Chaithra Shree, an entrepreneur from Bengaluru, Karnataka apprehends that Indians should nullify the Sir/Madam nomenclature. She is co-founder and director at B’Glam, a beauty services company. B’Glam was started in November 2015, which aims at providing all the cosmetic services at the doorstep.
Before starting her venture, she worked as a software engineer at Mphasis. Chaithra earned her bachelor’s degree from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka. She believes that No Sir No Madam is a descent expedition that needs to set roots in India. Corporate and IT sectors are already aware and vigilant about the first-name culture and its importance. However, unfortunately, other sectors of our society demand Sir/Madam terminology.
Chaithra strictly follows the first-name culture at her workplace. She concurs, “A name gives you a unique identity. It is there, so that it can be used.” It is a tool that can be used to develop a personal connect at the workplace. She conceives that first-name culture can help to diminish communication barriers within in the professional arena.
She shares her experience where she went to meet a politician with her co-founder, Vishal. Before meeting the politician, they met his Personal Assistant (PA). Being firm believers of No Sir No Madam culture, Chaithra and Vishal addressed him as Mr. Xyz. “The PA got offended and literally forced Vishal to call him as Sir” she expresses.
Chaithra and Vishal denied using Sir/Madam. They considered Sir/Madam unnecessary and tried to explain the PA that they were giving him respect using his name. Nonetheless, the PA did not acknowledge them until they used the expected terminology. This scenario made Chaithra even more cognizant of the first-name culture.
“The meaning of Sir/Madam has completely changed for this era. Hence, this culture has to stop.” She believes that earlier we were addressing others as Sir/Madam for providing genuinely respect. Although, with the time, people have started taking it for granted. At present, they presume that Sir/Madam culture is a necessity for growth.
She suggests that Sir/Madam plague should be terminated as it elaborates discrimination between people. Everyone has been assigned a work based on their capability. However, Sir/Madam leads to creating imbalance in the professional world.
Chaithra perceives that the recent ban on red beacon in India is in perfect resonance with the No Sir No Madam initiative to provide equal and mutual respect.
Chaithra talks about the educational institutions and schools where the day starts with “good morning Sir/Madam”. She feels “Sir/Madam is not necessary, good morning is sufficient.” They should be realizing that respecting elders is more important than Sir/Madam. “It makes no sense if you address them as Sir/Madam and later abuse them, behind their backs” she advocates.
She recollects that as a trainee, she first learned No Sir No Madam culture at the workplace. Being accustomed to Sir/Madam pronouns, initial days, she addressed her manager as Sir.
“This gentleman was a firm believer of first-name communication. Therefore, my manager never responded, when I addressed him as Sir. He responded only when I used his first name.” She admits that this kind of support is required so that we can get rid of this taboo.
It is a wrong assumption at Universities and Colleges that Sir/Madam culture inculcates professionalism. “Professionalism has nothing to do with Sir/Madam. It is all about how you speak and how you behave.” The Sir/Madam rambling by juniors is because they presume they are not at the same level as seniors. College students undergo this situation out of fear and not of respect.
Chaithra recommends, taking up seminars or doing public speaking about this issue. Furthermore, college students should be educated about the No Sir No Madam culture. She says that educating students would help to change the system at the grassroots in all the sectors.
Finally, Chaithra concludes, “It is up to every individual in this country to bring about this change. People must preach and practice the No Sir No Madam culture to build new India.”