“The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!!” – James Larkin
Entrepreneurship, a modern day English term that symbolizes this thought has managed to attract the attention of today’s urbanite blob that wants to rise to its aspirations of independence and self sustained employment.
For centuries, our people are used to being a part of the working class. Save for a few communities like the Parsi’s, the Gujarati’s, Punjabi’s and Marwari’s in Rajasthan, most of the over 2000 Indian communities have been governed by princely states and intrinsic caste systems. Job culture is now a part of our psyche.
In these times of misgovernance and economic dilapidation, entrepreneurship is not a lifestyle choice but the need of the hour. Entrepreneurship as a way of living, a philosophy of life, is symbolic of the thinking that is slowly and steadily taking the youth of the nation by force. The success of the west built on the pillars of individual freedom, open economies and democracy, as well as home grown examples in the form of the Birla’s, Tata’s, Dhirubhai and the recent horde of E commerce giants has only further fueled the imagination of the repressed classes looking for a vent to express their ideas and showcase their ambitions.
It is therefore, time for the government and the people themselves to realize the onset of this change among themselves and push for educational reforms. Reforms where there is more focus on education rather than knowledge gathering (since, these two things are chalk and cheese).
But the current state of education in the country is far from ideal to be receptive to such ideas. A myriad problems spring up at every step. Child labor is rampant. Forcing children out of schools even as millions of children are not receiving their basic fundamental rights in the form of free education upto the age of 14. In many places, schools are torn down buildings where teachers have never been seen. Save for urban India, where private schools are minting money and somehow sustaining a basic education level among students, there is no holistic approach towards education that is so essential to the reform needed.
In the face of such challenges, even before we set pen to paper and jot down the kind of courses that need to be run and how, we need to create a realization, a movement among the people across all classes to embrace self employement and self empowerment. Ideas that have been promoted in the past by Swami Vivekananda and Gandhi. Ideas that are at the core of our culture in the Vedas. Yet have been lost in the race for survival that grips the nation today.
To expect people to stand up by themselves and run companies of the magnitude of Facebook and Google from nowhere is unrealistic. The first step is to start at the roots. The increasing reach of social networks and mass media should be directed towards this agenda and not to showcase gory fist fights between cops and the murders of dogs in non-discript villages. It is time for us as individuals to realize all this. Time for us to evolve entrepreneurship into the very core of the fabric of our society. For no movement is complete without the people. There have been revolutions before, for they represent radical change. And something of the order of the Freedom struggle of India, America and the French revolution is needed again. Something Hugo captured in his famous book, all those years ago.
“Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!”
– Enjorlas, in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, 1862