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The Great Indian Rope Trick.

July 22, 2010

Part 3.  Also read Part 1 | 2

So with all these problems,

  • Do we still have a chance to turn things around?
  • Is India really deserving of being touted as the next super power?
  • Is India capable of providing its citizens a good quality of life?

Unless we pull off  ”The Great Indian Rope Trick”, I don’t see that happening.

Politics

Call me naive, but what is the funda behind coalition politics anyway? I feel coalition politics is a way of cheating people. They are not given a choice.  More than half of the country votes against a political party, and that party can still form a Government, thanks to coalition politics.

Scrap the multi party system right away. Introduce two party system. Our politics is a clear example of how too much of freedom and independence can be harmful.

Another idea which I have is, Civil Administrators. We have a huge pool of Civil Administrators (IAS/IFS/IRS), who represent the cream of the intellect of this country. Make them the ministers. Make them the legislators. They have proved their mettle by clearing one of the toughest exams in the world, and can be banked upon, as opposed to our LKG fail MP’s and MLA’s.  It works on the lines of a corporate governance. And the simple rule is, Perform or Perish. Make only IAS/IFS/IRS people eligible for politics, and see the difference. Indian Government can definitely make do with some intelligence these guys will bring in.

Religion

For some reason, Religion is always linked with Politics in India. First thing, do not slot people according to their religion. Never conduct a census based on religion. Never give reservations based on religion. By giving out reservations based on religion, we are sounding out a wrong signal. Give people the impression that everybody is the same, irrespective of their religion. In my opinion, once we put an end to this farcical drama about religion, our politics will also set itself right.

Media

With no offense to anyone, I have little respect towards journalists and media-persons. Gone are the days when ‘News’ was only about reporting the events. It is now all about airing ‘Views’, and sensationalising non issues. In 2007, a regulatory body for the media, News Broadcasters Association (NBA), was formed. Erm, make that Self Regulatory. What use is a self regulatory body when they form their own rules and set their own guidelines?  The Media must be regulated by an autonomous institute with no member from the Media being a part of it.

And oh, if possible, gag Sagarika Ghose.

Police

Did you ever notice how our cops look dull and disinterested? If it were upto me, I’d change their uniforms. Khakhi looks ridiculously dull and uninspiring. It’s a colour for the carpenters! Change it pronto! Black is ruled out, considering we are a hot country. Maybe light blue? While at that, also upgrade the equipment which the policemen use. The made-in-china Airguns are more effective than the armour our police use. Also, please give them some decent vehicles. It’s a shame that culprits manage to wriggle out of police chases even when on cycles (though such cyclists must be encouraged to take up cycling as a serious sport, and represent India on a velodrome, but that is a different issue).

Basically, what I am trying to say is what every corporate entity tries to do. Create a better work atmosphere at the work place so that your employees perform well!

This, That and Everything else.

First up, the Infrastructure. Seriously? What the hell are the civic authorities smoking? Do they ever travel by road? If Rally Driving were ever made an Olympic Sport, I am sure Indians will do exceedingly well at it!

And also, if they ever manage to build something which lasts for over an year, the structures end up looking horrendously ugly! Aesthetics plays an important role in town planning, and hope the authorities realise that ASAP.

We have a gazillion civic bodies responsible for building up roads. Scrap them all. Create a single entity which is entirely responsible for the construction of roads, and make that a private autonomous body, with no Government interference in its internal functioning at all . In other words, treat this body just like our Military, but only, privatised. Allocate a budget, assign targets, and pull up the responsible if they do not meet the deadlines. It can termed as a Government aided Private sector company, and I am sure this model will work, as long as the Government does not involve in the internal affairs.

The reason why I stress so much on Infrastructure is simple. Only Infrastructure projects can propel a country towards development. Up untill 2000, we had a pathetic highway system. And then Golden Quadrilateral happened. According to an anecdote, one evening, the then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee while at drinks asked his colleagues, ”Agar hum Dilli – Mumbai – Kolkata – Chennai ko road se jod de, toh kitna kharcha hoga?” (If we join Delhi-Mumbai-Kolkata-Chennai with roads, how much would it cost?). This set things rolling. It was estimated that the project would cost about Rs 60,000 Crores, and in no time, the project was kick started.

Now, when projects of such gargantuan scale are taken up, it is boom time for the economy. To build such a project, huge amounts of steel, cement, concrete are required. This will ensure that the cement factories get sufficient business. In order to keep pace with the demand, our imports will increase, thus getting in huge revenue in the form of taxes. This revenue through taxes is again pumped into developmental projects. To build these projects, along with the skilled work force, the unskilled workforce will also find employment.

Basically it is like a cycle of development. Or, the Butterfly effect, if I may call it, where one thing leads to the other. A project of this scale has drastically changed the urban topography of India, and brought in huge revenues from various quarters.

Now if a leader can come up with such a brilliant proposal only when he is drunk, by all means keep him drunk all the time.

The recently concluded FIFA WC raised many old FAQ’s again. When will India qualify for the WC Finals?, When a country of 20,ooo can produce a decent team, why cant we? are some of the common questions. My suggestion, please ask these questions when a Cricket worldcup is going on, or when the IPL is going on. Why do people remember about our football team only when a major football tournament is round the corner? With our team making it to the Asia Cup for the third time, and the first time since 1984, let’s hope they perform decently.

Forget hockey. It is dead anyway.

I just hope the Delhi Commonwealth Games happen without any stadium roofs collapsing, or the shooting range getting flooded.

Just ensure that every sport is managed by a professional group, again, a private entity, and do not involve government or politicians into the administration. Give the sport sometime. By sometime, it could be 20 years as-well, but allow it to reach the grassroots.

Untill then, Cricket will remain the favourite sport for most of us.

Another major reason why our Government services suck is, lack of accountability and a sense of security among the Government employees. These employees do not have any fear of losing their jobs, and hence are unproductive most of the times.

There are two solutions to increase productivity among government employees.

  • Take action against non-performing employees;
  • Privatise government sector companies. (which IMO,  is a better solution)

And, oh, the Naxal issue. Shoot them all without any mercy, they are not important. Jail naxal sympathisers like Arundathi Roy.  Get done with this issue, and the government show some spine while dealing with this.

And as far as Pakistan is considered, cut of all ties with Pakistan. Seal borders. And do not recognise Pakistan, just like the Middle-East countries do not recognise Israel. Pakistan is not a reliable neighbour, and we are better off without them. (Read: Aman ki Ashes)

There are many more issues to discuss like, education, health-care etc., but maybe another time.

Hope the powers to be wake up to the crisis we are facing before they get out of hand. I end this essay here, with optimism and hope, and a veiled threat of a Part-2 of this post!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Navaneeta permalink
    July 23, 2010 4:33 pm

    Decent writer meeru. You can pull off witty sarcasms very well ! Part 2 esp. kept me laughing all the while.

    • July 23, 2010 6:42 pm

      Thanks ma’am! 🙂

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