Ranodeep Saha: ‘Sir/Madam’ Custom is a Fundamental Issue that Needs to be Addressed at the Grass-Root Level
Ranodeep Saha, the founder of Rare Planet (http://www.rareplanet.in) is a fervent follower of No Sir No Madam doctrine. Rare Planet offers collections that are wide-ranging and varied for women, men, teenagers, and children. They work closely with craftsmen implementing their ideas on traditional products to create beautiful products of global standards.
Ranodeep instituted Rare Planet when he was an engineering student. He was unaware of his artistic skills. Ranodeep always loved the cuppas in which tea is served. As a hobby, he started painting those little cups and sold them. The rest, as they say, is history.
He proudly mentions, “We follow the first-name custom at Rare Planet. Everyone in my firm refers each other as ‘bhaiya’ or by each other’s nickname. However, instilling No Sir No Madam habit into everyone is a difficult task. I remember, recently, we hired an accountant who is probably the same age as that of my father. During the interview, he kept referring to me as ‘Sir’. I had to intervene and inform him to address me by my first-name. I believe that respect is not constrained to salutations. Respect for seniors at the workplace can be portrayed by diligence and hard work.”
Furthermore, he expresses that formal greetings and other such formalities exist in Indian companies only. Ranodeep states — I visited Hong Kong and New Zealand for my startup. I have never noticed them adhering to such diplomacy. They are always focused and concerned about the work. Thus, abolishing unnecessary obeisance lets you concentrate and be more productive at work.
Salutation custom was introduced to us by the britishers, which we still continue to follow. ‘Sir/Madam’ tradition exists notably in government offices. Ranodeep shares his experience when he visited public banks. He had to visit banks for receiving finance for his firm. As a result, he ensured that he addressed the managers and officials with a salutation. “Not addressing a public sector employee as ‘Sir/Madam’ will only delay and complicate your work,” adds Ranodeep.
He also contemplates the connotations salutation edict has had on blue-collar workers over the years. Ranodeep states — It really saddens me whenever a driver or worker refers me as ‘Sir’. They should not cling to such formal greetings in order to show respect. They, anyway, show respect to us by doing their job sincerely. Just because we pay them money, does not give us the right to treat them like slaves.
To remodel and instill No Sir No Madam habit into people is an uphill task. “However, to eradicate it, we need to address the grass-root level. Since inception, we are instructed to address seniors as ‘Sir/Madam’. If students are allowed to follow No Sir No Madam theory since the beginning, the problem will be solved on its own. Additionally, students in colleges should not be bullied by their seniors to greet them as ‘Sir/Madam’ by the name of showing respect.
Ranodeep reminisces, “When I was in my first year of college, we had to greet ‘Good morning Sir or Maam’ to our seniors. This is a form of ragging that makes college experience distasteful. Likewise, there are many colleges in India where students have to heed to such practices.”
To spread awareness regarding No Sir No Madam cause, he suggests to get social figures to talk over this matter. People are influenced by their social idols and it would be easier to inspire people to inculcate the first-name habit in his or her life.
At the end, he conveys — lets all get together to restructure India as we know it. No Sir No Madam drive aims on purveying equality and sense of mutual respect in society. Therefore, everyone should take up the task of informing others and inspiring them to spread the message further.