Breaking the Silence: A Software Engineer’s Quest for Purpose in India

Breaking the Silence: A Software Engineer’s Quest for Purpose in India

Hello, my name is Kandy. In this non-technical blog post, I wish to convey the pain and distress I've experienced in recent months. Never before have I encountered such shame or disappointment in being an Indian or residing in India. My pride as a citizen has always been evident across my social profiles and in the way I present myself globally. However, today, I am filled with disappointment, albeit not with surprise.

Today, I am determined to reveal the truth about Indian work culture and society. While many are aware of this reality, few have expressed their views online. However, I am ready to break the silence, regardless of the consequences that may come.

In India, risk-taking is often met with criticism. Engaging in any form of risk, whether it may work in your favour or not, is frowned upon. It's not merely a societal attitude; our system seems designed to penalize risk-takers at every turn. While my Question to you is...

What does freedom mean to you?

From the outset, I've harboured the ambition to be a contributing member of society, serving as a catalyst for development and growth not only in my country but globally. My goal is to devise solutions that will revolutionize and leave a lasting impact through my knowledge, skills, and the unique expression of my identity and convictions. To embody the ideal version of myself, I recognized the need to embark on the less-trodden path, while acknowledging my financial constraints as someone from a middle-class background, armed only with skills, knowledge, and a vision. I do not consider myself exceptional or superior to any other diligent individual around the globe. If you're still reading, perhaps you share this sentiment.

But what you're about to read below is the reason why I feel:

We are forgetting what freedom is

We proclaim our country to be free, yet the system often treats us as if we were slaves. Please don't misunderstand me; I am not opposing any political party or government. The issue is deeply ingrained in the psyche of Indians who are hesitant to assert their rights and the rights of others. This fear is so pervasive that, rather than advocating for one another, our peers, and our community, we opt for silence until destiny intervenes.

I won't hold back this time. As a dedicated software engineer, I've devoted two and a half years to working for two different companies—one product-based and the other service-based. I invest my time in a company to seize every opportunity to learn something new daily. I enjoy collaborating with individuals who are motivated, honest, kind, and hardworking, sharing a vision akin to mine. There's a common misconception that people switch jobs solely for a salary increase. While a salary hike was necessary for me, it's not something I'm ashamed to admit. I needed it, I worked for it, I stepped out of my comfort zone for it, and thus, when I achieved it, I deserved it. Making a switch is often thought to be easy, right? Those who spend two decades in a single company with no sense of how they spent their entire life with no goals or Impact, I consider that "EASY". Transitioning is challenging. One must be thoroughly prepared and confident in their abilities. To make a switch, one needs focus. When your purpose carries greater weight, you find the strength to progress in life, even when it means leaving behind strong bonds and interpersonal relationships with colleagues. It's difficult to detach from one's humanity, but as the saying goes, "You have to leave the good for something great." I have not yet encountered the best version of myself, so remaining static feels like a loss of potential and time. The relentless ticking of the clock wounds my soul and my mind, prompting me to search for that divine element within, eager to break free from the social norms, stigmas, and fears that hold me back. Overcoming the fear of picking up another call is not "EASY".

The Purpose

All I need is to focus and find my purpose, yet the world and reality present a relentless struggle, a battle with destiny that insists I am not who I claim to be. Nevertheless, I continue to fight, swinging left and right, punching the air, forgetting that life is not a boxing ring but an ocean where one must swim to survive.

As individuals, we should have the freedom to make our own choices and if we are part of a FAIR system, We should not be punished for taking risks. It's our lives, just like in any other country I hope people of this country get to feel how it feels to not be deprived of opportunities and a fair fight. And I wish this for the whole world, for mankind, that you get to fulfil your divine purpose that calls you to not end up living miserable and deprived. When we lose our purpose or calling, we lose ourselves. And we wonder if the zombies exist while standing among the walking dead.

The Story

To be frank, it's necessary. It's not solely about the salary increase; it's also about fostering a work culture that values extra effort. If everyone receives a 15% raise regardless of their input, it diminishes the incentive to strive for excellence. This erodes the competitive spirit in India, as diligent workers see no benefits while favouritism and systemic corruption reward the undeserving, ultimately forcing the committed to resign.

Educated Indians often leave India due to various reasons, including a toxic work environment, favouritism, bullying by co-workers, systemic issues, and corruption.

Over 2.5 years, I have experienced the challenging aspects of Indian work culture. This includes crowded and noisy offices, and a lack of empathy from employers despite long commutes that can take up to four hours. I specifically chose to work for smaller companies, foregoing opportunities at major tech firms, to gain a broader learning experience.

I chose not to disclose identities, but at my former job, I was advised over a call to resign. Despite raising concerns, there was no intervention or support from the higher-ups. It became clear that the system was biased and not worth contesting. Deciding to leave a job isn't solely about financial considerations.

Looking back, I recognize my self-interest. I devoted 11 months to my first company at a salary of 2 LPA, appreciating the initial chance for which I am still grateful. However, it became clear that 2 LPA did not cover my expenses, which I consider a justifiable reason for my resignation.

Conclusion

It appears that the intention is to foster such frustration that talented individuals feel compelled to leave India. Now you understand why. Despite my love for my country, I have been abandoned, as is evident. You see, I blame the system that has shut its eyes while the ignorant and corrupt leave scars in sight.