People play several games. Few are for happiness; few others are for time passing; few are soft in nature; while few others are brutal. Few of the games are confined to meager purpose and few other have mega impacts. Some times they play with people, and some other with animals.
Few intelligent species set on an interesting journey to understand how games are played, what is the rationale behind the movements rather than playing it. They are very lazy in playing them. They are ambitious and want to know the chances of wining the game, without even playing it.
Thus a new field of study came into being. It developed very fast during Second World War. Game theory, theorists call it as a rich topic of study intertwining with social studies, psychology and mathematics. And game theory is applied in most of the modern day chaos people face.
Games and Indians
Indians play variety of games. Indians invented chess, the most mind-challenging game ever. In ancient India, there were war games, these games demanded deep strategies and alliances. There are many other games; few of them were aimed at exhibiting knowledge and some other to display bravery. As time keep running, we learned to play many games, and in course, we learned tricks in them. Modern day games are demanded great skills as rewards are high and punishment were ruthless. As this became apparent,people were more concerned about winning in the game rather than just playing it.
Game theory can be applied to study much of economics and behavioral economics. It applies the concepts on human and social perceptions, frailties and biases for insight into economic decisions. Theory after theory delving into rivalry, rationality, egotism, competition, selfishness, collaboration and cooperation among people are put forward.
Most of these theories can be custom made to study any system. So, the question we have now is, can we apply these theories in understanding our great Indian system? Why do Indians are like Indians? Why do Indians behave? How should they behave?
The biggest problem with Indians is not that we have infrastructure in place; or neither the great highways, wonderful facilities, impeccable institutions and other amenities. Crores and crores of people use them daily. But it is with the experience they get from being part of the system.
Imagine this; you wait in a queue for getting milk from a booth. If people before you follow the queue discipline and decide to be in queue what ever come may be, the experience will be memorable. But on any given typical day – what happens is opposite? This holds true for almost all things.
Systematical Failure of Indians
We have system, but with many irregularities. All of us want to live in a society free of operational faults and failures. But when will be that possible? What should you and I do to ensure that we get a fair chance to live in a developed nation?
If you look into the reason for why people behave differently, or oddly? Consider the following situation. Your city is under acute power crisis. Government has pleaded to the public decrease the domestic power consumption by 20%. If people continue to use, chances are they the power grid might go down and entire consumption to halt for days. Now consider the following questions.
1. You haven’t got any new electrical equipment. You consume the same amount of power as you were doing two years ago. Will you still go ahead and reduce the consumption by 20%?
2. You have the filament bulbs- which consume more power. You can replace it with incandescent ones and safe power. But, you need more cash for this. What will you do?
3. You have some one in your home studying for exams and can’t proceed with the power. What will you do now?
4. Since no one is forcing you, you don’t mind the government appeal and still continue using the power as you were before.
These situations can be modeled into mathematical games. You can simulate the actions along with rules and guess the outcome. The general goal for the players (in above example is you or house owner) is to maximize his comfort, profit, outcome or what ever is equivalent.
Weighing the options, if you have chosen option four, what would be the rationale behind that? What will happen others also decide not to obey government orders and use as you were. If every one decide to do as you do. Chances are very much the entire power grid to go down and take so much time to repair. Option one and there are different versions of the option four.
As you see, these decisions are influenced by personal choices. This can be extended to other general behavior also, like violating the traffic signal, jumping the queue and many more.
We have built great roads, esteemed educational institutions and supreme organizations. But, do we maintain them properly? How do we administer them? Why do people behave as they are behaving now? What do politicians think and why they act as they do?
In short, there are events that are unique to Indians only. This is known as Indianness. A quality so specific to Indians alone. Why do Indians have Indianness?
Solution to Indianness
All of us want to live in a better society. But are we moving in the right direction? Look at the way we function. In the recent Mumbai terror attack, we are quick to point fingers on others. Have we done enough internal inspection? What should we do to keep the home in order?
Home minister P Chidambaram has something interesting to say here, he asked Indians to be more law binding and vigilant. Correct small mistakes we commit and be more law binding citizens. How is this going to work?
In any systems, oddly behaving events can be found and corrected. If the system itself is chaotic, then the odd events as well as the perfect events look identical. This is what happening now. Take for example, people littering streets. This is very common and looks dismissal. It all starts there. From littering streets, to misusing public premises, squandering resources and all destructions start.
Personal discipline is need of the hour. Imagine if you be obedient at the traffic signals, wont you be able to influence few others to follow the suit? If you decide to follow few other things like this, you will be able to influence order in the system. Just don’t do things you think a illegal or wrong. That’s the thumb rule. But again, to what extend you can do this? Say, for people like platform shop keepers, if you go to them and say, you knew putting shop in platform is illegal, why don’t you follow personal discipline and remove the shop by yourself? Probably he would pound on you. Discipline is something that can be followed if it doesn’t contradict with your living. Same way people will still be disobedient if reward for breaking the order is high and no penalty if you are caught.