Hironmoy Gogoi, National Award Winner: “If we Address Someone as Sir/Madam Repeatedly in Every Sentence, then we Loose our Value in Front of Them”
Hironmoy Gogoi, 23 years old, also known as youngest entrepreneur from Northeast India, firmly voices, No Sir No Madam drive is the need of the hour. He is the winner of two national awards, two regional awards, and one international award for entrepreneurship
He is the founder and creative head of the Assam’s brand GKK (Gaon Ka khana). It is a food start-up having 4 units across Assam as well as associate partners across India. It is the first online marketplace which is connecting rural skills with technology to create minimum 3000 jobs across India.
GKK utilizes the skills of organic farming, traditional attires and recipes, and home stay facilities to involve them in this project. It facilitates to create more entrepreneurs without the stress of huge initial investments to live their dream. Hironmoy is also the founder of Blackhorse Microfinance which is empowering students, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
Hironmoy believes that people, irrespective of any condition, deserve respect. Therefore, he has inculcated No Sir No Madam ideology in his organization as well. Hironmoy advocates the main benefits of following first-name culture. He emphasises, “No salutation tradition has helped me in encouraging my employees. It liberates them from any mandate, as a result they can communicate more easily. They do not feel like they are working under a boss. Rather, they feel as if they are working for a friend.”
“Moreover, this is important for the company’s growth. When your employees feel at par with you, they do not hesitate from taking initiatives. This leads to generation of productive ideas and counter-views, which is essential in any organization.”
In India, government employees enjoy a special form of privilege. They impose their authority over others and demand respect. Hironmoy vocalizes that bureaucrats impose ‘Sir/Madam’ culture on others to display their authority. In a way, it is also people’s fault, as they continue to address civil officers with a salutation.
Hironmoy narrates an instance — I once visited the bank in Assam and was astonished at the way the employees treated the villagers. Employees there, throw away forms of rural people, if it is not filled properly. Instead of helping the less-educated villagers, they insult them. This happens because the villagers address those employees as ‘Sir/Madam’. This in turn makes the employees feel that they have the right to mistreat anyone.
Such practices need to be terminated as everyone has the right to be respected. People should not be treated badly because they lack education or are economically less-privileged. Furthermore, even people doing petty jobs have to face such discrimination. He shares an experience of his village, where there are health centres established by the government. The doctors treat the workers and even the patients in an unpleasant manner.
He ventures, in India, people respect each other based on the clothes, financial background, and education. Even though, everyone wants to be treated equally, no one really wants to treat others as they would like to be treated. Such is the irony in this country. People are working only for their selfish needs and benefits.
Individuals need to be educated about No Sir No Madam ideology, so that they learn to respect themselves. Hironmoy accentuates, “especially people living in rural areas need to be informed about first-name tradition. This will help them to understand the essence of No Sir No Madam movement. Consequently, he advises schools to imbibe No Sir No Madam theory in their syllabus. If today’s kids are made aware about this cordial culture, they will be the ones who will follow it in the future.”
He terminates by rebuking to conduct mass awareness campaigns regarding No Sir No Madam cause. It is vital that people should be made aware about this culture. Many people in India do not even know about a salutation-free tradition. Therefore, to proliferate in equality, people from lower-economic backgrounds have to be educated first. Exercise No Sir No Madam habit and inform the next person about it.