Friday, February 11, 2011

Becoming a Conservative?

A couple of discussions in the last week has me worried. Am I becoming a conservative with age?

I sent a link to the planning commission's site for ideas to my sister. I was optimistic about the possibilities. She was surprised. She had expected me to be cynical about their intentions.

I was supporting the national UID project and did not think that it was a waste of money.

I am wondering if with age, I have become aware of my failings and am less likely to reject projects which I may have questioned in my younger days.

I thought that color tv was a waste of money for a poor country like India. Satellite tv with the devastating 'Bold and Beautiful' on Star Plus was going to destroy whatever was left of Indian languages. Little did I know Star Plus would become a Hindi channel and we would be exporting Saas Bahu serials to the world. Boy, was I wrong in my fears.

Abroad, sales of computers and software were driven by cost savings led by reduction in manpower. Hence, I was not very enthusiastic about computerization in Indian companies, e.g. banks. The private banks also seemed elitist. The signals seemed, 'Don't come to us unless you have lots of money'. And, yet the combination of computers and private banks has led to remarkable improvements in the quality of the banking experience of the middle class.

A third elitist step which troubled me a lot was the mobile phone. I recall the early days when talking on the cell phone was a symbol of showing off, especially at the airports. It seemed such a waste. Money should have been used to bring phones to more people. Yet, today it is the indispensable tool for me to contact my plumber or electrician. I am embarrassed by my ignorance at the time.

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