INDIA IN A MESS.

Date: 19 Apr 2011

Comment

In a message dated 16/08/2010 16:37:34 GMT Standard Time, \\\\\\\\\\.net writes: t: : Damning Opinion about India >\\\\\\\\ > Dear President of India and Prime Minister of India >\\\\\\\\\\ > I am forwarding a email Please think about it and can do something for > people of INDIA > Regards > \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > London UK >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > This article is from Sean Paul Kelley a travel writer, former radio > host, and before that an asset manager for a Wall Street investment > bank that is still (barely) alive. He recently left a fantastic job > in Singapore working for Solar Winds, a software national affairs, > culture and news destination for progressives. He is also the Global > Correspondent for The Young Turks, on satellite radio and Air America. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > Read his opinion which mirrors mine... > xxxxxxxxx > >\\\\\\\\\\\ > > If you are Indian, or of Indian descent, I must preface this post with > a clear warning: you are not going to like what I have to say. My > criticisms may be very hard to stomach. But consider them as the hard > words and loving advice of a good friend. Someone whoís being honest > with you and wants nothing from you. >\\\\\\\\\\\ > These criticisms apply to all of India except Kerala and the places I > didnít visit, except that I have a feeling it applies to all of India, > except as I mentioned before, Kerala. >\\\\\\\\\\\ > Lastly, before anyone accuses me of Western Cultural Imperialism, let > me say this: if this is what India and Indians want, then hey, who am I > to tell them differently. Take what you like and leave the rest. In the > end it doesnít really matter, as I get the sense that Indians, at least > many upper class Indians, donít seem to care and the lower classes just > donít know any better, what with Indian culture being so intense and > pervasive on the sub-continent. But here goes, nonetheless. >\\\\\\\\\\ > India is a mess. Itís that simple, but itís also quite complicated. > Iíll start with what I think are Indiaís four major problemsĖthe four > most preventing India from becoming a developing nationĖand then move > to some of the ancillary ones. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > First, pollution. In my opinion the filth, squalor and all around > pollution indicates a marked lack of respect for India by Indians. I > donít know how cultural the filth is, but itís really beyond anything I > have ever encountered. At times the smells, trash, refuse and > excrement are like a garbage dump.\\\\\\\\\\ > > Right next door to the Taj Mahal was a pile of trash that smelled so > bad, was so foul as to almost ruin the entire Taj experience. Delhi, > Bangalore and Chennai to a lesser degree were so very polluted as to > make me physically ill. Sinus infections, ear infection, bowels > churning was an all too common experience in India. Dung, be it goat, > cow or human fecal matter was common on the streets. In major tourist > areas filth was everywhere, littering the sidewalks, the roadways, you > name it. Toilets in the middle of the road, men urinating and > defecating anywhere, in broad daylight. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > Whole villages are plastic bag wastelands. Roadsides are choked by it. > Air quality that can hardly be called quality. Far too much coal and > far too few unleaded vehicles on the road. The measure should be how > dangerous the air is for oneís health, not how good it is. People > casually throw trash in the streets, on the roads. >\\\\\\\\\\\ > The only two cities that could be considered sanitary in my journey > were TrivandrumĖthe capital of KeralaĖand Calicut. I donít know why > this is. But I can assure you that at some point this pollution will > cut into Indiaís productivity, if it already hasnít. The pollution will > hobble Indiaís growth path, if that indeed is what the country wants. > (Which I personally doubt, as India is far too conservative a country, > in the small Ďcí sense.) >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > More after the jump..\\\\\\\\\\ > The second issue, infrastructure, can be divided into four > subcategories: roads, rails and ports and the electrical grid. The > electrical grid is a joke. Load shedding is all too common, everywhere > in India. Wide swaths of the country spend much of the day without the > electricity they actually pay for. With out regular electricity, > productivity, again, falls.\\\\\\\\\\\ > > The ports are a joke. Antiquated, out of date, hardly even appropriate > for the mechanized world of container ports, more in line with the days > of longshoremen and the like. Roads are an equal disaster. I only saw > one elevated highway that would be considered decent in Thailand, much > less Western Europe or America. And I covered fully two thirds of the > country during my visit. >\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > There are so few dual carriage way roads as to be laughable. There are > no traffic laws to speak of, and if there are, they are rarely obeyed, > much less enforced. A drive that should take an hour takes three. A > drive that should take three takes nine. The buses are at least thirty > years old, if not older.\\\\\\\\\\\\ > > Everyone in India, or who travels in India raves about the railway > system. Rubbish. Itís awful. Now, when I was there in 2003 and then > late 2004 it was decent. But in the last five years the traffic on the > rails has grown so quickly that once again, it is threatening > productivity. Waiting in line just to ask a question now takes thirty > minutes. Routes are routinely sold out three and four days in advance > now, leaving travelers stranded with little option except to take the > decrepit and dangerous buses. >\\\\\\\\\\ > At least fifty million people use the trains a day in India. 50 million > people! Not surprising that wait-lists of 500 or more people are common > now. >\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > The rails are affordable and comprehensive but they are overcrowded and > what with budget airlines popping up in India like Sadhus in an ashram > the middle and lowers classes are left to deal with the overutilized > rails and quality suffers. No one seems to give a shit. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > Seriously, I just never have the impression that the Indian government > really cares. Too interested in buying weapons from Russia, Israel and > the US I guess. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > The last major problem in India is an old problem and can be divided > into two parts thatíve been two sides of the same coin since government > was invented: bureaucracy and corruption.\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > > It takes triplicates to register into a hotel. To get a SIM card for > oneís phone is like wading into a jungle of red-tape and photocopies > one is not likely to emerge from in a good mood, much less satisfied > with customer service. >\\\\\\\\\\\ > Getting train tickets is a terrible ordeal, first you have to find the > train number, which takes 30 minutes, then you have to fill in the > form, which is far from easy, then you have to wait in line to try and > make a reservation, which takes 30 minutes at least and if you made a > single mistake on the form back you go to the end of the queue, or what > passes for a queue in India. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > The government is notoriously uninterested in the problems of the > commoners, too busy fleecing the rich, or trying to get rich themselves > in some shape or form. Take the trash for example, civil rubbish > collection authorities are too busy taking kickbacks from the wealthy > to keep their areas clean that they donít have the time, manpower, > money or interest in doing their job. >\\\\\\\\\\ > Rural hospitals are perennially understaffed as doctors pocket the fees > the government pays them, never show up at the rural hospitals and > practice in the cities instead. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > I could go on for quite some time about my perception of India and its > problems, but in all seriousness, I donít think anyone in India really > cares. And that, to me, is the biggest problem. India is too > conservative a society to want to change in any way. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > Mumbai, Indiaís financial capital is about as filthy, polluted and poor > as the worst city imaginable in Vietnam, or IndonesiaĖand being more > polluted than Medan, in Sumatra is no easy task. The biggest rats I > have ever seen were in Medan!\\\\\\\\\\\ > > One would expect a certain amount of, yes, I am going to use this word, > backwardness, in a country that hasnít produced so many Nobel > Laureates, nuclear physicists, imminent economists and entrepreneurs. > But India has all these things and what have they brought back to India > with them? Nothing. >\\\\\\\\\\\\ > The rich still have their servants, the lower castes are still there to > do the dirty work and so the country remains in stasis. Itís a shame. > Indians and India have many wonderful things to offer the world, but > Iím far from sanguine that India will amount to much in my lifetime. >\\\\\\\\\\ > Now, have at it, call me a cultural imperialist, a spoiled child of the > West and all that. But remember, Iíve been there. Iíve done it. And > Iíve seen 50 other countries on this planet and none, not > even Ethiopia, have as long and gargantuan a laundry list of problems > as India does. >\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > And the bottom line is, I donít think India really cares. Too > complacent and too conservative. >\\\\\\\\\\\\\ > > Please read the following article > http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,410345,00.html > 000000000