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Workaholism or Pragmatism?

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By S Paul

Recently a topic was raised by a very successful and now an internationally known entrepreneur of our country that has generated a discussion regarding our work culture. His idea was appreciated by all those who are startups or well-established entrepreneurs of our nation but vehemently criticised by those who are habituated to 8 hours per day 5 days a week work schedules. Such union schedule further reduces the useful hours of work with tea breaks, lunch breaks, a lot many national and state declared holidays and imposed closures due to union or political ‘bandhs’.

It is obvious that our nation’s prosperity is being steered by the first group, the second group just basks in their glory. The first group generates wealth, the second prospers by its capacity to wield control as enunciated by our laws. The first group toils extra hours, the second reaps benefits of this by their input of effective 50 percent of only 40 hours a week. Yet, despite such a disparity of our work ethics, under the current leadership, our nation is rising in its confidence and international standing. We as an Asian nation already have examples of Japan, where the workers go on ‘strikes’ by working extra hours and produce so much more that the management finds it a dilemma how to sell it off and create storage space. We have another Asian nation called China where the government expects a quota to be produced in given time; working hours being of no consequence and there are no union regulations to comply with. Both these nations are among the world’s top economic powers.

On the contrary, our fondness for leisure gets us to indulge in non-productive human hours; harming our own health and that of our society, indirectly inhibiting the speed of our nation’s progress. On top of all this, our ‘netas’ bring in through legislatures new holidays for birth or death anniversaries of Gurus, etc., and also some less known regional festivals in order to please the vote banks of certain factions. We also are made to attend frequent elections right from village levels to the national levels. Therefore, there is sheer waste of our vast human resource which, if properly utilised, can make us re-attain our past glory of being a ‘Soney-ki–Chidiya’ (of both wealth and knowledge) that the world went out to discover and ruin in the past.

Our PM can work with only four hours’ sleep every day. He has been recruited by us to this most responsible government post. He is getting his salary and will get his pension when he retires. So we, too, can do a bit like him.