Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Comparison

I am 26 running 27. My first 25 years I lived in India. A country known for many things, famous and notorious. The past one year I have been living in Dubai, UAE. I always considered the Middle East, particularly Dubai, as a source of making a quick buck and getting the hell back to your home town.

But then, I noticed that the only thing I was missing in this foreign place, was my family and friends. I wasn’t missing my country. I wasn’t missing my place of origin. If my family and friends were here I would be better off living here.

I sat and thought about it and the realization was pretty simple. Dubai is superior in all terms. Why?

Having spent one year in Dubai I realized this place is far well equipped from all angles when compared to India. There is social security. There are no political fallouts. The economy is booming. No tax! the infrastructure is fantastic. And above all the people are great. There is a strong civic sense.

How is it that such a small Emirate has scaled such Herculean heights? Is it because the population is small and manageable? Is it because there is no poverty? Is it because they are rich in oil? NO.

The population being small or large does not matter when running a country. Anyone who has lived in Dubai for a few years know that Dubai has developed only in the past 30 years. It was a nomadic culture before that. And for those under an illusion that Dubai is oil rich, it sure is not. Their oil reserves which has been responsible for the country’s superb transformation and prosperity is scheduled to run out in the next 20 years!

As I see it, their phenomenal progress is a culmination of many factors the most important 3 being:
- Vision
- Ownership
- Commitment

The leaders of this nation have taken it upon themselves to put Dubai on the world map and make it the place to be. Their vision is to be the destination of choice. And they have pulled out all stops in ensuring that.

Liberal economic policies coupled with world class infrastructure has created a congenial atmosphere for trade to flourish. The cropping up of state of the art business hubs like Media City, Internet City, Knowledge Village and the numerous free zones has ensured that.

The real estate and the retail sector is booming as the focus shifts to transforming Dubai as a tourist destination. The contribution of the non-oil sector has risen for one third of GDP in 1993 to over two thirds today. They had the vision to realize that oil is not going to last forever. Their dependence on it should reduce.

And why are they doing this? Because, there is a sense of ownership towards the nation. Every citizen of this country feels the country is their home. Unlike in India, as our Honorable President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam put it, in India everyone is out to rape the nation. In Dubai, they ensure through rigorous rules, that it does not allow anyone to rape it. Any initiative taken is given the full respect it deserves.

This sense of ownership, leads us to the next factor, commitment. Since people feel they are a part of this place, there is a sub-conscious commitment to the set vision. Rules are also set which ensures that people are committed to their duties and responsibilities to the nation. The commitment to good governance is supreme.

I noticed that of the above three factors, at least 2 are missing. Ownership and commitment. A country is only as good as its people. You may have the vision set for the next 20 years, but if the ownership and commitment is absent among the administrators and the citizens, there is absolutely no use.

This commitment and ownership should flow right from the politicians to the peon in a government office and every citizen of the nation. The day we understand this, is the day we will start overtaking other nations in the quest to be known as a developed nation.

Till then, you will have people like me writing blogs like this. I know what you are going to ask me. What am I going to do for my nation? Frankly, I don’t have an answer. I believe no one can single handedly bring about a transformation. It has got to be a collective effort. The sooner this enlightenment happens the better it is for India.

15 comments:

Hot Chocolate said...

Hi da...good one but you missed a critical point..which is "Fear of the Law"..Unlike other Middle Eastern countries, which operate on an 'Eye for an Eye' law, here in India, you can easily get away with murder. Ownership & Commitment will automatically fall in place only when people start fearing the LAW!

Anonymous said...

that is not being fair ......"jo thali mein khaya usi mein chedda".... " chaar din ki chandani" ok frend they say that grass is always green on the other side .....just giv urself another yr ...." sab asliat bahaar ayeha" take gud care my frend ......it's all from xperince mama

Jo said...

hi all fair nd fine but to bring a point across "size does matter"... but a gud one though hope to get more such in the future....................Jo ya u guessed it rite ....:-)

Vinay said...

Thanks for your comments. But who is 'anonymous' and who is 'Jo'? Would love to know who you are...? Do let me know the next time you visit my blog. Thanks again!

Sanj said...

Hi Vinay. Good One... Do realize that Such wonderful brains such as yours go out of our Country and make the Americas and the UAE's. . . it is easy to contribute to their economy and write about India...would appreciate if you write about what can be done to make India better. . . REMEMBER THAT NO COUNTRY IS FLAWLESS.

Ramanu said...

You are right, no one can single handedly change a country. But, some one has to take the lead & start the process!
WHY DON'T YOU!
It is easy to be critical.Tell me how many Infosys, IITs and TaTAs Dubai has.
We are getting there my boy, just you wait!
Remember,India gave you the education and experience which got you to Dubai!

Anonymous said...

Looks like have forgotten the root. people like you are a disastrus to the Nation. Grass is always green on the other side

nammanadu said...

In a years time being out of the country the head has grown huge. Better miss the family and have your own there itself. India does not need such desh drohi

Anonymous said...

An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. can u imagine this in our beautiful country. Problems are everywhere but it is only the degree. No barriers on religion. Can u think of it. Either u have gone crazy or u want to gain cheap popularity.

Vinay said...

An eye for an eye? Yes i can imagine it. Gujarat riots? Mumbai riots? Lets not get into mud slinging. I love my country as much as you do. I crave for an awakening, thats all, and I am sure you do too.

You have so much pent up emotion but have you channeled it in the right direction? Think today,
to what extent have you contributed to the growth of your country?

Are you even doing basic stuff like paying your taxes properly? Like not bribing a policeman when caught at a signal? Like not spitting on the road? If you havent started thinking about it, start thinking today.

nammanadu said...

Look who is talking about taxes. A person who does not pay taxes. Takin up employment to avoid taxes. Ha Ha what a joke. Again trying to get cheap publicity

Anitha said...

Dear Vinay,

I see your intention in writing this blog and it's certainly not to get "cheap publicity".

I would like to add here that you are comparing a nation that has shown a great deal of economic development in the past 30 years (Dubai) with that of a civilization (keeping the population in mind)which is one of the oldest. Its true that we do have our problems and its a shame that corrective measures taken, do not seem to help in all areas but..

There are a lot of areas where our country is superior and I wish you could share them if you would like to, again possibly drawing a comparison apart from just growth in economy. And yes! I believe that we are doing pretty good even there..

I know it is not easy to write and even better to be frank about your opinion in areas that could stir controversy. But you did good by being open.

essar said...

Hi Vinay

Nice article but whats the objective of writing this? Did you write it because you like Dubai and wanted to justify your stay there to yourself or was it because you were frustrated with India? If it is the former good job...enjoy staying there call your family and forget India ...several have done that in the past and you will do exactly what you accuse millions of us as being - callous and uncaring. If it is because you are disturbed with how India functions then it speaks of your immaturity. India is a young country of 59 only. We have a baggage as old as 3000 years or more unlike Dubai. I am about 10 years older to you and in the last 10 years have seen small revolutions...where you see a chaiwalla or even a rikshawalla talking in his cell phone. It is a pleasure to actually see street children /ragpickers trying to study. It is a matter of pride to see youngsters from IIM and IIT quitting their cushy jobs to work in NGOs for upliftmet of the poor. It brings tears to my eyes when i see uneducated rural women forming cooperatives and making money to send their children to schools. It is nice to see places like Guwahati and Erode have the latest International brands. I have seen farmers in e-chaupals working on computers, young doctors going to villages, school children going to shanties to help.
Believe me we have achieved this inspite of all the corruption around. I think if you look at it like this you will find that we have not done bad for ourselves. Tell me you speak of responsible citizens... just out of curiosity have you done your little bit...like not throwing your bus ticket on the pavement or not bribing the policeman when you break the rules? Have you been a good citizen and cast your vote? Will you actually come here when it is election time to do just that bit? If you honestly say yes to it then i apologise maybe you have a point and if you honestly say no to any of this.. i suggest you confess to the Dubai police that you are one of the rapists who has fled India!

moonbeam said...

Believe me collective effort is a sigma (summation) of individual efforts. Every little bit matters... if today 1 thinks like this and can inspire 2 more and they in turn inspire a few more the day is not far when we would reach the "tipping point". Did you know that a crystal forms from one small molecule to which others attach. Do you have it in you to be the first... if not why bother just ebjoy your life there and do not ease your conscience by writing such articles which are meaningless! 80-90 years ago we had youth like Netaji, Nehru, Gandhi, Azad who mobilised millions of indians to fight for their freedom. Do you have a suggestion as to how you would like to set rules, make India a la Dubai? How to get rid of corruption and corrupt politicans? suggest you spend time doing that instead of simply being critical. you have not mentioned or analysed something which is remarkably different. We know. Some of us do small things in our way to better the systems and others write such blogs! :-/

apu said...

I must say, your article needs a little more analysis, maybe a little less objectivity...Still, I do hope to see more writing from you!

Aparna