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?

11 comments:

Aditi said...

This is the only problem with India. Everybody has the money but they aren't intrested to use it at the apt place. Infact what our dearest politicians want is the luxury that they dream of. So instead of putting the money for some fruitful outcome, they prefer to "maroing chance" on it and there it goes into their pocket!
And as the famous commercial says, we are the only ones responsible for what they are today coz
"Woh khate hain kyunki hum khilate hain" ;)

globalperception said...

Absolutely brilliant post! Amazing stuff. Looks like you have given it a deep thought and have completely reflected upon the ground reality! China is a 200% capitalist country that uses communism as a weapon. If there's a buck to be made, they're there! Indian politicians are not far off except that they think in the opposite manner! I don't think we would ever evolve into an intimidating super power...

Nikki said...

Sigh! You know it is a vicious circle and we just get more and more into it! There is no way out of it!

We should just give up voting and paying tax!

Arti Honrao said...

Read this post for the second time. This time with a different mind set ...
Your post puts forth the frustration of every Indian (a few those who speak out and many those who do not)
Very rightly said "Politicians" and not "leaders" (there are a few out there, believe me, we just tend to ignore them because the politicians make it a point to stay in our eyes)

Many of us have already given up (though I admit that not voting is not the right choice ... to tell you the truth ... I Do Not Vote, shame, I know, still)
[On this voting business: They were talking of making it compulsory, as if it is going to change things, really ... would it? I wonder]

Back to your post -
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?

Powerful lines to end the post.

I do not know what more to say...
I share your frustration.

Also, I read the tweets you exchanged with someone on twitter. The conversation was actually not going anywhere because the point you were trying to put-forth was lost somewhere amidst the confusion.

Let me add -
I am a Maharashtrian (Marathi Manoos) however I am against the approach of Mr. Raj.

That is all, I guess ...



GBU
Arti

Phoenix said...

@Aditi...
I agree to what to said except for the last line. Its not the case that "wo khate hai kyunki hum khilate hai"...not everywhere atleast. Okay, fine agreed a common citizen like you and me would randomly bribe a municipal officer to get our work done fast or bribe a traffic police to let go, that is a small thing. We are here talking about larger issues. Like a particular project for bridge or water pipeline or roads/pavement was given to X contractor because he bribed the sanctioning authority lakhs and did patch work of the real deal and himself made crores, in such cases apart from being a whistle blower or writing a blog about it, nothing else a normal citizen can do.

@globalperception...
You got my point perfectly. Unless our government doesn't change "chalta hai" attitude, we would never become an intimidating super power like China. Perfect word - "intimidating super power".

@Nikki...
Giving up voting and not paying taxes sounds a bit short sighted.

Anyways, thanks all of you for sharing your views. :)

Phoenix said...

@Arti...

I loved what you said in the end - "I am a Maharashtrian (Marathi Manoos) however I am against the approach of Mr. Raj."

While on the topic, I'd wanna say that... I'm not a Marathi by caste by I've been living in Mumbai from number of years and I proudly call myself a Mumbaikar. What more does Mr. Raj Thackeray want me to say? Now, its not my fault if my mother tongue is not Marathi or I'm not born in a Maharashtrian family. Isn't it enough to say that I live in this city from many years and I'm a proud citizen of it?

Also, I'm not completely anti-Raj Thackeray. I agree to what he's saying about city being over crowded, as its obviously known as the "land of opportunity" from decades and people flock over here. But, there has to be a way to deal with it... and city being overcrowded by people from other states is just "one of the many" issues, its not "the only" issue.
I don't mind people discussing this agenda in a positive manner alongwith other things such as infrastructure, education and basic amenities. But the problem is, no one talks about these other issues, they only keep one agenda in mind of "marathi manoos" and play vote bank politics of it.

Besides this Marathi Manoos issue, all the other things I mentioned is common all over the nation.

You're a good example of how you can be a Marathi and still hate Raj Thackeray's actions coz if I would say the same thing, people won't listen, they think its just coz I'm a non-marathi I hate him. Not many listen things with a positive frame of mind.

Anyways thanks for commenting, appreciate it. :)

serendipity said...

Its a very thought provoking post: shows youve put your heart into it.
Be the change you want to see
Be courteous Be Kind
Dont give bribes to the police men/ pay up yr fine Take the receipt
Lead by example:
This is not a small thing and i dont agree with :Okay, fine agreed a common citizen like you and me would randomly bribe a municipal officer to get our work done fast or bribe a traffic police to let go, that is a small thing
Small things lead to big things
when we wont tolerate small things/ the big change too shall come
hoping for the best

Phoenix said...

@serendipity...
Your point taken...yup you're right, small thing leads to big things.
Thank you for commenting. :)

Hansa said...

Very well written - totally agree with you. Especially the bit about Mayawati. I was horrified the last time I went to India to see the way she has destroyed my hometown. While all the ancient monuments, the pride and history of Lucknow are crumbling and fast disappearing, her grotesque statues were lining every street!

Ajit said...

dont agree with you yes there are negatives but always the positive has to be balanced by the negatives. Look at the brighter side you are enjoying the most relaxing democracy in the world

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