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Kangana Ranaut: ‘Obsessive work culture’ should be normalised

Kangana Ranaut won the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Mandi district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Actress-politician Kangana Ranaut recently shared her thoughts on the work culture in India. The BJP MP said people should normalise an “obsessive work culture” as India is still a developing country. Ms Ranaut was reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden address to his team at the PMO in Delhi after taking oath of office, in which he said, “Together we have only one goal – nation first. Only one intention – 2047 Viksit Bharat. I have said this publicly, every single moment of my life belongs to the country. I have also promised the country – 2047 24/7.”

Kangana Ranaut shared the video on her Instagram story and wrote, “We need to normalize obsessive work culture and stop waiting for the weekend and complaining about Monday memes.”

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She continued: “This is all Western brainwashing. We are not a developed nation, but we cannot afford to be bored and lazy at all.”

This came as many industry leaders expressed their views on work culture and that the country’s youth should work long hours to be competitive on the global stage. Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy’s comments had created a storm on social media after he remarked that people should work 70 hours a week to boost the country’s overall labour productivity and economy.

Mr Murthy drew parallels with Japan and Germany, both of which had introduced extended working hours. “India’s labour productivity is one of the lowest in the world. If we don’t improve our labour productivity, if we don’t reduce corruption in government at some level – as we have read, I don’t know if that is true – if we don’t reduce the delays in our bureaucracy in decision-making, we will not be able to compete with the countries that have made tremendous progress,” the Infosys founder said in October.

Furthermore, Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, joined the work week debate and said that for India to grow faster, a generation of people must adopt the 12-hour work culture common in China, Korea and Japan. Mr. Shah mentioned that the 84-hour work week would “accelerate the country’s growth” and help people move up into “middle and upper income brackets”.

Mr Shah said: “Recently in India, Narayana Murthy talked about a 70-hour work week, which caused controversy. He said Indians must work like the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese. If we work hard, India’s growth will undoubtedly continue, the pace will accelerate and there will come a time when there will be no poverty in India at the level of sub-Saharan countries. We will have moved everyone into the middle and upper classes.”

Notably, Kangana Ranaut made her political debut as the BJP candidate for Mandi constituency in Himachal Pradesh in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. She won her first-ever election after defeating Vikramaditya Singh, the son of six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh and state Congress leader Pratibha Singh.

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