I have lived in US for last 8 years – have visited various countries – Malaysia and Venezuela among them… and I visit India every year. I just came back from another visit.
A few things struck me tremendously:
1. Although the infrastructure is being ramped up – the attention to detail and plan is missing (even after months of a highway or flyover being constructed the dirt and soil were still lying contributing to the pollution – and its NOT just “smog” we also have what I call “Dog” Dust + Fog!)…the “Quality of the last mile” is not taken care of! I found only the Delhi metro being an exception of sorts. If this is not taken care of, we will have built the infrastructure but an unsustainable one on a long term.
2. A quixotic law enforcement mentality – and nothing exemplified it better than the Delhi Demolition drive. The real culprit – politician and bureaucrat – was scott free.. while the unsuspecting buyer was facing the brunt.
3. Very high and unsustainable valuations – real estate .. at least in North .. was unsustainable. A 4 bedroom would cost at least 1 crore in Gurgaon .. I know the incomes are rising…. but have they become so high that someone can pay mortgage on that kind of real estate? The lack of will on part of Govt. to unlock the real estate potential through amendment of Rent COntrol Act is damning!
4. Despite the improvements on an overall or visible level – our productivity remains REAL LOW!
5. Politicians in the country have still not woken up and may very soon be in peril from the business lobby. A good illustration was the tiff between Murthy and Gowda. Gowda, a spent politician in every sense.. was just using his political influence to create a mess… now, who generates the money in the country? Businesses.. so where would the politicians get their daily dose? Businesses. I can almost forsee “Activist Businesses” coming up – something along what WIPRO and INFY did with respect to sponsoring the highway in B’lore.
The day is not far when a progressive businessman-activist would realize that it may be better to sponsor his own candidate to a post as opposed to purchasing an unreliable politician that walk around our landscape today. By themselves, politicians have little clout if they dont have the money!
So, things are improving – but we need to stand and think too… in India everyone seemed to be on a high horse with little time for thought or reflection!
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