HARSH PATI SINGHANIA
I think the question asked was in terms of what the assets of Marwaris were and there has been some discussion around that. Let me slightly digress from the asset side, because conversation has opened up about the first, second and third generations of Marwaris.
See, in my view, when the first generation comes—and I don’t confine this to Marwaris alone—they have little to lose, in a way, because they did not have anything to begin with. When you are in that circumstance, you are willing to risk a lot. You also have to work hard. Let’s look back at what the environment was in Rajasthan. It was hostile in terms of resources, and it was very austere. That’s why you’ve seen migration of Marwaris away to towns like Calcutta [now Kolkata] and Bombay [now Mumbai]and a whole bunch of other places. My family emigrated, wandering through into UP, many generations ago. And it was a very difficult environment then so there was little to lose. And therefore, the first generation did what they did. Of course, there were several people who failed.
The second generation comes in seeing some of all this, or seeing a lot, and they emulate; but they are a little better off. And the third generation is born relatively privileged. But it’s the value system… it works when values are taught that along with privilege comes accountability and responsibility. So, my submission would be that families that have taught their next generations those values have perhaps survived and done better. That’s the perspective we’ve got to see, and I think, it’s not confined to Marwaris; it’s a global phenomenon.
But I consider myself privileged. When I look back at one of the founders here—Lala Kamlapat Singhania—I consider myself privileged, because I am a fourth generation. I am not saying that in a matter of boastfulness, but because I truly value… That’s what the family and the elders in society taught me.