Renowned for his visionary leadership and pioneering role in shaping India’s IT industry, Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy recently made headlines not just for his remarkable contributions in the IT field but also for sharing a personal anecdote about cleaning his own toilets. His response to questions about this practice is resonating with many.
In a recent interview, Narayana Murthy emphasized that cleaning his own toilets is a matter of principle for him.
He views this act as a way to show respect to others and challenges societal norms that tend to stigmatize such tasks. Murthy, known for instilling values in his children, explained to them the importance of humility and equality, stressing that no one is beneath them.
Acknowledging his children’s curiosity, Murthy clarified that cleaning one’s own toilets is not a sign of superiority or inferiority but a demonstration of shared responsibility. He highlighted the need to break down societal norms that may look down upon certain tasks, emphasizing that everyone deserves respect, regardless of their profession or position.
“I would explain to my children gently and affectionately that these are the best ways of respecting other people. In our society, people always feel that those who clean their own toilets are looked down upon. Therefore, I would tell them that look, nobody is less than us.”
He further added,
“My children are very curious. They observe and have a lot of questions. I would tell them that look, nobody is less than us. It so happened that we have been put into a very advantageous situation by God.”
Murthy highlighted that cleaning one’s own toilet in India is still seen as a taboo, especially in wealthy households. He urged people not to feel entitled or arrogant about such tasks and emphasized the importance of contributing fairly to society. He said,
We cannot take that as our right, we cannot take it with a sense of arrogance, therefore, to the extent possible, we should try and do thing that will give us a sense that we are trying to be as fair to the society as possible.”
The 78-year-old industrialist also addressed any notions of venturing into politics, stating that he is too old for it. Instead, he plans to dedicate his time to familial pursuits, cherishing moments with his children and grandchildren, while also indulging in his passions like music and exploring diverse topics.
His wife, Sudha Murthy, shared similar sentiments, emphasizing that one doesn’t have to enter politics to serve the public. Both Mr. and Mrs. Murthy underscored their belief in contributing to society through avenues other than political engagement, prioritizing personal fulfillment.
The Murthys’ modern and applaud-worthy stance on humility, equality, and societal contributions has sparked positive reactions. What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to share your comments below.