The Play of Power Differences!

The Play of Power Differences!

College admissions were on.  I was the campus head of an institution.  Parents came with their wards to my room before the admission process was completed.  I stood up to invite one of them who entered my room.  As they entered in, they asked at what time the senior official is expected, this question was raised despite the board being displayed on my cabin as dean.  There is still a taboo among people that certain attributes like gender, age, dressing and material things give power to a person disregarding the expertise, knowledge and position.  The humbler one is they are perceived to be powerless. People have a tendency to complete their perception circle by judging on the basis of traits and appearances.

I had problems with collections from my vendors.  I told my accountant to persuade the clients by writing a mail which is ‘firm and friendly’ for the collection of outstanding dues.  Instead the accountant pushed me to talk to the vendor and her suggestion was to convince the vendor by telling that my husband will not tolerate this delay.  I asked her where does my husband appear in my business.  She believes that men can be used as a shield to create a fear in the mind of the client. This is not the first time, women themselves try to play the fear of husband card to get things done.

Even a school kid feels a mother is meant for certain chores and can be handled easily and a father is meant for working outside who is very strict and unapproachable.  Mothers create fear of the father in the child to get things done from them.  The same manifests and people start believing powers based on gender.

It also happened when I was the chairperson of a committee to visit colleges. I opted to commute with my private vehicle arrangement.   When we reached colleges, at every place the members who went in the official car were honored with bouquets and treated with great fear and respect.   However, that was not my concern as it was only an official visit. What I meant to say is the perception of people to regard people as powerless based on possessions and tangibles.

I have also observed students from rural backgrounds with hesitation to speak in English and take a backseat in expressing themselves in the classrooms.  I really appreciate the confidence with which Japanese who are Non-English speaking are able to transcend the barriers and be successful in communicating even if they are slow and not Grammarly. The current system of education has failed to teach our children the power of inner strength. Indian Children are so inhibited by the power showered to people by the British.

This is not a complaining story, it is just an attempt how the perceptions are set in the society.  How people perceive power based on countless things rather than the intrinsic value of people. Is there a way that we start teaching children what matters most in life and how these differences are created in our minds and not there at a level beyond these perceptions? Can we attempt to create a world with no differences of power play?

Manasa Sudarshana
Manasa Sudarshana

Manasa Sudarshana is the director of Centre for Educational and Social Studies, Bangalore. She has been a Professor in Management who has served as director/dean at various Business Schools in Bangalore. She has carried out various research projects for Government and Business organizations. She set up AnalyZ Research Solutions in 2011 and successfully worked on several Research assignments like Moksh, Titan Industries, Infotrack Telematics, Hitachi, Banjara Foods and has supported several start-ups for their market entry. She is passionate about writing and has written several articles in newspapers both in English and Kannada. She received the Best teacher award from Bangalore Centre for Education in 2007 and her thesis was awarded the Best Ph.D. Thesis from Prestige Group of Institutions, Indore in 2009. Currently she is a doctoral guide for University of Mysore and Jain University.

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