A friend of mine is married to a woman from India and the stories that he’s shared regarding the school system in India is something else really. Several of her relatives and friends tell the same story – if you are a good pupil you sit still, quietly and do not interfere. In any way at all. If you talk back at the teacher, you are beaten. If you answer questions wrong, you are beaten.
In essence, they are rendered docile, tractable and submissive. In my last post we learned that these are synonyms of the word Compliance. While I focused on docility as a result of compliance training for adult employees there, the theme of docility comes back in full effect here as well.
My friend’s been telling be about how the majority of his new family and friends from India all are bright and intelligent people but in some cases there’s something amiss when compared to his Swedish acquaintances.
They can’t think for themselves.
I’m not saying that people from India is stupid or docile. Quite the opposite! What I’m saying is that they’ve been conditioned into compliance, submission and docility and that it’s therefore a rare thing to meet a really confident and mind-strong Indian guy or girl. Someone who’s gotten their own passion, creativity and logic thinking in spite of their schooling instead of, as more often is the case in Sweden, because of their schooling.
Again, I’ve met a lot of brilliant Indian people, especially amongst my friend’s family and friends, but they all share the same stories about those who weren’t that lucky. Those who couldn’t take it.
Another friend of mine worked as an IT-consultant and at his office they off-shored some of their daily tasks to a department in India. Make no mistake, these Indian guys had every Microsoft certificate there is, but they couldn’t really function properly within this Swedish IT-company. They just didn’t get it. They couldn’t take instructions if they weren’t given as orders and even then they quite often didn’t do what they were told because they didn’t know what to do. This, without telling their supervisor that they didn’t understand the request or what was asked of them.
Both of my friends have told me about how well-educated these guys from India are, how easily they get the top grades at the same university courses they’ve taken themselves (with not as stellar result) but how they afterwards couldn’t apply anything of what they’ve learned. In fact, their application in real life was even lower than of those of my friends who barely passed the exams!
Is the connection between compliance, submission and docility of an Indian schoolboy and those of an adult employee and his compliance training weak? I don’t know. Maybe I’m finding evidence where there aren’t any but what I find striking is the similarity in the terminology, experience and result of “what’s bad about compliance training?” and “what’s bad about getting overly-submissive pupils?”.