It was 15th Aug 1953 when R.N. Kashyap had decided to overtake National Associated Steels. The previous owners have incurred huge losses from the unit and therefore they were delighted when they managed to assuage Kashyap into buying their plant. Since then Kashyap had grown his industry in similar lines as his nation. He always knew that the task of building this nation would be immense. Days and nights he would remain in his unit watching the molten steel at 4000 deg. C being poured into a ladle, which would then be lifted by the crane and poured into series of molds scattered throughout his plant. The steel will eventually take the shape of a bearing or a wheel or a rail road and all that will go into building this nation.
Today his grandson Prakash Kashyap runs the NAS which is now a 1200 crore conglomerate. The Kashyap’s have diversified their field of operation and have brought up industries in sectors such as the food processing, textile, pharmaceuticals and software. Prakash still remembers the times when the government had liberalized its economic policy and invited foreign investments into the Indian market. There had been sense of dread which had gripped men, who feared that these foreign investors would eventually eat up their business. Everybody but Prakash had looked with skepticism over this transition. He had known that the market was expanding and that there was room for several players and what lay ahead was going to be hard work in bringing his systems at par with international scene. He now feels that it was the fruits of those policies which have led to a robust Indian economy, the same policies which allowed India to record a growth rate of more than 9% consecutively for three years before the recent economic slowdown.
Prakash Kashyap always believed that the greatness of a civilization can be gauged in few works of geniuses. Men have always measured a civilization by the scientific and cultural progress which it was able to achieve in its lifetime. Yet it occurred to him that those progresses have been a work of very few individuals who were concerned with nothing but their reasoning mind. He would always say “that the biggest problem which our nation has is in the education sector, although thousands of higher education learning centers have been established not a single innovation has been significant enough to acquire a discipline of its own. Take for instance engineering; from mechanical machines to the recent computer and mobile technologies all have been triggered in the west, meager contributions can only be accounted from our nation. These higher education centers are killing the appetite of men to think, to reason, all they are bothered is in the material exchange of facts. Crores of money is spent into useless endeavors but Research & Development is the least priority subject in our country.
In his youth Prakash had been extremely passionate about cricket. He would spend afternoons playing the game and nights thinking about it, about his performances, about the way game was changing. It was when he was 18 that he decided to study engineering in order to serve the NAS, and yet he remained passionate about the game in a strange odd way. Today he’s happy that by the 63rd year of independence Indian cricket team has managed to bag the no. 1 test playing squad. However he’s bewildered by the dismal performance of his country in the Olympics. He says “the poor show of India in Olympic Games can be attributed to the lack of food security and access to proper nutrition in the diets of our country men. Tones of grains is left to decay due to inappropriate storage conditions while the poor peasants are forced to skip their meals out of poverty and inflated prices of food grains. For those who can afford a better nutrition, fall behind the misplaced system where the authority is in the hands of covetous underdogs. The corruption prevailing in the sports ministry have encouraged the youth to organizing games rather than playing them.
Today sitting in his office, at the eve of Independence Day Prakash is confident that India would be able to confront these issues and would eventually emerge out as a superpower of the 21st century. He feels that there are determined set of individuals who will always take the first step ahead, while others would look with cynicism, and will bring laurels to this nation.
written by archie!