Ajit Panicker, an MBA from University of Lucknow, considers No Sir No Madam a wonderful initiative and highly recommends its urgent implementation in India. He is a veteran life skills and leadership trainer and has had the experience of working in some major companies in India. He is also a Motivational speaker and a popular author with two best-selling books published on Amazon.
Ajit as a mentor understands the benefit of communicating with people on a first-name basis. He remembers his experience at his first job at a renowned firm.
Ajit shares “I was appointed as sales manager and within three months, I got frustrated by the much-prevalent “babu” culture. Soon, I implemented a salutation-free custom among my team members. I remember the shock on their faces when I briefed them on it and made them understand the importance of having a first-name culture.”
Ajit continues “My seniors and especially my immediate boss, when they came to know of it, immediately called me for a meeting. My dream of creating a salutation-free culture went down the drains, right there. My boss berated me and warned me and said that, ‘We have been following Sir/Madam custom for years and it is not going to change.
Furthermore, his boss said that it no one has worked up the ladder by being a revolutionary in a corporate office and how this is not America we are living in.” It is an irony that how most of the Indians always compare America as a better place yet is reluctant to accept any progressive ideas.
Ajit also firmly believes that a salutation-free culture allows everyone to express their opinions and ideas without any hesitation. Especially in multinational firms, a junior employee is scared of sharing constructive thoughts with a senior employee. No Sir No Madam culture has the potential to eradicate this fear in the employees. We see the new-age startups follow a salutation-free custom as they understand the benefits of it.
In India, everyone is aware of the fact that you simply cannot get any work completed in a government office without the use of salutations and flattery. Ajit states, “The government body itself should take an initiative to abolish salutation mandate in government offices.
The Britishers had left decades ago, so why do we still follow their Sir/Madam culture in India? If we remove the Sir/madam diktat and the authority, it provides to the bureaucrats, there will be less corruption. In India, there is so much of corruption that what that is good is never practiced and what that can give an undue advantage to an advantage is promoted.”
No Sir No Madam movement can also act as a great social engineering tool to instill equality in society, including the blue-collar workers who feel inferior to the rest of the society for no fault of their own.
Ajit opines, “The less-fortunate people might be reluctant to address their employers by their first-name, as they have been following salutation edict since the dawn of age. Therefore, it is vital that top-level and renowned personalities introduce it to them by following it themselves.”
We all know the power of education and its potential to break adamant mental barriers. Ajit reminisces his schooling days “My friends would have to use “Sir/Madam” as a prefix instead of as a suffix, implying that your name is less important than your name. It was something which I could never mentally accept.
Hence, I would like to firmly concur that No Sir No Madam ideology should be implemented in schools. This would ensure that kids learn about its importance quite early in their life and do not have to bear salutation compulsion, later on.”
Ajit concludes by suggesting people to adopt No Sir No Madam and others to follow it. Moreover, he beautifully quotes “Long ago there was ‘The Great American dream’ which changed the face of that nation. Now, consider No Sir No Madam as a revolutionary practice which could help, we Indians to realize our own ‘The Great Indian Dream’.”