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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adhocism, Jazz Republic and Improvisation by Anand Giridharadas

The other day I wrote in Reactive Pakistan: The Pangs of Ad-hocism:

At the moment we are drifting, rudderless....Yes, please do all you can to help the needy, the poor, the displaced now. But not at the expense of education, health, preparedness, prevention and planning. Salvation of both the individual and the state lies in being prepared. We must eradicate this knee-jerk ad-hocism, this reactive mind set if we are to survive and get ahead.

And then today in the NYT I read this which I find so apt:

India has long been a jazz republic, functioning without a written score. People involve themselves in each other’s lives without regard to propriety or privacy. They insist on feeding you even when you want nothing. They insist on paying a price other than the price listed.

They pack as many cars onto a road as possible, without regard to the painted lanes. They pay as little tax as they can get away with.

If you call Domino’s after closing time, you can sometimes cajole them to reopen and deliver a pizza anyway. Everything is a negotiation; everything is improvised. Things are a “no” in India until they are a “yes.” link


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