Just came back to Delhi from France, having tried to convince French decision makers that India is the liberal, democratic, pro-western natural investment alternative to China.
But on the first day here, cell phone lines are so saturated that they disconnect, roads are more and more jammed and no progress in infrastructures. Train bookings done three months in advance are still wait-listed, Air fares have increased further and are now out of reach of even upper middle class. A visit to the Jorbagh Post office showed nothing had changed, the same unhelpful sour-face clerk asked for a photocopy of my passport and telling us to go the market to do it! Another visit to the bank (a foreign that at one: Standard Chartered), again proved how little the customer is trusted in India – it’s as if the first assumption is that he or she is here to cheat the bank and it shows how little the Govt has done to make things easier for the potential foreign investor.
In the Imperial hotel where I had a meet, the rich parasites of Delhi gorge on snacks and cakes, served by arrogant waiters, while the poor and talented of this country go sometimes hungry.
The political scene seems too depressingly familiar, with the Congress, which would suffer an humiliating defeat if there was an election now, showing that it is good at one thing: staying in power at all costs.
Yet, one can only hope that the India of tomorrow envisioned by swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, upon which living gurus such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are working, will one day materialize. FG