Friday, August 29, 2008

A vision less: “ Gods own Country”

It was great to read through the discussion on what people dream of kerala state and the colloquium organised by the paper " Indian Express" . For me the malady starts with a clear lack of vision for the state. I fear vision cannot be set by consultants or mere technical experts who would give a mundane texts and documents. It has to be set by learned visionaries with wisdom, who can better contextualise and set realistic visions viewing the strengths and the socio-cultural settings. But, in the state I find, we are sunk in the past with archaic ideas from kadhi-clad politicians who are tried leaders and tired persons. The very fact that many self proclaimed VIP leaders sitting on the dais ( in 3-4 rows) for every trifle function (god knows what was the size of the audience is !! ) to preach, shows the psyche and folly of the mind set. It is time we found a VIP solution to the issue “ the kerala that I dream off” will have to have -a Vision, a good Infrastructure and a Positive mind set of the people.

“What the state needs is a leader with Vision and a political and administrative class which can translate this Vision into Action”. As Dr Kalam stated, we need a vision (an intelligent foresight) to ignite minds. There is a clear lack of it, the present crop of politicians are too narrow minded, self centered, misguiding public with fossilised and pigeon holed ideas. The infrastructure levels in the state is horrendous,….. a reflection of lack of vision...look at very mundane things ..... They still construct 2 lane roads and bridges ( when they know even the 4 lane roads are choking )...constructing a 4 lane bridge could cost the exchequer about 25% more than a 2 lane bridge)

There is also a need to cultivate positive mindsets from the present entrenched ones. It is the positive mindset that provokes positive actions. The 90/10 principle of Stephan Covey is true ie; 10% of life is made up of what happens to you on which you have no control and 90% of life is decided by how you react. It is time we reacted and voted out these politicians, but there is hardly good ones in sight also!! . They I feel is the cause for all this malady. If we cannot find such leaders, it is better to wait, or perhaps have a Governor’s rule (as Karnataka has shown, we can even have balanced budgets) with good accountability at the bureaucratic levels. Alternatively, limit the number of terms to two; for all politicians. Perhaps development needs to precede democracy…. I am not suggesting a la Deng Xiaoping !! .However, the argument “ economic growth produces an educated and entrepreneurial class that, sooner or later, begins to demand control over its own fate. Eventually, even repressive or inactive governments are forced to give in”. Hope the wait is sweet enough for us too….

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Works at NABARD for poor HH / was Research Affiliate at CDS, Tvm / was Visiting Faculty on microFinance for MBA students NMIMS, Mumbai.