Monday, August 22, 2011

The Feedback

Although the title of this blog does sound like the name of some movie, its not about any such thing. I had been planning to write this for sometime now, but was not able to organize my thoughts. This topic is quite relevant in the present national scenario, especially when the internet is flooding with the pro Anna Hazare posts.

First of all let me clarify, I am not a great fan of Anna Hazare, the Person, but I do respect Anna Hazare, the Symbol. I might not agree with some or all of Anna, the Person's, view points, but I do support Anna,  the Symbol, which says to the politicians, in general, and to the government, specifically, that you cannot do whatever you like whenever you want in the the manner you choose to. In Democracy, People still do hold the power and it is not just during the election times. Democracy is the Government of the People, by the People, for the People. Government is not the ruler and People are not to be ruled. But its the People who are the actual rulers and Government is a mere caretaker.

But lets shift the focus to the topic of this blog, Feedback. I still can hear the voice of Dr. R.N. Biswas(Highly reputed personality in the field of electronics in India and my Prof. in B.Tech) echoing that the feedback is the critical component of the amplifier. Feedback is the critical component of any healthy system. I work as a Consultant with one of the world's biggest consultancy firms to earn my living. I interact with different organizations at different levels and there is one observation that is common to all those organizations. Organizations that are open to feedback, and not just for namesake, but which genuinely seek, analyse and act on feedback are far better organizations in terms of growth, in terms of work environment and in terms of creating value for the stakeholders than those which lack effective feedback channels. Reason for some of the top Indian IT players not delivering results at par with their peers, to a great extent, is due to lack of focus on the feedback received, both internal and external, and failure to act on the same. In a democratic setup the government has legislative powers. The Laws drafted by the Government are for the people. But how do the government know which Law is required or what amendments have to be made? We all know how much the MPs/MLAs once elected remain in touch with the People they represent. There has to be some feedback from the People to the Government. In fact feedback is the most critical component of the democratic setup without which this system is a failure. And ironically, this is the component which has comfortably been ignored by the democratic governments, not just in India but all round the world.

Present agitation in India against the government is the proof of the handicapped feedback system in the Indian democratic system. This agitation is nothing but an amplified version of the feedback to the government, which is still failing to recognize it. I sincerely believe that there is a strong need to overhaul our democratic system so that the feedback is received, analyzed and acted upon effectively. And I also hope that this government would not take this movement negatively as a revolt against itself but would take it positively as a feedback from the People, as to what they, 'The Ruler', want from their Government.

It might be because I watch too many movies but the rise of Anna Hazare as a Symbol reminds me of Batman Begins where Bruce Wayne says, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do this as Bruce Wayne. As a man I am flesh and blood and I can be ignored or I can be destroyed. But as a symbol... as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting."
Similarly, the refusal of government to recognize that People are the actual rulers in democracy reminds me of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, where the stewart of the Gondor Lord Denethor refuses to recognize the King, when Gandalf went to warn him and suggested him to ask for help from Rohan.
Well, movies do provide with interesting scenarios that could be related to real life :)