Gita & The Game Theory

While on vacation, I had a chance to read an interesting article from a book that my niece Akshaya picked up. The book is called “Games Indians Play: Why we are the way we are” and is authored by Prof. V. Raghunathan, former professor of IIM Ahmedabad, who also holds several positions in the senior games-indians-playmanagement of GMR.

While we were driving, caught in an interminable traffic jam in Chennai, my niece and I were looking through the book and my eyes literally lit up to see the section that linked the “Bhagavad Gita” and its teachings to the “Game theory”

IN particular the book talks about the Prisoner’s dilemma and how a solution of mutual co-operation results in lower punishment rather than mutual defection. This, the author then explains, is akin to the “do your duty” or “svadharma” that is explained in great detail and advocated by the Bhagavad Gita. If each individual took this seriously and did what was their duty towards humanity, then this would result in better “universal co-operation” and a better life for all people.

While we were on the road, literally inching forward thanks to the huge pot holes filled with water that had sprung up from the recent rains, we discussed if the “Corporation” had done its duty and whether the “Contractors” who had been given the job to lay the roads had performed their duty and so on and so forth.

I believe there is considerable merit in serioulsy adopting the call to duty at every organization in the current times. After all, management professionals in charge of Indian organizations would by and large understand both the Gita and the Game theory!

Here is a link to an interview with Prof. Raghunathan where he elaborates further on these topics

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