Note from Francois Gautier after trying to convince the French
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.
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 told 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 and how the Govt has
done little to relax its draconian rules - it's as if the first
assumption is that he or she is here to cheat the bank, whereas banking
is just legalized robbery.
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.