Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | April 27, 2009

Contributing to Humanity

During a morning coffee session, I asked a good friend of mine in office, whether he can recall five things he has done for his country? He is a survivor of Bosnian war as a child. Currently he is a German citizen, but settled in New Zealand with his young wife and baby. He and I sometimes discuss global affairs. While finding answer to that question, we digressed to some other aspects too. Both of us felt, these days it is the politicians, businessmen or entertainers (I include sports people in this category), hog most of the limelight. They are the ones who are considered having done something for their respective countries. Seldom do we see scientists, doctors, nurses, priests, teachers or philosophers are being talked about either in the national level or global level. I wonder why this is the case? Or is it just my friend and I who are felt this way? Why do Oscar awards get a front page global coverage in all countries but a Nobel Prize is normally relegated to a single column back page?

One justification for this current trend can be, in to-day’s world innovations (as regards to new technology) is so much that every technician has become a scientist. I don’t know whether it is good or bad. For example, in every pharmaceutical company (along with software and manufacturing companies) there is a research and development division where various experiments go on every day and I am sure people come up with new innovations. All over the world the magnitude of them are so many, that acknowledgements have become far fetched and few. However, this explanation does not satisfy me. Personally, I would have loved to see academicians, doctors, priests and the likes being talked about much more in the current era.

In some respect, nobody really knows what exactly is contributing to nation building or say contributing to humanity is. Not only nobody knows but few attempt to even think about it. While most taxpaying professionals say that their contribution ends with them paying taxes, but I doubt if that can be considered enough.

I started thinking about five things that I have done to contribute to nation building – something which made a difference. I must say, I am quite disappointed that I have not done much. Beyond few very minor things, I don’t think I have done much. I need to do more; much more. Trust me, I can do much more.

I was watching the film About Schmidt (starring Jack Nicholson), which talks about a retired person going to through a soul searching process while on a road trip. At the end of the film when Mr. Schmidt is about to conclude (in a state of absolute sadness) that he has made no significant impression on anyone’s life at all, he finds out that the young orphan boy (in a remote village of Africa) whom he sponsors through a charitable organisation values him. In acknowledging Mr. Schmidt’s contribution, the five year old boy sends him a drawing which carries a message that the boy loves him (and prays for him) even though he knows Mr. Schmidt through some letters which Mr. Schmidt has written to him without expecting any reply.

If you have not watched the film, please do watch it. It just shows it takes us do little in order to contribute to nation building (or humanity). Just that, we are too pre-occupied to find excuses for not doing it.


Meera Sanyal, a banker from Mumbai is contesting this year’s election on an independent ticket. I don’t know what are the realistic chances of her winning but I liked her approach. Here is her website link for those who are interested.



  1. I didn’t knew that u had shifted base camp to wordpress:) Nonetheless,the inks haven’t dried up and the posts are still nailing the heart with their precise prose and incisors.

    I have watched the Nicholson starrer and loved it too:) Keep posting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: