An Indian Civilizational Perspective

From Flood to a Frying Pan: whither cost of Jugaad?

jugaad-final.jpgInnovation comes handy when nature, Government and wealth generation in the society diss you. We Indians are known for a unique characteristic called “Jugaad“. Which means that instead of having the commonly used tool for a situation, we will innovate and make do. It will work, although its a contraption, but things obviously could have been better had the real thing been used.

The same evidence came from UP – where Munnavar Khan, from Nai Sarai area used a combination of “Frying Pan” and the engine of a two wheeler scooter to put together a motor boat. Interestingly 10-15 people can be ferried in the boat at the same time. The total expense for this – Rs. 12,000-15,000.

In an area that could be ravaged by floods and government help not so easy to get, such local contraptions are very useful.

And that brings us to the main question – is it something to be proud of?

Good is the enemy of the best – so goes the saying. Simply because we can make do with a contraption, that has no precautions for the safety of the flood victims or travellers across a river – which it may well be used for by some overzealous “businessmen”, if they get hold of it – should it be used? Because we are happy to use it, we will not feel overly anxious if the Government never provides any support to the poor during the floods!

Heck, even worse, no one will sit down in a Dharna anytime soon in front of Parliament House or PM’s House and ask the parliamentarians and the PM a simple question – why in the world do we have floods every year? And droughts?

When will the linking of rivers be completed? When will we use the water we get properly?

When the history of India is written 200-300 years from now, when we have all but finished our water supply; that generation would be aghast at the way we misused our waters. They would not be able to believe that India had such rich rivers and feeding mountains and YET, we destroyed everything and were not able to provide water to everyone? And when water overflowed, we couldn’t get people out in time.

I just hope that generation has reached a level of intelligence where they can even ask that question. For, the last 4 generations and the coming ones haven’t asked those simple questions.

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