Where is our country going?

Here's a question....

Are there any leaders left in our country or only politicians?

Our politicians (not leaders) keep churning out numbers in their speeches bragging about their "great" performance in their respective regions and/or portfolios; but does it say the whole story? No, it doesn't and we all know that. Even if its true in the first place... are we doing enough? We are talking about being one of the world's leading countries and being a superpower in south-Asia region...but does any one sense that there are countries who are lapping us at much faster pace and if we don't do anything in coming years, it would hurt us in ways more than one.

Mamta Banerjee denied Tata to set up Singur plant...this costed Tata not only money but also time...resulting in late production and late delivery which coincided exactly with the financial crisis due to which, it might not be welcomed too well in foreign countries.

Mayavati spent hundereds of crores to set up statues of herself and her party leaders and also wasted a similar mind boggling sum in Taj Corridor funding.. all this just to make herself immortal and also to fill her kitty with a few hundered crores of tax payers money. Just think, UP is one such state where no industrialist wants to set up his industry because of 1. wide spread corruption 2. lack of infrastructure 3. crowd mentality... Even for a small thing, they'd raise swords and guns (literally) and would kill any person for few thousand bucks. A slight difference of opinion often results in strike and the manager being beaten up and/or killed by workers. In this scenario, if Mayavati wanted, she could've used these tax payer's crores to set up better infrastructure or could've invested wisely in a manner that would attract other industries...but no, she chose to be a stubborn money loving selfish person that she is...and cared a least bit about the people of her state.

As I'm writing this blog, Mr. Raj Thackeray's love for his fellow Maharashtrian's and hatred for the rest of the Indians are growing by leaps and bounds. He's simply too busy giving hate speeches and beating up people of other states who are living in Mumbai...instead of making Mumbai a world class metropolis.

There are many other incidents like Manglore Pub incident, Ghas Chara Scam, etc. Our politicians are busy fighting amongst themselves but hardly anyone is thinking about our growth and our international competition.

Mumbai, is the financial capital of our country. But does it has an infrastructure that a financial capital should? No. The reason being, its not only the financial capital but also has possibly the second largest gathering of corrupt individuals (politicians, local municipality, policemen, other government servants) per million after Delhi ofcourse. We have the resources and manpower both, the only thing stopping us is intent. Intent to do something for our city which would inturn contribute to our country and better us that one bit against international competition.

How can you talk of making your city Shanghai or New York, when all you're interested in is gathering votes by regularizing slums year after year, election after election?
Mumbai has a deadline of 11PM after which no public gathering can keep their loud speakers on. Why can't it be flexed for special occassion's when an international star comes to perform?
Here's an example... On 25th March 2007, Shakira performed at MMRDA Ground in Mumbai. The official limit for loudspeakers were crossed but the organizers requested policemen to let her perform for one last song, which would take only 5 mins. All policemen wanted was money, organizers refused to oblige and kept requesting. Just when the last track (one of her best numbers) was about to start, police almost ransacked the stage and forced the music to be stopped (as told by a friend who attended the concert). After such humiliation, do you think she would want to come to India let alone Mumbai again. Also, other artists would try their best to avoid India or atleast Mumbai. Think of the bigger picture, every artist who comes to India brings in their support staff, stays in 5 star hotels, spends money in shopping, food, travelling etc. More often than not, they also donate money to some NGO or stand up for a cause. All this foreign money doesn't come to India because a group of policemen never got their "hafta". At the same time, the organizers and advertisers are benefited due to the concert ticket sales...and we're not even talking about the exchange of music/tradition and the joy it brings to their fans and music lovers.

Few days back, a foreign student was molested in Ahmedabad and as if that was not enough, the defense lawyer humiliated her in the court in front of a hundred people. Again, the same thing, when she goes back home, she won't advise her other friends to come to India, and so some college would miss out on a student, some tenant would miss out on 2-3 year rent that, that student would've paid for staying here and many other restaurants, malls & shops would be missing out on business over the food, clothes & groceries that that foreign student could've bought from them. Far fetched thought? I don't think so, this is the harsh reality which most doesn't seem to understand.

On the other hand, our international counterparts in Asia, like China, Dubai, Singapore, Hongkong are doing everything they can, to keep their image up-to-date. This is the exact reason, why billions were spent on Beijing Olympics by Chinese government...because they exactly understand what I just mentioned. Every person who visits China would be spending on travel, hotel rooms, food, shopping etc...and if that person has a great time during his visit, the word of mouth would attract another 2-4 people, and their foreign currency coming into the country would be doubled or quadrapled just because that one person had a nice time. Look at the infrastructure projects that China is accomplishing in a blink of an eye from Indian standards. Think of the Tibetian railway line. Its not only show's their technological accomplishment but this piece of railway also make a strong statement by Chinese government that, "At no cost we're going to let Tibet get out of its hand and this land belongs to us and it's gonna stay that way."
What is our politicians doing to develop the far eastern regions of  Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh & surrounding areas?

Port of Shanghai, Hongkong & Singapore are battling to be the biggest/busiest port in the world...while no India port features even in top 10. I don't really understand why we aren't be there in top 10, inspite of being surrounded on 3 sides by water, with such a huge coastline?

How many politicans in India thinks even 5 years ahead of time (about the country i.e.) ?
Dubai doesn't have a government elected by the people but its ruled by the royal family till date. But its royal family especially His Highness Sheikh Muhammed Al Makhtum wants his kingdom, the city of Dubai i.e., to be the best in the world and is doing everything to reach there. Here's a man, who thinks 50-55 years ahead of his time. He's thinking about the day, when he might not even be alive but wants his city to be the most prosperous and the best in the world. In mid nighties he thought, that the biggest source of his kingdom's richness & prosperity i.e. Oil would be over by 2050, after that  how would his city be equally prosperous? That's when he thought of making Dubai the no.1 tourist destination to keep the money flowing.
In 1994, he commissioned the tallest hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab. He din't stop there... then he decided to make Palm Islands, World Islands and now the tallest building in the world, Burj Dubai. In between there are some 45 malls, world's biggest airport and mall (under construction), gold city and millions of square feet of real estate are few of the thing's he's done to keep the international money coming in.

Why can't our government do something like this? We're not asking for tallest hotel or tallest building or biggest mall. No, all we want is better infrastructure, better roads & water supply, better public transport & health care, better education & employment, better governance & accountability for our money. And we're not even talking about European and American cities.

Has anyone every thought, in the coming few years...
...when Dubai's World & Palm islands and Burj Dubai would be completed, how many tourists we would be loosing?
...when China's image would improve in front of the world (which its trying so hard), how much business we'd be loosing due to our "paper & gum" infrastructure?

What will it take for our politicians to understand that, in their cat and mouse blame game and petty hate talks, its we citizens who're the worst hit. We're suffering every minute, and with each passing day our international competitors are going ahead. Is it really that difficult to see the bigger picture?