February 21, 2011
We live in a very well connected time. That’s what we often celebrate. We claim global connectivity on a distance and time scale that was never ever achieved before. SO that should mean cultures getting appreciated and wealth getting accumulated uniformly more or less, people coming across closer in their appreciation of a global community and the global community way more triumphant in accommodating and attending the global problems.
None of that happens as a matter of this global connectivity. What instead happens is the global community is gradually coming to terms with newer realities every day. Literally every other day there is something new and astoundingly interesting to know. Of course the global media can not keep a focus on each and every detail, its neither prepared nor it is preoccupied with such a task.
(And we may be missing a potential of global media consumers)
Unless of a historical significance, countries would not allow the global media to be present in alien territory on pretext of sovereignty. So I am really tempted to say this is a classic case of our ignorance getting as inflated as our dimensional progress. You can in one day fly from any part of the world to any other, be somewhat like a super citizen or a globetrotter. But it does not give you any power to bring any change that is quite connected to a reality, which has its illumination in the simple fact that you have been across the world and seen how it is that various tough social issues can be taken care of like a tough nut can be broken, application of industrial revolution or some such complicated but traditional and good old measures.
A road can be built in just a month’s time, if you were to respect industrial revolution, which is a 200-year-old phenomena. Look at the city of Bhubaneswar. I have been, recently, living in this region for close to 3 years.
(Of course I am familiar with this region since 1985 or so, silence please)
I usually never lived more than that time period at a given stretch anywhere in the world. So it may be happening around the corner that I am leaving. I don’t know, nor does it matter to me. I am quite happy and contended with life and its positive impacts.
But I have been seeing this main street in Bhubaneswar getting constructed since the last 2 years. They have digged literally 2, 3rd of the street since last two years to “ renovate ” it and its not yet complete. This creates a huge problem; in the same pattern many of the other streets across the city have been left open after the good old digging. (In some sense you get to like things when nothing moves, don’t you, sadomasochism or something, the government and the citizen enjoy the pain they inflict on each other)
Thank God, I call this a city, well I just like this place a lot, wide open street and good places to hang around but a mind numbing crowd and unplanned growth which can actually be dispersed by expanding the city to newer limits and planning a still modern Bhubaneswar across this new horizon. Also by connecting all the towns in the 100 kms vicinity (and more, connect the whole world I don’t have a problem) through 4 or 6 lane express highways you are only going to make this region a big economic attraction for the next 15 years.
Many big industries are coming up in various locations SO by making sure they comply with safety, modernity and city standards we are only creating a very bright economic prosperity for ourselves for decades to come. This region has so many technical education institutions and a few good names in national science and research that by connecting and allowing to grow these to at least a national scale this region will do the only thing needed to usher into prosperity.
Once the groundwork for such a horizon can be established in 2 to 5 years (that, presuming roads can actually be built in 2 months not in 3 years) the rest of growth will be waiting for implementation, because the country as a whole is also seeing good economic development (as opposed to incredible India).
In that scenario and disregarding big social upheavals through problems such as greed, corruption and political terrorism etc we are going to be bracketed somewhat close to much bigger neighbor economies such as China. Its true that we do not have world-class cities except a few fractional portions of the big cities but by letting these be planned and by making equitability a prime concern of our economic goal we can make the necessity of such grandeur of illusion a little unnecessary extravagance which we can do away with.
By this I exactly mean to say this. We don’t need skyscrapers in Bhubaneswar as long as there are more villas, educational institutions and malls and swanky 8 ways in Bhubaneswar than any city with the same population density across the world. As long as rich and prosperity can be somewhat horizontal on a wider base we don’t need vertical over growth. If our cities can be truly rich and our people truly global citizens they can enjoy sky scrapers elsewhere. We can invite the skyscrapers if they happen to come along.