Has anyone ever run the numbers on how little the rest of the world ever thinks about India? Or even tracked column inches in newspapers around to world to realise how little they think or read about India? That India, for all its self professed glories, for all its histories and wonders, for all its vastness and variety, and with it’s people bulging out and diaspora-ing across the world, that India really does not matter to the rest of the world. Not on an everyday basis certainly. Not even if you start talking about it.
India and the rest of the world often seem very disconnected. The syntax, the mores, the priorities often seem to be disconnected. Scrape below the very thin veneer of the syntax and idiom you will find that the disconnect is not real at all. People are pragmatic, gregarious and family minded the world over. If this does not connect us, we have to realise again that this is because we are similarly myopic. To the average person all over the world (including India) there are a few things that matter – their family, their source of supplies for their families, their ability to live with dignity and travel in comfort. Sure grand global events matter, but not to everyday life. Grand histories, philosophies and cultures are at best charming from a distance. They matter to a few, and then to a few more when they contemplate international tourism. That’s not very many people really.
Why do we care how the world thinks of India? Well, if we didn’t, the ‘Make in India’ Lion would not be painted all over tramways in Hannover, would it. Making the world think well of another nation is hard work, and requires great investment. Consistent messaging over time. And this is where India fails. It’s message is neither coherent, nor consistent, nor sustained.
Let me tell you a story.
Let me tell you a story another day.
I have many to tell, many that will make you think and do this so much better.
I shall share some, some day.