Ritika Singh, Founder of Kontent Factory and Applyifi, fervently encourages the No Sir No Madam doctrine.  Ritika’s company Kontent Factory helps brands create and strengthen their brand equity through PR and engagement in mainline and social media forums.

Ritika is a sincere believer of the No Sir No Madam culture.  She considers that humans should be respected equally, irrespective of their positions and backgrounds.  Ritika prefers to call every individual by their first-name.  She makes an exception only in the case of elderly army officials who have served our nation.

At her workplace, Ritika follows a first-name based communication.  She opines that we are all connected to our names as the name is an identity that has been given to us since birth and it what we respond to naturally.  Hence, communication becomes easier between any two people once ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ is removed.  However, the members in her team usually joke with each other with the Sir/Madam terminology.

During her stint in the corporate sector way back in 2001, it was the done thing. Neither was there any issue on the part of the juniors to resent this terminology nor were the seniors any uncomfortable with it.  However, there is a definite shift and most corporates genuinely discourage this practice and even encourage calling their CEO by his/her first name.  The government sector follows these norms far more rigidly. 

The authority figures will not cooperate if the individuals regard them by their first name.  People follow the ‘babu’ culture without complaining as they have never thought about issues from a different perspective.  Ritika implies that we should implement alternatives such as addressing officials by names to formulate an equal platform for everyone.

It is important to note here that this change has to come from the top and spread to the juniors.  We can build a human connect by a mutual respectful communication.  Ritika adds, “People we teach will eventually spread it among others during interactions.”

Ritika perceives that education, and sensitization is necessary. 

She asserts, “If a security guard or help refers to us as sir or madam, it is not their fault. He doesn’t know any better.  We need to create proper awareness for them.  It is also important not to misunderstand or misuse this fluid communication. We should draw the line of respect, as is mandatory for any relationship.  We must differentiate between the idea of being friendly and being friends correctly.”

Ritika suggests that the No Sir No Madam initiative should be promoted through social media.  Creating more videos explaining the downsides of the salutation culture can be an eye-opener for the citizens.

In conclusion, Ritika enunciates that respect needs to be earned.  She affirms, The Sir/Madam divide was created by the British as a part of their strategy to rule our nation. It is however, no longer necessary as we are a free country now.”

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