Singapore chalo

Namma Kumaraswamy-avare is off to Singapore. So says this news report. Of course, this is not to guess that this is his first trip to Singapore. Its possible that HDK would have visited Singapore earlier – as a tourist. These days, everybody who wants to holiday, is heading that way! Its cheaper and less taxing than visitiing Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Anyway, I’m digressing.

I know this is his first trip to the city-state as CM of Karnataka. I will stand corrected, though. Amongst other things,

He will also meet officials from Singapore companies in the infrastructure, water technology and logistics sectors

I’d certainly be embarassed meeting them what with the pathetic condition of our infrastructure. Over there, the system runs like clockwork. Water from taps can be drank straight up. Try that with water from BWSSB! Rains don’t hamper life in Singapore, don’t flood houses ( ok, apartments ), don’t mix with sewage. Power cuts are a rarity. Buses run earlier than schedule. Pollution is non-existent. Nobody spits (except Indians in Little India!) where they like. I could go on.

I’m stopping myself from being getting churlish but I certainly hope that on his return, he comes back energised and is challenged enough to do what it takes to re-invent Bangalore : a dramatic change of mindset and a paradigm shift in thinking. Most of it, from out of the box.

Singapore may be deemed a miracle that confounds its neighbours and has westerners confused but in one sweet sentence, it has been the dedicated, committed, relentless work of one man and his vision. Lee Kuan Yew had to prove that Asian’s are in no way inferior to the Westerners.

The question that namma HDK needs to be ask himself & his team is this : Are we in any way inferior? The brand that is Bangalore today is more due to an accident of several factors than real hard core planning & design by either an individual or a government. Nevertheless, the risks of loosing the brand today will be far quicker than it took to create it. Today, his predecessor is equated with Nero … looking the other way as Bangalore’s image crumbled, took a severe beating.

So its my fond hope that HDK’s mindset has changed to thinking on the lines of building a truly world-class city. There is not a chance of a hope in hell to turn Bangalore into a Singapore unless the political will and tenacity is there. How does he want history to judge him? As a son who just cannot cut the umbilical cord – familial or political – with his father? Or, does he want to think like a Lee Kuan Yew? Does he have the vision? Follow-through? {At the Namma Metro function, I heard people in the audience sniggering at his speech, for chrissake!} The end will certainly justify the means. If you ask me, he should visit Singapore more often, create partnerships with them for a win-win relationship.

At home, one quick, painless way to get some quick results is through resurrecting publc-private partnerships. There are many companies who are willing to lend a hand, in the name of corporate social responsibility. There is no loss of image or face to the CM if he accepts it. Bangalore can become a shining example for such co-operation.

To cap it all, he should realise that governance is the only hope for governments. Not politics. People are just about fed up with it. Including me!

Chalo, for now, I’m off to Singapore too!


3 Comments so far

  1. NParry (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

    Corruption is the universal mantra… Read a small excerpt from the NY Times about corruption in the USA. HDK may sigh a spell of relief if he reads this:

    WASHINGTON, June 26 — Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion.

    Skip to next paragraph

    Graphic: Storm Aid Crimes and Examples of Oversight
    Study Finds Huge Fraud in the Wake of Hurricanes (June 14, 2006)

    Hurricane Katrina
    Go to Complete Coverage ยป

    Jamie Rose for The New York Times
    Gregory D. Kutz, a G.A.O. official, testified before a House panel about fraud and held up one of the $2,000 debit cards given out by FEMA.
    A hotel owner in Sugar Land, Tex., has been charged with submitting $232,000 in bills for phantom victims. And roughly 1,100 prison inmates across the Gulf Coast apparently collected more than $10 million in rental and disaster-relief assistance.

    There are the bureaucrats who ordered nearly half a billion dollars worth of mobile homes that are still empty, and renovations for a shelter at a former Alabama Army base that cost about $416,000 per evacuee.

    And there is the Illinois woman who tried to collect federal benefits by claiming she watched her two daughters drown in the rising New Orleans waters. In fact, prosecutors say, the children did not exist.

    The tally of ignoble acts linked to Hurricane Katrina, pulled together by The New York Times from government audits, criminal prosecutions and Congressional investigations, could rise because the inquiries are under way. Even in Washington, a city accustomed to government bloat, the numbers are generating amazement.

    “The blatant fraud, the audacity of the schemes, the scale of the waste — it is just breathtaking,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

  2. RSRavi (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

    During the last two days, there’s much hoopla about new roads and new upgrades for B’lore’s roads. And most of the load will be borne by the hapless BMP. Why not hand over the job to another agency like the BDA, instead of the overworked, incompetent, clueless BMP. The BMP should focus on garbage collection, sanitation, gardens and other general corruption-generation activities. It’s apt to be renamed as “Bengalooru Malamootra Palike”

  3. mohan (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

    India suffers from “over democracy” while singapore suffers joyfully “so called democracy”. Its just not planning which lee kwan has achieved but complete control over pouplation aka zoo animals. Think we need such measure here too.

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