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Jugaad mentality and the event of ship HP

Reference the blog wherein I have described the event on board ship HE , this is yet another retake in light of the conference room talks between office staff (the Indian gang) and myself at our Singapore office on 16th of May, 2011, just on the day when I was flown to UK to join the ship, HPrn. 
   Conference talk also came around discussing about Jugaad as our (the Indians) prime technique of accomplishing our tasks. I remember very clearly the Gang discussing about it, and the Gang Leader, Mr S G, trying to impress upon me what his outlook towards Jugaad was. By all regards, it was 'ok' for most Indian people, as our culture is about Jugaad, but not for me. My first introduction to this quirky habit of Indians was through one Capt Salil Gupta in the Ship Construction classes during second mates at the ARI (new delhi), in the year 2000. By jove, one very intelligent and impressive rare people I had met in the merchant navy. He talked about it accurately from it's Jugaad accident newspaper report, to how the Indian mind was not so much conversant with the safety concept. Jugaad, the word,  first came to light when this country-manufactured vehicle had hit an accident at the railways level-crossing likely because of the technical failure at the wrong time, resulting a numerous loss of life who were travelling on the vehicle. Unable to report the accident properly in the absence of proper name for this vehicle, the local police reported of it using the word which the common people used for it, the Jugaad. Capt Salil Gupta plainly reported to us all this, further saying that since we (the Indian cultural beliefs) are not much aware of the mathematical process of calculating, testing the designs, the loss of life due to such accidents was assigned to 'acts of fate', and safety was not imaginable to be achieved through good learning in mathematics and mechanics. He needed this knowledge to inspire us to think of shortfalls which would come around during different stages of ship construction.
           Well, this had developed my first impression of what is a Jugaad. But most Indians have generally taken a liking for their Jugaad skills. When the Indian gang leader, Mr S G , was addressing to me about Jugaad, I think i failed to take cognizance of the view that the Gang, then , would not evaluate me on academic skills, communication skills, or those acquired through higher learning. the disposition of the gang was evaluate me on my Jugaad skills.
   As is the case with most of the devious things of life, once you have tasted a success through them, you become addicted to them. Our Indian Gang is addicted to working through the Jugaad skills, no matter how much devious and unsafe it may be. They now rate people on their ability to successfully accomplish the Jugaad task. In my straight opinion, this is the cause for all the sub-standard and down gradation of the ships in my parent company, the SCI . Once a company adopts Jugaad as its chief skill, even if secretly, they are destined to be doomed sooner or later. All devious things have a self-sustaining logic for more of them to happen, and then there is no stopping until the complete annihilation happens.
 Jugaad skill serves in more than one ways. It helps the office gang to live peacefully and happily without worrying much for the ship maintenance tasks, because the ship staff is expected to work it's Jugaad skills when there is a maintenance , or preventive-measure's  failure. The failure of the office gang to have acted in time, will now be transformed into a "competency test" for the ship staff in for the form of 'Jugaad skill practicals'. Thus, this method of transforming the failure of the Boss into the test-time for the subordinate will confirm to the larger belief of the Indians, that the "Boss is always right". His failure is your skill-and-competency test for your Jugaad skills. Indians think that it is now that the team work comes into action when the boss is heavily dependent on his subordinate to prove to the world that he is truly right.


  1. I wonder if the owners of such huge vessels can damn all the safety measures and depend on "indian" jugaad system, but then your vessels go across the world, and usually the crew is cosmopolitan..isn't your crew trained to abide by global standards! I had read the earlier blog where you had written about the situations on two different M/V s... and all the "team work".

  2. The huge vessels don't blatantly damn all the safety measures. Instead, i would say, the Indian psyche is to train people on 'how to make yourself look complaint even while you may not be'. We teach hypocrisy to our next generation, and the argument we have to in defense, or say, to dismiss the claim of being hypocritical is that no one is perfect, "doodh ka dhula koi bhi nahin hai", ("every one is breaking the laws in one form of the other".)

    It is exactly the same reasoning which out politicans are using to dispel the charges of Team Anna, and for reject the Jan Lokpal bill. As Salman Khurshid , the law minister,says, "humaam mein toh sub nange hain".

    I had picked the difference of this kind of reasoning in Indian Culture from those in the Western intellectual in a topic, the History of Philosophy which i read in the Britannica Encyclopedia. I have attempted to explain the same this in my blogpost on this link ,

    Hypocrisy and Duality in the nature of things have to be evaluated to know what is the act of hypocrisy in the matters related to march of human society towards attain perfection.

  3. alright..will definitely go through the link.


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