Shobha Raval, an Indian culinary expert, author, educator and a successful entrepreneur, advocates for No Sir No Madam cause in India. Being a global citizen having Gujarati background, she was raised in Raipur, Chhattisgarh and lived in many cities across the globe.
She shares her experience — In 1966 Mumbai, as a Hindi faculty at St. Mary’s High School, she observed that all the staff addressed each other by first name. As a result, she comprehended the significance of providing equal mutual respect.
In 1959, Late Bhupat Raval, a Mehsana, Gujarat native, her husband received PhD from the University of Sheffield, England. After returning to India, in 1963, as a senior manager, he joined a virological center in Pune established by an American firm. As a firm believer of No Sir No Madam culture, Dr. Bhupat Raval encouraged everyone to address each other by first name. He strongly believed that people must have equal dignity and effective communication without barriers.
In 1968, after migrating to Brisbane, Australia, Shobha started teaching Hindi at the institute of modern languages department at University of Queensland. Furthermore, as an Indian culinary expert, she conducted her Indian cooking classes and wrote a book — “Seven days in an Indian Kitchen.” Moreover, restaurateur, she effectively managed her Indian restaurant in San Francisco, USA.
Shobha believes that the supposed Sir/Madam culture begun amid the British rule in India and being their slaves we had to call them Sir/Madam. Indeed, even after several decades of independence, this culture still holds on. She discusses that in Australia, people address each other by their names. During her visits in India, she addressed everybody with their names.
She added, “For respect, we might include bhai (brother) or ben (sister) with their names like they called Narendra Modi’s wife as Jashodaben.” In Gujarat, bhai and ben culture is so popular that they do not use sir and madam unnecessarily, which fascinates her.
Moreover, if the Sir/Madam culture is annulled, there would be scope for growth and advancement of an individual. At last, she concurs that there would be straightforwardness and legitimate correspondence among junior and senior.
She agrees that it will help to reduce corruption and remarks “when you think of the person at the same level then you do not have to bribe that person to get your work done.” This is what the campaign focuses on — everybody should feel they are equivalent and neck-to-neck.
Shobha thinks something has to be accomplished at institution and school level because that is the underlying cause of where Sir/Madam develops. To defeat this, parents should ask their children not to call the teachers as sir or madam. Also, the institution should bolster them and teachers should guide them through.
The older generation is used to the words Sir/Madam; however, it is less demanding to change the mentality of the understudies and more youthful era, so they don’t grow up with a similar propensity and would need to call their managers sir and madam.
Red beacon ban in India is an incredible achievement and a step towards abandoning VIP culture. Similarly, No Sir No Madam culture will provide equal mutual respect to everybody. She says if Prime Minister Narendra Modi could do something for the cause and popularize it, then the crusade might be successful at its start.
Also, social media campaigning and television advertisements can help people know about it. During public gatherings this topic should be taken up. People with contacts and at higher posts should be contacted to spread awareness, she suggests.
She strongly believes that the No Sir No Madam culture should be embraced worldwide and this cause should reach out to the international level. Many people in departmental stores and large shopping complexes still follow Sir and madam culture blindly to address their customers as Sir/Madam.
She underpins the No Sir No Madam cause and indicates that it would take time for the campaign to achieve its goals because individuals need to know about it. Specially, the lower working class who calls others sir and madam all the time.
“With this No Sir No Madam campaign I’m sure this message will soon reach everyone” she speaks.
Towards the end, she says “God has created everybody equal so, it is the time we transcend these wordly things and quit droning Sir and Madam”.