Monday, January 21, 2008

The how-to of Efficient Demonstrations/Protests

So, now that Ganguly's been dropped from the one-day team for the triseries, you know what follows. Yeah, the same old protests and effigy-burning and slogan-chanting. Been there, done that. More like seen there, burned that. But, what strikes me the most is how efficient these demonstrators/protesters are! We saw similar reports in the news right after the Harbhajan-Symonds incident too and i chanced upon the following pic depicting these active demonstrators/protesters folk going about their news-making job.

Now, this pic is from the protests which happened somewhere in India (i wasn't geographically motivated to find exactly where) the day after the Sydney test. All we see here is just an Australian flag bearing the heat (quite literally). There were other pics of Bucknor and Ponting effigies (which were basically cloth and paper mannequins with headshots of said accused pasted on them so as to ensure that the "Hai hai" slogans shouted out during the burning are dedicated to the appropriate target) and just plain posters with the usual slogans having been printed without running a spell-check - e.g. "Bucknor, yuo rachist" and "Pointing has bad manners" (the latter could have been from a kindergarten book which originally read "pointing is bad manners" but let's not take anything away from the effort these demonstrators/protesters put in).
What really amazes me is how on earth do these guys manage to get together all this paraphernalia so quickly??!! OK, so the posters are somewhat understandable. Some guys with a creative streak write down their slogans on chart paper, save time by skipping the spell-check part, and go ahead with hoisting the posters onto pieces of wood or even a simple rod that the maid or kaamwali bai uses to hoist the damp clothes on to the clothesline. But, what takes the cake is the Australian flag in the pic here. Where did some guy in India get hold of an Aussie flag? Off the top of my mind, I can probably think it could have been flicked from an Aussie cricket fan who is an Indian only in non-cricketing affairs. Another theory, which i think is slightly more feasible is that the outsourcing bug has caught on to various facets of life and there's some third party out there that's sourcing these demonstrations/protests. Complete with logistics!
My theory goes thus. Company X specialises in sourcing demonstrations/protests for concerned parties that feel the need to rebel. The rebellious party reads the disturbing news in some newspaper or watches it on tv or hears of it from the neighbourhood paanwala. Decision-making authority from Rebellious Party decides that enough is enough, puts aside his tea and cigarette, cancels his commitments for the next two hours by asking his secretary to shift the meeting with local female models to the slot reserved for the hearing with local farmers, and goes straight to the headquarters of Company X (tagline: We have no branches). Now the visit does not take long since the hq is right next to that neighbourhood paanwala who provided the disturbing news in the first place. Decision-making Authority approaches Company X with statement of objective, requirements of demonstrations/protest, budget allocated for protest and random rules and regulations (e.g. no violence, limited violence or full-on blood and gore). Company X immediately goes into full throttle right from the word Go and two team leaders who were in the requirements-gathering meeting split into two - one goes to the logistics dept. while the other gathers the human resources. Both team leaders gather teams based on project fundings and rates offered per hour. The logistics team goes in first and comes up with the generic paraphernalia - effigies are brought over from the warehouse, chart paper is bought from the neighbourhood stationery store (run by the same aforementioned paanwala; some thriving businessman that dude), posters and headshots are printed out on the in-house printer and one guy uses the brand new plotter to print that huge Aussie flag (A-ha!! So that's how they got that flag!). Meanwhile the in-house motivational expert drives the resources bringing them up to pace with the issue at hand, simultaneously charging them up with descriptions of "those vile racist foreigners". Both teams ready themselves in quick time. And before you can say "Riot Act" they are out in the streets demonstrating/protesting away to glory.
The wonder is in the turnaround time, the efficiency. Mewonders if this business model can be applied to the software outsourcing business too. I need to don that rarely-used thinking cap on now. But before i leave, did i mention that Company X has a 81% stakeholder? It's that paanwala, of course.

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