March 23, 2008

Katradu Kanippori

I watched the movie Tamizh (Tamil) M.A. I liked the movie immensely for style, but I was also stimulated into expressing my thoughts here.

We start with the burning questions:

Why don't post-graduate students with a degree in History, Sociology or Tamizh make money like hey used to?
Why have IT companies made those graduates lives worse? Why do IT people get paid for doing almost nothing?

Now for the explanation:

We have to realize that population is the first reason why everybody is struggling for getting noticed in society. So a 10th standard student in those days had more value compared to one today. Post-Docs will lose their value in the future. Maybe a triple-Ph.D. + Post-Doc would be noticed.

The second reason I would like to quote is value. We have to realize the value of a certain field is what makes it attractive to money and people. The value of every field certainly reduces with time, and its specializations are what count after that time.

The third point is, things always work based on the volume of people affected by it. Food, for instance, has never lost its value over time: Be it a road-side idli shop or a pizzeria.

The society does see a field's importance based on its impact on the surrounding society around that point of time. IT serves a huge amount of society much like its other partner, Communications. Why is it so?

Every bank transaction you do is fed into a computer. Every detail of your existence is fed into a computer. Everything you buy is accounted by a computer. The government knows you exist because it has your details on a computer. This works by sheer volume.

The next point I want to emphasize is IT is not responsible for hiking rates for rent. The problem is society and greed. If we all owned land, why do we have to hike land and building rates when a hospital or school opens nearby? We don't have to, but we could always make more. But should
we?

The next thing I want to move on is about taxes. The whole bunch of people working everywhere pay 20 to 30% of their earnings to the country. Where does this money actually go to? If all this money were to be fully utilized, we would have a higher standard of living, better jobs, better infrastructure, lower cost of living. We might even be able to give out taxpayers money to
the unemployed. In a utopia, the government gives you a house when you are a major. No rent, just keep it and live happily with your family.

For that matter, a lot of people see value in the media for some reason. The movies they make for 60 crore rupees are tax-waived. Tax-waived! But why should they? If people all talked about value, do you feel that the media deserves the value it is given today? Unfortunately, people fail to look at themselves before they pose that ugly question on other fragments of society: Why do you earn so much? People do see value in you, so try helping them. If they didn't, nobody would as much care
to watch just about any movie being screened out there.

The next thing is about working and living. The best IT companies actually take good care of their employees. It was always possible in all those 60+ years after independence that many Indian companies could have done that for those employees. They didn't do so even if they did have the money. The mainline IT companies don't really care what happens to their employees, again. Here's a fact: $100 per hour per employee is close to what these companies earn. They get paid even if you don't work. What do they pay you? $0.028 an hour. Why, I ask? Answer: Greed. What do you lose? Answer: People who see a better living everywhere. Not just for making more money, but the money you have failed to give them though you could.

The final nail I would like to drive is this: don't mix passion with profession. Although it would be great to do both and even get paid for it, why can't we accept the fact that we can pursue what we want, when we want and wherever we want. We should be willing to take up professional education, improve our lifestyle and yet do what we like to (Tamizh, for instance). This compromise can give us the best of both the worlds. Why can't we accept that society does appreciate art, but does not need art? Because you are society and if nobody can feed your stomach because they only taught Tamizh, would YOU even bother?

Language is a medium for communication. Communication is very much important for our living. But, it's what we do with communication that matters, not just communication in itself. If nobody used the telephone for anything useful, we wouldn't be paying a lot in our telephone bills, would we?

In conclusion: Reason the truth yourself. Stop spreading F.U.D.