Let’s say an alien suddenly lands on earth and decides to set up a base in some part of the planet. Not knowing where to, it picks a newspaper and sees doom everywhere. Then suddenly it reads about a country called India where there is so much optimism. It seems to be the only growing region in the world and spoken of highly in the press. The alien decides to set up its home in one of the premier cities of the country and is really excited at the prospect. And then the reality hits..
One does not even know whether to laugh or be angry on the several articles talking about India’s surge in world economy. Someone sitting outside the country (and trading in Indian stocks) makes one believe so much is happening in Indian economy. It must be really good for people in the country. Nothing could be further from truth.
One is not even getting into the rural areas and states/cities doing poorly. Let us even see what is happening around India’s major cities.
Take the case of Mumbai, India’s financial capital which is the source of much of this India hype. The city is bracing for water cuts as BMC cuts water supply by 20%.
Then take the case of India’s silicon valley where power cuts are a serious issue. It is not easy to be sitting here and keep waiting for power. The cuts are so random, sometimes in the middle of the night and sometimes early morning. There is just no timeline at all. And then issues with garbage, water, traffic etc are haunting the city. These are perennial issues and power is the latest entrant in the list.
Moreover, a city which has given so much of fame to Indian might, has been ignored from the smart city list. The engineers in the city could be preparing quite a few technologies for the smart city initiative but the city itself is ignored. Now one can say that much of this smart city bit is just talk and does not matter. Well, even then not to include Bangalore is like such a joke.
And the national capital from Dengue (not to suggest that Mumbai/Bangalore not suffering from Dengue).
When one goes beyond these major cities, things are becoming even more complex in terms of availability of basic things. Water tables are dipping alarmingly, health hazards run rampant, traffic snarls growing in places where there was no traffic a few years back, heaps of garbage spread across and so on..
One wonders how can things be so disconnected from reality? Is this how countries grew in the past as well where rhetoric triumphed over reality?