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India Rising - Part II

In response to my previous post my friend Payal (who had forwarded me the video) - sent me an email. Her email is almost a blog post in itself - so I thought it would be a good idea to post it here. Here you go ...

[previous post ... there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.]

I understand all those pitfalls... all I am saying by that link is that the image of India is getting better in the outside world. I am happy about it ... but I wish there was more substance to it ...
Its not just what meets the eyes (infra) that needs to be developed, there are softer concerns too like security and resilience of justice system not to mention corruption and the lack of trust in offices and general life.

ऐसा नही है कि US में 2 hours 'stuck in traffic' नही होता, but India में it is more often than not... you know when NRIs come back to India, they always see the "progress" in India.. big malls erected, flyovers etc and think "Hey! India is really shining" but they do not see the micro day-to-day version ...

But once u stay for a while, then u realize that all things are not so hunky dory... Ex Delhi-Chandigarh trip used to take 4.5 hrs normally, but because of the Panipat city sprawl, it started taking longer - Govt thought, we need a flyover and without planning for an alternate route, they started building a flyover right there in that mess, creating an even more pathetic situation. It now easily takes more than 6 hours for the same stretch. I know its the same case with all other flyovers..

And when you say lack one set of methodology, you are right, but they are all right in saying that India needs roads and rails because we need both. The growth in India is explosive and infra is not able to cope up with it. Indian railways has not seen growth as much was needed since the past 50 years.

Other aspects are present too - On one of our long drives to Wichita (7.5 hours) to visit my in-laws last month, my husband Raminder and I were seriously considering moving to India for a year. "Would be fun!", we mused - spending some good time with family and friends, visiting all those discotheques with Hindi numbers etc; we were quite serious about the plan, we thought through a lot of nitty-gritties.

But we reached Wichita and we have all the Indian channels there, so listening to the news, we realized that we couldn't possibly think of "having so much fun" in India. The news that particularly struck us was Lalu's boys eve-teasing in Mumbai. And to think that those girls were accompanied by their male friends and the troublemakers went scot-free the next morning. I had always boasted of Mumbai as a safe city for females to Raminder and he says "here goes your safe city"!!

I talked to one of my friends about what she did on the new years eve, and her response was "यार, तुझे तो पता है, new years पर बिल्कुल safe नही होता, we just stayed at home; किसी और दिन party कर लेंगे". I was aghast!! I guess I am used to security now - It is sad but true.

The news in US is awash with Slow-down and impending recession stories. Some companies are laying off as many as 4000 jobs in a week. It is true, US is hit, now it will definitely translate into more jobs in India because of outsourcing, but the margins will be down too. The high markup projects would be on the lows, because nobody is buying! I still think India can ride the wave - but we need one leader - would be better if we get a dictator with a vision, extremist thinking, but I really think it would help India.

Nehru's words are so true right now... We have miles to go before we sleep!


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