Mr. Srivatsa Krishna, IAS on India’s second war of independence-Making Infrastructure happen

Mr. Srivatsa Krishna presented to the class, facts about India’s dominance in the world. He shared with us, figures on the infrastructure spending of India. And, he commented on the stark contrast between the two. Referring to some of the major and successful infrastructure programs of the recent times, such as the Golden Quadrilateral road network, he observed that the progress is palpable. Speaking about Gujarat’s GIFT project, he expressed his optimism on India’s predominance in the years to come.

The speaker observed that India’s spending on infrastructure is dismally low. He ascribed this state of inept approach towards the most defining parameter of progress of a nation, partly to the underpinning of democratic framework in our nation. He contended that, although corrupt politics are to blame, the private sectors cannot be left out of the sphere of culpability. Furthermore, to forestall any debate on propositions of audacious private sector involvement, he cautioned that the reliance on private sectors is neither the panacea nor is the efficacy of private sector involvement over the public sectors empirically proved.

He later turned his attention towards the systematic adulation of India in comparison to China. He argued that the two nations operate on radically different philosophies and the comparison is not only facetious at the face of it but also fallacious. He pointed out that the Shatabdi express, India’s fastest train travels at 130km/hr against the 430 km/hr train of China. He also commented on the phenomenal growth of infrastructure sector in the city of Shenzhen, which grew from a mere nothingness to a mammoth city of 3984 sky scrappers.

Mr. Krishna explained that the democratic framework that runs through the fabric of our society is omnipresent, omniscient and has protected us from the viral foreign invasions. But, democracy comes with a price, and the price is the gradual and selective progress (as in India) as opposed to the rapid development (as in China). To substantiate the point, quoting from his experience, he noted that the Chinese government in their ‘land acquisition’ operations paints the local houses in red, yellow, white and the authorities with unquestionable power of the rule proceed to dismantle the houses without paying heed to the plight of the people living in the houses. But, here in India, land acquisitions are painfully slow. From his anecdotal experience, he quoted the hilarious episode of three individuals in Hyderabad claiming the hussain sagar lake, in response to the government’s land acquisition orders in the city.

With a wild tiger exuding grandeur in the background in his presentation, the speaker concluded the session by asking us ‘The tiger is roaring, India is ready, are you?’


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