Thursday, March 25, 2010

DISCLAIMERS THE FASHION THESE DAYS?

Disclaimers are meant for inclusion in places where the person/people in charge wash their hands off any responsibility for loss of any kind that may take place. The disclaimer clause usually comes in when the guy who runs the show really can’t safeguard something against which he issues a disclaimer. But these days the disclaimer is everywhere. Not only an extension of the representation of the work ethos in India (call up a customer service line, get your local gas delivered, try getting a BSNL phone connection and you’ll know what I am talking about) but it is a part of the growing culture of corporatisation.

Corporate funda is all about the money. If it’s bringing in the dough and enough of it, it is go aheadable. If it’s not, it’s not working. But the thing is that in the process of worrying about how and how much by balance sheets are balancing, we forget that there used to be a day when a shopkeeper used to be the one who would give us the first smile of the day, when the auto driver used to lighten our hearts with a pleasant conversation and when a nurse or a doctor would talk like he/she had known us for ages. These people have been informed of the value of the disclaimer – at least the value that it has on paper and the value it adds to their pockets – and have grabbed the opportunity to get that value to their credit.

The key here seems to be the humanness of it all. There was a time (this time zone still functions in pockets) when humanity cared for humanity because it was absolutely human to see your brother or sister in the world happy (if he wasn’t you’d make him happy) and join him/her in the happiness that he/she is enjoying. There was a time when the world was as small as that – it may not be my business but your my brother in this world so here’s a helping hand to lend in whatever way possible – but not only if it’s your business and in your interest (read business interest).

Well, the world is tough because its people were brought up to be tough because it’s a tough world that they were brought up in since the world was tough at that time. Nothing much that can be done to that past but you can surely encourage those human vibes once again. The larger question is what it would cost – which was always the only question which initiated this kind of love and care from the very beginning.

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