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What I thought was a harmless and entertaining post on my experiences with an engineer whom I recently interviewed has stirred up a raging fire among Detailing circles in India.
Prabhu's post was offensive but that I could easily handle that.
I am unable to handle the private mails written politely, and using gentlemanly language from a number of Indian  friends on this list who have been deeply hurt by this post and my private replies in defence have not convinced them.
I therefore tender an open and public apology to all Indians and any body else who has been hurt by my post.
For academic interest, I am attaching a copy of my most recent reply to the most recent mail from an Indian list member who complained and expressed his deep disappointment with my post. I hope there will not be any need for any more replies.
I request my other friends particularly friends abroad not to rush to my defence.
I wish to close further discusssion on this topic.
With kind regards
My Dear *******,
Thank you for your frank opinion.
I am very sorry to have disappointed you this time.
For the past seven years I have been writing to this list.
Some times when my post is popular in India, it is unpopular abroad.
When it is popular in USA it seems to become unpopular in India.
I accept these things calmly.
It is not always possible to keep all people happy all the time.
There are different kinds of people on this list.
Depending on circumstances prevailing at that time when they see my posts, they react in some way.
Either positively or sometimes negatively.
I have to take both sportingly.
This time I humbly take your negative feedback sportingly and would like to apologise to you if you feel that this was a bad post.
Compared to the gentlemanly way you have lodged your complaint, the post from Prabhu was very insulting and I could not help in reacting in the way I did.
I don't know if you read my reply to him.
The experience that day with this "engineer" whom I interviewed was also a terrible experience.  I have not posted full details. Only a few incidents were listed. His complete ignorance shocked me and I posted that mail  when I was in that terrible mental state.
Some of my Indian friends in this list, after reading that mail,  have questioned my patriotism and stated that I was spoiling the reputation of our Indian engineers,  and have complained to me privately like you have done.
I am reproducing some extracts from my replies to them.
Be assured that I am a patriotic Indian.
However nationality is not relevant in this list.
The common bond is steel detailing and we discuss and share concerns irrespective of national boundaries.
I have criticized the quality of American contract dwgs publicly on this list.
No one felt that I was attacking America.
Why are some of you getting the feeling that I have let down our country?
I am still not convinced.
This was just one un-named candidate and he will forever remain anonymous.
This was not the story of all engineers in India.
I still do not see why you and some others seem disturbed about it.
One Indian friend on the list wrote privately  that if his American boss read it, he would have changed his attitude to Indian detailers.

To the question that this post of mine would have an adverse affect on detailing jobs awarded to us I had replied as follows.
The period when Americans debated if work should be done in India or not is over.
Now all doubts about our abilities are removed.
More work is coming to India.
Why should YOU feel threatened by the failure of one anonymous boy in an interview for a post in a small unknown organisation like mine somewhere in India?
On the contrary, if your superiors read my mail it would assure of them of our concern for quality and they will be happy to see that persons who are not fit are not being selected for their jobs.
Any way, it appears that I have seriously upset you and many of my Indian friends.
Logic and argument is not enough now.
Popularity with overseas friends  is of course pleasant but I don't want it at the expense of the respect and regard for me from my fellow Indian citizens.
I  will be posting a public apology immediately after this and I hope it will stop the spate of mails from Indian friends who have been hurt.
Keep writing to me whenever I make a mistake.
I value constructive crticism.
Thank you once again.
G Vishwanath

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