Monday, September 10, 2007

Time for Chak De, India -- as said by Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy

The other day, my wife and I were perhaps among the very few post-fifty people in the mostly-twentyish crowd watching the film Chak De in Bangalore. You had to be there to believe the shouts of joy that accompanied every goal India scored in the imaginary tournament in the movie.

The mood at the end was as if India had actually won the women’s world cup in hockey. I can appreciate this mood since I too felt similar joy and pride when hundreds of cameras clicked at me holding our national flag, on India and my being declared the winners of the E and Y world entrepreneur award among the forty-odd competing nations at Monaco in 2003. As I exited the theatre after watching Chak De that day, several youngsters asked me for my reaction to the movie. My answer was simple. I said I wanted to see the movie become a reality not just in hockey but in every sphere.

The recipe for such a success was most wonderfully conveyed by Shah Rukh Khan and those wonderful women hockey players in the movie. Let me recount them here. We have to identify as Indians first and rise above our affiliations with our states, religions and castes.

We must accept meritocracy and enthusiastically play the role we are best suited to. We must embrace discipline to strictly follow every step required for success. We have to put the interest of our nation ahead of our personal interests, subordinating our egos and biases. Finally, we have to put in tremendous hard work and make short term sacrifices for long term glory.

I have immense faith and optimism in the youth of this country. But, will we get our leaders to set examples for hundreds of millions of Indian youth? I wish more and more of our leaders see Chak De and learn these precious lessons.

(The author is Chief Mentor and Chairman of the Board, Infosys)

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