Friday, January 13, 2006

Brain Drain

This is a very old artile published at chowk, by an expat Pakistani, how very true this is. I just remembered it while reading another friends blog and thought I should republish it here so people who havent read it in the past can read it now.

Evaporation Drops the Temperature
Bilal Musharraf July 28, 1999

The working class of Pakistan, basically those who are not part of the ruling/owning class have to bring about the much needed and much awaited long-term progressive change in Pakistan. However, individuals who feel that they have the ethical/moral fiber and the financial and political clout to help and guide the working class must play their part in mobilizing the masses. Bear with me, as I try to explain an analogy that is somewhat related to these thoughts.

In Physics, we call the average kinetic energy of a body, its temperature. Let's imagine a liquid contained in a vessel with innumerable colliding molecules forming the body of the liquid. They engage in elastic collisions, gaining and losing their kinetic energy. The Central Limit Theorem (The Law of Large Numbers) in statistics tells us that given a large enough sample, all distributions will tend to a normal distribution, i.e., a significant majority of molecules in the liquid possess energy levels that are right around the average kinetic energy of the liquid (the bell shaped curve). A small minority possesses very high energy and a very small minority possesses very low energy. It is the high energy molecules that possess enough impetus to break the surface of the liquid and escape into the rarer medium above. This has a significant impact on the temperature of a liquid, because the escaping molecules have higher than 'average' energy levels.

A country like Pakistan, containing its teeming masses, is very similar. The entropy of Pakistan, or its potential to change itself is reflected by the empowerment level that the average Pakistani possesses. The overwhelming majority of people feel powerless in the scheme of things in Pakistan and in their desperation are blinded to reasoning and rationale and continue to project their ambitions on to individuals that have little to show from their past and fall short of such a responsibility. I highly recommend reading: 'Leaders, Fools, and Imposters'… a well respected book on the psycho-analysis of individuals in leadership positions.

[The author of 'Leaders, Fools, and Imposters', Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries is a practicing psychoanalyst and Raoul de Vitry d’Avaucourt chair of human resource management at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France. He is the author of eight books on such topics as leadership, career dynamics, and organizational diagnosis and intervention. Kets de Vries has been an executive development consultant to major corporations in the United States, Europe, and Asia.]

As Ayaz Amir wrote in Dawn some time ago:

"The tragedy is not Nawaz Sharif's who has already known more than his share of glory. The tragedy is that of the Pakistani people who while yearning and indeed waiting for heroes have always had to settle for less than heroic figures. In the present case the tragedy is two-fold because the people of Pakistan have deluded themselves. Far from anyone else betraying them, they have been betrayed by their own expectations. Nawaz Sharif was no stranger to them. They knew his strengths and weaknesses as also the history of his rise to political greatness. But driven by their own desires they saw things in him that were not there. Who is then to be blamed: Nawaz Sharif for being true to form and character or the people of Pakistan for living out another chapter of their unchanging tragedy?"

Who are the people at the two ends of the bell-shaped empowerment curve for Pakistan? At one end is a minority of individuals who possess the political/professional/financial clout to influence progressive change, and at the other is a self-centered wealthy ruling elite, that resists change and thrives on status quo.

Since the 60's, flocks of professional Pakistanis have migrated. The loss is not simply of a monetary transfer of assets or a brain drain. It is a loss in the entropy of Pakistan. The nation is increasingly left with a ruling class that is indifferent to the priority in which the fundamental needs of Pakistan need to be addressed.

In the presence of a rarer medium, a liquid will eventually dry up.

The working class of Pakistanis, inside and abroad... need to WAKE UP and influence change!


Boo! said...

OF course I know the fellow 'cractuary'... althought I think he's stopped somewhere in the middle ;-)

Anyway... He's sitting abroad isn't he? Haven't heard of any of his philathropic efforts for Pakistan. Or sorry, I think he did represent Pakistan government in India during the Pak-India Cricket series last year.

Boo! said...

I was flipping through channels the other day and there was a program going on about brain drain in India. When everyone was criticizing people who leave their country, one of the guys said something that stuck:

"Brain drain is better than brain-in-the-drain, which happens if you stay"

I thought it was appropriate to be put here.

*can you tell I'm thinkingof leaving Paki again?*

Silver Fox said...
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Anonymous said...

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