Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kurien's very readable dream

I have just finished reading “I too had a dream” by Verghese Kurien and I might do another reading in this very month.
After RM Lala’s “Into the Blue Mountain”, a biography of JRD, this is the best book on Indian corporates that I have read in a long time. Kudos to the straight-from-the-hip honesty and candour of Mr. Kurien and the clear easy-flowing language of the author in capturing his thoughts.
An essential must-read and must-have.

Next in agenda is the Polyester Prince, a copy of which I have been finally able to procure. For those not in the know, this is the banned biography of Dhirubhai.

Also, I was following the work of Dr. Khan, the founder of the Comilla Model in Pakistan, and his work in microfinance, separately. Kurien pinpoints that the biggest roadblock to the Indian effort in self-sufficient cooperatives were the beureaucracy: an inheritence from the Raj, built to rule than to serve, and, hence, instead of unleashing the power of the people sought to direct it to its own interests (more or less Kurien’s words. Dr. Khans beautifully egalitarian model (of having voluntary farmers units at village and central level) was undermined by the landlord elite that tilted these cooperatives in their own favor and made them instruments to promote their own private interests. Interestingly, Bennet-Owen, in “Pakistan”, cites how these elites used religion as a tool to maintain their local influence in their community and negated the social upliftment benefit initiatives from both the government (esp. Ayub Khan) and NGOs. They redesignated themselves as the peers sometimes, holy men, and hence were able to channelize the gullibility of the illiterate and the wretched lot for their own domination over them.

2 comments:

TradeExpress said...

this is a little out of place but..i know you are a great appreciator of movies.....i came across this blog...and this guys senstivity to movies seems no less than genius to me..http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/search/label/Films?max-results=100

do check him out....

Hades said...

Yup, that book is a very interesting read.