Euphoria through reduced expectations

India not only imports 100% of the motherboards, CPUs, RAM, hard disks, DVD drives, and LCD monitors used in its supposedly booming IT industry, but also imports the vast majority of PC cabinets and mice and keyboards as well, because India can't even mold ABS plastic or stamp and punch and bend MS sheets to the precision needed to mount motherboards and DVD drives (5.25 inches wide? hey, 6 will do just as fine---just jam some cardboard into the gap).

Amidst this industrial emasculation, TVS Electronics is an Indian company which, to be fair, still tries to assemble some useful gadgets like printers and keyboards from parts. In fact, they build a widely used mechanical keyboard, the TVS Gold. It's not as good as the Filco I use, but much better than your 300-INR Logitech membrane job.

Some time in 2010, the Indian government adopted a new symbol for the Indian Rupee (INR). They held a design competition which some IIT Bombay student won, so there was quite some local hoopla about this. It's a different matter that, even as India invents symbols for its currency, said currency is hemorrhaging value. Even the government admits inflation often creeps up to the double digits. The government figure conveniently omits real estate, which is inflating at over 20 percent per year, and a typical middle class person pays over 50 percent of their life's earnings for a roof. The joke is that next on the cards is a uniquely Indian symbol for corruption. If you want to see how the gods turn insane a society they would destroy, witness the corruption charges about picking the winner symbol itself. Several centuries back, they stamped coins with the face of the crook that needed to be beaten up if the metal was debased. Now they print the mug of Gandhi, who, even when he was alive, would just turn the other cheek. Our current, elected appointed "economist" PM is of the same disposition. Except that he probably understands less economics than even Gandhi.

But I digress. As soon as the symbol was adopted, TVS pounced on the opportunity to bring out a "TVS Gold Bharat" keyboard, with the remarkable innovation of an overloaded key with the new symbol. Here is some text from the packaging.

So there you have it. Registering a symbol with an available unicode and etching it on a keycap is hereby defined to be "IT innovation" by India inc. Globalization certainly brought some good things to this train-wreck of a country. But it brought shameless copy-cat advertising in much larger dollops.

The new symbol is as good an example of cargo-cult world-domination as any other. They are prosperous. They have £ and $ symbols. Let's get our own symbol and we will become a world power, even if basic literacy is a hundred years away. Honesty is probably further off.

P.S.: The "TVSE-Gold" part of the decal is recessed a bit into the plastic. The "Bharat" decal is an afterthought, slapped on outside the recess, and is already peeling off.