Priorities @65

Today is India’s 65th Independence day. Today MMS will hoist the trio from Red fort and lecture the nation on upholding the high standard of integrity, remain patriotic and remain true to the nation. But I will be surprized if his speech will be able to lift the spirit of the nation. Unfortunately, over all दशा & दिशा of the nation is such that it is difficult to remain optimistic about our great nation’s future. Even after 65 years of independence it seems like we have been at the same cross roads from where we had started. Going forward challenges are plenty and we look ill prepared to tackle them. To me following are some of the biggest threats nation is facing as of now and need to fix them ASAP.

1. Menace of Corruption :

Needless to say menace of corruption is eating up the nation as Termite eats the wood. Since last couple of years, it’s been a raining season of corruption scams. Kalmadis, Rajas, Karunandihis and other politicians are setting the new benchmarks of scam figures with each scam. The blood and sweat mixed hard earned money of nation is going to Swiss bank accounts and in the pocket of our thick skinned politicians. The money which should have been used to build the nation is being used for the construction of the plush mansions of our corrupt politicos. Moral values is almost zero in our current lot of politicians. Even if I think hard, I can’t even find one politician who has held the high moral ground and is genuinely interested in serving the nation. Such is the pathetic state of our current politico system. Nation should take the task of cleansing the current political system with utmost priority. Fortunately, I can see the light at the end of tunnel. Anna Hazare has taken up this task for the nation. I hope he and his crusaders with the support of nation will bring much needed change for the nation. So Good luck to Annaji!!

2. Internal & External Security Threats :

Terrorism is another menace which should be dealt with iron hands. But I see least willingness from our current government to fight this menace. Every now and then innocent people loose their lives in terror attacks and government is just good at appraising the resilience of people and throwing the loaf of compensation money in front of victim’s family. Government has failed miserably in protecting the lives of it’s citizen time and again. Time has come for government to realize that it’s enough now….. value the life of citizen. Value of citizen is much more than the 200,000 INR compensation government is giving. Time has come to shed the vote bank politics and to do something concrete to strengthen the internal security and protect the lives of citizen.

From the External security point of view also we have been least fortunate to have neighbours like China and Pakistan. Despite of evident Anti India sentiments of Pak and China, we keep trusting them and keep getting stabbed in our back time and again. We as a growing power house in world, it is time that we become more assertive to safeguard our national interests. Why we need to go crying at the doorsteps of uncle SAM and ask uncle SAM to punish our neighbours for their wrong doings. In my personal opinion peace talks with Pak is not going to result in smoother relations and if we are hopeful about the results of peace talks we should at least be more demanding in talks to safeguard our interests. The aim of the peace talks should be to safeguard our interests rather than reinstating good relationships with neighbours at the cost of lives of innocent people.

3. Lull in the political leadership :

Before 1947, we were ruled by the queen and today also the situation remains the same. No matter how many denials come from MMS he is mere a puppet and front face of queen. Indians should realize that we are democratic nation and not a kingdom which can be ruled by one family generations after generations. And even if we accept the dynastic rulers, it’s bitter fact that dynastic rulers have not done good to the nation. So first priority should be to get rid of dynastic politics and giving chance to able leadership.  Also, siting the reason of compulsions of coalition politics all the wrong doings are just ignored. To counter the problems of coalition politics we need some strong leaders who can make all the parties to toe the line of the government. India need visionary leader who can push the development agenda for the nation and assertive leader who can keep all the coalition partners in check. Also, We definitely need the infusion of young blood into politics to replace our thick skinned aging politicos. (Definitely, our Yuvraj is not going to help in this cause)

4. Reinstate citizens pride in being Indian :

As I mentioned the state in which India right now, it does not look so encouraging. For common man, unprecedented high cost of living  is killing them softly every day. Rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer. Common man has been so busy in meeting his both ends that he doesn’t have time to think about country. It’s general belief amongst the common man that he is not getting anything from the country. In such a case how common man can feel pride in being citizen of India or why he should think about giving back to the nation? Reigniting the passion for the nation in the hearts of it’s citizen is important. Need is to develop overall cohesive environment for the Citizens in which they feel themselves encouraged to perform their civic duties with honesty and remain more attached to the nation. Patriotism is not the thing which needs to be shown only on 15th August and 26th January. I am not sure about how to get such change on ground but something needs to be done in time.

Above are my priorities for India at 65. Hope some of the things will improve by the time it turns 66.

Despite of all the odds and hardships, India and Indians remains unique and I murmur following song while remembering my heartland.

 

God bless my country….

Jai Hind

 

 

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Shameful Flight

Yesterday Finally, I laid my hand on some book after a long gap. Yesterday I went to library here. I had one specific book in my mind which was suggested by someone. The book which I wanted to borrow was “From third world to first, Singapore Story” written by Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Kuan Yew is a father figure of Singapore and he is given a credit to transform the Singapore from the third world nation after it’s birth in 1965 to first world nation of today. From whatever little I know about the history of Singapore since it’s birth, I think this fellow LKY has done good job for Singapore and have high regards for this man. But at the same time, I’m a big time criticiser of his recent policies. LKY / MM Lee (that is how he is known here) still have a great clout in Singapore and currently his son is ruling the Singapore. I was interested in reading how this fellow managed this development journey of Singapore but but but unfortunately I couldn’t lay my hands on this book. To my disgust though book was not out on loan was also not there on book shelf. Despite of my attempts to find out and taking the help from library staff, I couldn’t find the book.

As I couldn’t find that book but was determined to read something I tried to search for some other book. First time in the library, I explored the book section where India related books were kept. Though the collection was not huge still it was interesting. There were many books on gandhi, few books on history on tourism and culture. I also found one book titled as “Culture shock” describing the dos n don’t in the Indian culture and describing what outsiders must know about India before visiting India, in order to avoid culture shock. I think amazing concept to write book on :).  I took one book titled as “Shameful Flight” which is on the horror of the partition after Indian got independence. I’m avid history lover but feel ashamed to admit that till date I haven’t read any authenticate book on Indian partition which I feel I must have done so far. So by taking “Shameful Flight”, I am attempting to revisit partition era and will be trying to know what mistakes/good things likes of Gandhi / Sardar / Nehru etc. did. Some day I also want to read book on Mohammed Ali Jeenah. I think Jaswant singh’s latest book written on him is available in Singapore National library. So some day I will borrow it to read it.

Now I have managed to get the book but the problem is to get the time to do the justice with the book. Most likely I will have to read this while travelling for the office ( so will hv to stop surfing on iPhone) otherwise currently I don’t have a luxury to have spare time to read books. And yeah, yesterday I also got latest issue of magazine “India Se”. Perhaps more than enough reading material to my disposal. 🙂

@Changi Airport

It was fine rainy morning today. The roads were wet with light drizzle. The atmosphere was really cool and I started off from house @6:15 in the morning for Changi Airport. It was the first time that I started off so early from home. I was under impression that roads will not be that crowded and public transport will have enough space but what I found was contrary to my belief. But still it was very enjoyable journey to Changi Airport.

From Changi airport, I had to collect some stuff from stranger which mom had sent from Ahmedabad. That fellow was coming by Kingfisher’s flight from Mumbai. Singapore government has made Changi such a world class airport that whoever comes to the Airport will become fan of it. I reached airport quite early and had ample time to do what I want to. On Indian airports, big problem is what to do except buying magazine and read it but situation is not the same with the Changi Airport.

First on my windows mobile, I connected to WiFi network using Wireless@SG. I checked my mails, checked new posts in my feed reader, read what’s going on in Big B’s mind, saw snaps of how Shilpa Shetty celebrated her holiday’s in Maldives, found out who has been locked inside Big Boss’s house in season 3, etc. etc. After a while it was difficult for me to concentrate on small screen of my mobile. So I went for window shopping. Not many shops were open though in the lounge but still you can do some good time pass. You can not think of buying anything here coz it costs more (that’s pretty obvious). After that I came and checked on the wide screen that Kingfisher’s flight has already been landed so I sat on the chair right opposite the belt on which the luggage for the flight was supposed to come. On the adjacent belts, there were luggage of three flights one from Paris, one from Barcelona and one from Mumbai. I found few white skinned people around me in arrival lounge waiting for their loved ones coming from either Paris or Barcelona. The moment their loved ones are out in arrival lounge these fellows will rush towards them, hug them, kiss them, give pack and warmly greet them. Well, you can see the joy of reunion on the faces of these white skinned (perhaps French) public. I found their behaviour care free and bit loud. In front of my eyes I was seeing two different cultures. In English culture they express their love, passion, respect, etc. by giving pack while Indians were doing “पैरी पोना" as a mark of respect to elders and giving simple hug to their loved ones. Well, that’s the difference of culture what else I can say.

I saw the cabin crew members of both Jet and Kingfisher airlines coming out. Well, if you want my vote on the dressing of these two air lines’ air hostesses, than my vote will definitely go to King fisher. Jet’s Yellow dress is nowhere near to Kingfisher’s dark red dress. Scene of all the air hostesses coming out to the arrival lounge in one queue pushing their red bags (yup the bag’s color was also red so that it can match with their dresses) in disciplined manner was like seeing some army troop marching. But this troop was really glamorous though. Well, I was least interested in seeing the yellow troop of jet. 🙂

One thing I noticed is 95% of the travellers were carrying spirits with them. It is because it is  quite cheaper to buy liquor from duty free shops located inside. No matter it’s Indian/White, No matter person is young/60 year old lady, no matter it’s Man/woman, everyone had liquor with them to keep them in high spirits. Last time I had bought tequila for just 20+ S$ from airport’s duty free shops. The same bottle could have cost me around 50+ S$ outside. So who will not take price benefit if they can.

Finally, I managed to find the person from whom I had to collect the stuff. But during this time it was really good experience observing the people, different cultures, behaviours, etc. It was indeed pleasure experience.

Next week I will once again I will be @Changi Airport. But next time I will be their as traveller as I will be flying to India for annual vacation. I have decided to be at the Airport early and enjoy some more moments and making some more observations.

F1 Night race buzz

સિંગાપોરમાં આજે ફોર્મ્યુલા1 ગ્રાન્ડ પ્રીક્સની નાઇટ રેસ યોજાવાની છે. ફોર્મ્યુલા1 સર્કિટની દરેક રેસ દિવસ દરમ્યાન યોજાય છે પણ સિંગાપોર એક જ એવી જગ્યા છે જ્યાં આ રેસ રાત્રિ દરમ્યાન એટલે કે ફ્લડ લાઇટમાં યોજાય છે. ગયા વર્ષે સિંગાપોરમાં ફોર્મ્યુલા1 ઇતિહાસની પ્રથમ રાત્રિ રેસ યોજાઇ હતી અને પહેલી રેસથી જ સિંગાપોર ગ્રાન્ડ પ્રીક્સ એ ફોર્મ્યુલા1 ના રસિયાઓ વચ્ચે એકદમ હીટ બની ગઇ હતી. સિંગાપોર સરકારે પણ દુનિયાભરના લોકોમાં ફોર્મ્યુલા1 વિશેનો વિશેષ રસ જોઇને કંઇક અલગ અને લોકોને વધારે મજા આવે એ હેતુથી રાત્રિમાં રેસ યોજવા માટે કમર કસી હતી. ભારતના ખેલ મંત્રી આ રમતને ધનિકોની રમત અને મનોરંજન ગણાવીને આ રમત પર ઘ્યાન નથી આપતા. ખેલ મંત્રી કહે છે કે મારે બીજી રમતો પર ધ્યાન આપવું છે. (વાતો તો એવી કરશે જાણે બીજી બધી રમતોમાં એમણે આપણને champion બનાવી દીધા હોય.). કદાચ ખેલમંત્રીને ખબર નથી કે આ રમતને મહત્વ અપાય તો ભલે દેશના રમતવીરોને ફાયદો નહીં થાય પણ ટુરિઝમ ડિપાર્ટમેન્ટને જરૂર ફાયદો થશે. અત્યારે સિંગાપોરમાં આખી દુનિયામાંથી (ખાસ કરીને ગોરી પ્રજા) ફોર્મ્યુલા1 રેસના ચાહકો સિંગાપોરમાં આવી ગયા છે. ઓર્ચડ રોડ પર અત્યારે 5માંથી 2 વ્યક્તિ ગોરા જોવા મળે છે. આના લીધે ટુરિઝમ, રીટેઇલ અને હોટેલના ધંધાઓમાં એક્દમ તેજી આવી ગઇ છે. આજ કાલ મંદીના જમાનામાં આવા ઇવેન્ટ યોજીને જ ઇકોનોમીને પાટે લાવી શકાય. (હું પહેલા નહોતો માનતો કે આવી રેસ કે બીજા ઇવેન્ટ યોજવાથી ઇકોનોમીને ફાયદો થાય પણ આ વખતે લોકોમાં ક્રેઝ અને વિઝીટરોને જોઇને આ વાત માનતો થઇ ગયો.) હું મોટર સ્પોર્ટસનો ચાહક  નથી (હું ઔરંગઝેબ છું આ રમતની બાબતમાં અને રમતના નિયમો વિશે પણ જાણકારી નથી) પણ રેસની આર્થિક જગત પર અસરોને જોતા મને લાગે છે કે ભારતમાં પણ આ રેસ લાવવા વિશે વિચારી શકાય.

થોડું સિંગાપોરમાં યોજાતી રેસ વિશે. આ રેસનો ટ્રેક શહેરની મધ્યમાં જ (એટલે કે CBD – Central Business District)છે. ટ્રેકની આજુબાજુ ઉંચી ઇમારતો, સિંગાપોર રીવર, સિંગાપોર ફ્લાયર અને મર્લિયન આવેલ છે. આ એરિયા મારા મુજબ સિંગાપોરનો સૌથી સારો એરિયા છે. આ રેસ સિંગાપોર ફ્લાયરમાંથી પણ જોઇ શકાય છે અને એના માટે વિશેષ પેકેજ પણ હોય છે. Fullerton Hotel અને ટ્રેકની આજુબાજુમાં આવેલી હોટલમાંથી પણ આ રેસ જોઇ શકાય છે. રેસનો ટ્રેક અને એના આજુબાજુના એરિયા વિશેની માહિતી અહીં છે. મેં પહેલી વાર જ્યારે રેસનો ટ્રેક જોયો હતો ત્યારે મને તો બહુ નાનો લાગ્યો હતો પણ ખબર નહીં ટ્રેક આટલી પહોળાઇના રહેતા હશે રેસમાં. રેસની ટિકીટોની કિંમત વિશે મને બહુ ખબર નથી પણ કદાચ બહુ સસ્તી નથી. મારા એક મિત્રએ પ્રેક્ટિસ સેશન જોવા માટે (રેસ નહીં) 38 ડોલર (લગભગ 1200 રૂપિયા)ની ટિકીટ ખરીદી છે. મને બહુ રસ નથી એટલે ટિકીટના ભાવમાં પડવાની મગજમારી મેં નથી કરી. પણ એક વાત છે રેસના લીધે સિંગાપોરનો માહોલ બદલાઇ ગયો છે. ઓર્ચડ રોડ પર ફરતી વખતે મેં લીધેલા ફોટા અમુક નીચે મૂક્યા છે.

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        Enjoy beautiful Singapore during racing season

 

 

 

 

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BMW is there to grab……

 

 

 

 

 

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Model racing car on display @Orchard Road

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   Hoardings put up @Orchard to set racing mood amongst visitors

P.S. :

I have been bit late in writing this post. While writing this post, I was watching F1 race on TV and Lewis Hemilton won the race. Readers also pls excuse me for my poor knowledge about F1 race.

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