Of course, Adam Osborne invented the portable computer. Turned a
billionaire. Ended as bankrupt. His father Arthur Osborne spent the
best part of his life with Ramana Maharishi.
Brought up and educated in Tiruvannamalai, Adam Osborne went back to
the US and then came back to India. Settled in Kodaikanal, he was to
the ordinary Indian the `White Tamilian'. He loved roses. All true.
But this is not just what Adam Osborne, who died recently in mother
India's laps, was. What this man _ who sought solace in India _
thought about India and Indians is far more important to English-
educated elite Indians.
Writing in `Data Quest' magazine in the US well before he came back
to settle in India, Osborne recalled his life at the Ramanashram in
Turuvanammalai thus: "I was surrounded by Indians who were proud of
their nationality and heritage". Not just that. He says
they "believed they had a lot to teach us Europeans". Here the
reference is to the ordinary Indian, the Indian proud of his nation.
He also finds another category of Indians, the elite and highly
successful Indians and as a sample, Indian Americans. This is what he
says about them. "Today I find myself dealing with Indians, many of
who do not feel proud of their Indianness. Indian Americans represent
the most affluent minority in America, ahead of Jewish Americans and
Japanese Americans. This is a statistic and not an opinion. Indians
swarm all over the Silicon Valley.. Indians are recognized throughout
America as technically superior".
"And yet as a group, they lack national pride," he says. "Indians are
not proud of their nationality as Indians. Something I realised many
years ago. Something that puzzled me. I have frequently talked to
Indians of their lack of national pride, with telling results.
Invariably, after making this assertion from the lecture podium, I
find myself surrounded by Indians: Engineers, scientists, doctors,
even lawyers, all asserting the correctness of my observations, `You
are correct,' they will assert. `I am not proud that I am an
Indian.'" Asks Adam Osborne, "Is India's colonial heritage the sole
reason? Who knows?" "But", says Osborne, "whatever the reasons, it is
What has it cost us? Osborne thinks this has made India a third world
nation. He says: "Since the day Indians learn pride, India will
rapidly move out of its third world status to become one of the
world's industrial powers.'' Moved for India he swears: "I will
return to India, to preach Indian pride. I will preach that Indians
must learn to be proud of being Indians.....irrespective of their
race or religion."
Suppose they regain their pride. Says Adam Osborne: "Then there will
be no more shoddy Indian products" Why? Because "every worker will
generate output with the stamp of a proud man on it. With self-
evident quality that screams out: "That is the work of an Indian!"
Osborne thinks this will even bring down corruption. "And corruption
will decline. even though these root causes of corruption transcend
the bases of lack of Indian pride of which I speak, nevertheless a
proud man will pause, more than a man without pride, before extending
his hand to receive a bribe.'' He concludes: ``A proud Indian will
try harder to be responsible for products and services that others
will praise. And it is in that praise that India's future Industrial
National pride is thus equally the winning formula in trade wars as
in actual wars. No amount of foreign investment is substitute for
that. Will our elites who undermine the pride of Indians day after
day realise Adam Osborne's prescription for them? For two reasons, I
have quoted Adam Osborne. One, as he is a White man, his words are
important to the Indian elite who want validation from the west.
Second, as he sought solace in India, his words are important to me.
Forwarded by my friend Sri Atluri.