari and so forth — these are some venerated and acclaimed names from the past and present of Pakistan. They were the product of Pakistani society; Pakistani schools, colleges, and universities. If Pakistan can produces such great scientists and scholars in the past, it sure can produce even so. Hene, such students, as I detailed above, can forsooth change the fate of Pakistan once given the support.
The conversation with my Indian class fellow is still echoing in my mind. And I’ve started to believe once again that why India is prospering despite being a hellishly poverty-stricken country more than Pakistan is now.
Just yesterday morning, during the First State Of The Union Speech by Obama, he mentioned the name of three countries economically booming in these times. They were, as orated by him in series, China, Germany and India. I was in the dumps to realize that Pakistan is really not in a good state today. Henceforth we’ve to revamp the current state of Pakistan to the heights of progression. Good things should be learned — no matter if we learn it from Israel, India or United States of America. But at least it’d be that we learned and improved. Rest in confidence, we’ll progress once these supposedly infinitesimal problems are rectified.