Archive for the ‘governance’ Category
It’s the most important general election for the nation as they say. Everyone feels that they have influence and they can change the outcome of the event. This sentiment is on display every night on news channels. Quite ambitious and egoistic sentiment. Media has very little influence at least in influencing the outcome of election. What they might have is influence in fixing deals just as radia tapes revealed. In this event they are mostly spectators just as everyone else. I would say, it has influence in urban centers of India that too only in Metropolitan centers particularly on apolitical crowd. Why? One, if apolitical they don’t have much context and history. Second, they are mostly naive at least in this matter. As we can see people who would have never voted are now out in full force trying to change the system. Everyone wants to change the system. Everyone wants to have their version of India. But who gives fuck? The guy on the road has very little time for this intellectualisation of simple issues that affect his daily life. Now that’s where media has got it all wrong. Your ideology is not that people are interested in. Neither in your opinion or intellectualisation. We want to see (or if time and mood permits read) little bit of reportage, if you oblige.
Anyways, now if this is the most important general election country has ever had whom should I vote for? And what should be my priorities? Let’s see. Who can improve macro economic trend and get the fiscal deficit in control? Who can rein in inflation and increase the export? Who can get more FDI in infrastructure and create jobs in manufacturing sectors? Who has better monitory policy to reduce current account deficit? Who can create better relations among states and federal government? Who is better placed to navigate the emerging geo-political situation in south asia? and who is better placed to find India’s place in 21st century? Now that’s how you complicate the discussion you see. I like street side discussion better.
Ah! Whoever serves my selfish interest should get my vote! Isn’t it that simple. My Grandmother told me once that she would vote for Rajiv Gandhi because he increased pension for railway employees. So on same line I would vote for those who will make personal income tax 0%. But that’s not going to happen. Well as I see I need very little of Government. And whatever I need it for is actually at municipal level not at national level. But what about inflation and low growth? Yes, that affects me. Bombs going on and off as it was the case in 2008. Yes, that scares me somewhat. What else is there that affects me directly? Good highways, probably better air connectivity, bullet trains, private trains, better transport in the city (That’s again municipal issue) Electricity! 24 hours is what I want. Water. Potable water! It’s shame we as a country are incapable of providing safe drinking water. Nice, what else? I don’t have kids but education! Better trained engineers will help me hire easily :). What else do I want from my central government? Can I renew my passport in a day? If I already have passport why does it take a month or year to renew it? Better tourist places? All the places that I have visited and I have visited quite a lot and most of them are filled with garbage. They are dirty, filthy and littered with plastic. What else? Better shopping experience may be. Why not let more foreign brands come! Cheaper gadgets. Why TV is twice as costly compared with say Dubai? So that’s about it. As the song goes… chhoti si asha.
So, who can give all these? Well Congress has certainly failed in last 3-4 years. They lost their way since 2G scam exploded on their face. And if we vote for them again it would be encouraging non-performance as we fire non-performing employee we must let this government go. Besides, they are anti-middle class. They threw good money after bad money. Had very little focus on middle class. If you see all their flagship programs all of them were directed on non-middle class (mis-directed because none gave any tangible outcome). Except JNNURM. So whom should I vote for? Modi! Both the detractors and lovers of the man who has made the election as referendum on his work on Gujarat. While media is hell bent upon making it a referendum on him. But that may or may not materlise is a different matter. He is asking for vote based on his performance in Gujarat in last 10 years. He deserves a chance! All he has talked about is development and growth. In fact he Everything else is just noise. And probably people have made up their mind. But I needed to put it on paper to clear my thoughts. Yes, I don’t agree with BJP’s stand on Multi brand retail and article 377 on gay sex! But that’s not a deal breaker. Let’s get Modi. I too think I can influence the outcome 🙂
But I am not voting! Can we get postal ballot?
AAP is screwing up lately. And screwing up too fast to feel good about. So, some mouthful of suggestions to AAP
1. Shut the fuck up and focus on the job
You have zero experience in governing a municipal ward let alone state. There are huge expectations on your shoulders. If you fail you wont recover. There are large number of people who are expecting you to fail and equally large number of people want you to succeed. Don’t throw goodwill and hard-work by making stupid statements. Rate at which you are making blunders with in month you will loose sheen. One day your leader talks of Kashmir next day another leader talks of reservation. What the fuck is wrong with you guys? Just ask those who are not in the government to just shut up. All the other issues can come later. First show that you mean business. Rate at which you are fucking up is making me go scream on rooftop
2. Walk the talk
Don’t take big houses, cars. Don’t complain that people are measuring you by very high standards. You asked for it. When you set the utopian goals it’s obvious that you will be the first one to be measured by that goal. Don’t you know that kids don’t do what parents tell them to, they do what parents do. Same is true in public life. That’s why it is tough to bring change because the one who is bringing change has to stay out of the current setup. And by the way you have lived without luxury and fame so far you can live without it for few more months/years. Mr.Kejriwal do you know something called distant relationship? So work from Delhi and meet your family on weekends. Do it till dust settles down. If you really want to work closely with your ministers get apartments/houses close to eachother and near assembly and work from there.
3. Forget 2014
Don’t fall in trap. Honestly you will look like B-team of congress. You don’t have machinery. You don’t have cadre (At least I don’t know). You don’t have agenda. You don’t fucking know what is your vision? If your vision is what Yogendra Yadav’s vision is you are fucked. Your supporters are from middle class and they don’t buy this socialist shit anymore. Better option would be to let people look at what you have done in Delhi. They will give you chance. Take one step at a time. Rome was not built in a day. You have long distance to go. Don’t spread too thin too fast.
4. Don’t encourage seasonal birds
Captain Gopinath, Kamal Farooqui and many others like them will come to you. They are like big boss contestants. They are just publicity seekers. Don’t fucking give them eyeballs. You guys look equal morons.
5. Logout and prepare the plan for 100 days
Logout from 24/7 media buzz. It’s not helping you folks. Nobody has ever achieved anything meaningful unless they have plan. I haven’t seen any plan from you folks for next 100 days. If not have it soon. Think big execute bigger. Show results and go for glory. That’s the only way. You can’t hope to just work like donkey and resolve things for city like Delhi in 100 days. There are few low hanging fruits and many which will require planning, convincing and execution.
Will they do it? I don’t think so Why? Refer to my previous post for that… More on why AAP will fuck up faster than we think later.
Because my friend Saurabh Bhardwaj is minister for transportation in Delhi now, I thought let me start with what he can consider.
What needs to be done to improve public transport in the cities of India?
1. Get rid of permits for autos or cycle rickshaws
Do we have permits for restaurants, barbershops, movie theater or any other public recreation or requirements? Society finds its equilibrium. Those who make money stay others wind up and leave. By imposing artificial restrictions on number of autos that can ply on the roads we are creating 1. Monopoly 2. Dearth for service 3. Demand supply gap. and incentivizing corruption. It also smacks of communist style governance where Government know and would also decide what is good for the people. Which definitely is not true. Government shouldn’t dictate terms on what services and in what quantity are good for the society. In current situation, auto unions force the rate. i.e. In Bangalore auto costs 13/KM while cab costs 14/KM. Auto drivers can demand arbitrarily high fare and refuse to go by meter. This can be because of scarcity of autos on the roads. It also creates black market where un-registered autos ply and traffic police harasses them for want of permits. It’s also reported that in some places mafia controls the entire auto market and it costs 4 lakhs to 5 lakhs to buy one and operate. Condition is much worse for cycle rickshaws where they are already carrying burden of fellow human being (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUPQPnsIOpc)
2. Rationalize and Privatize routes for buses
This is remarkable that in all Indian cities government works as monopoly as far as large public transportation is concerned. And they do very poor job of it. Very poor connectivity and very poor availability in many cities. (I have lived in 6 cities). What is needed is comprehensive transport policy to ensure that no one in the city needs to take their vehicle if they are willing to walk no more than a kilometer. Once the objective is clearly laid out 1. Identify current capacity 2. service delivery gap 3. See who can fill it (i.e. Autos can be feeders from home to main road etc or mini buses in congested areas). It can be done fairly easily. On top of that government must build all weather shelters at all the bus stops. It can also provide digital devices to let passengers know when is the next bus coming. Show routes on the stops. If government can’t provide let private players chip in and develop the system for the public.
3. Let taxis have their stands
In most Indian cities taxis are not allowed to have their stands. It has stifled the growth of taxi services in many Indian cities. Just like autos they should be allowed to have their meters, stand and pick passengers on the go. Bit by bit auto drivers might find more value in having taxis and we might see transition. Current mechanism just doesn’t allow alternate transport medium to grow.
4. Cycle transport
Today cycle transport is mostly toy and has very little utility value. There are few near Bangalore metro. Has very limited use for multiple reasons. One it’s not well advertised. Two not many cycle stands where people can drop their vehicles. Three roads on which they ride are not very cyclist friendly. For short distances government should allow having cycle stands and companies that allow people to rent cycles and drop at nearest places. For small distances with convenience it may find many takers.