Words Farm

Why India needs a Bullet Train

Someone once told me...

That even if you are economically poor, if your thinking is rich (what he meant was high minded - as in thinks of the bigger picture, and in the positive) then you'll live a good life. On the contrary, if you are poor and your thinking is also poor, you will be miserable. If you are rich and your thinking is poor, your wealth is meaningless.

Seeing the thoughts posted on my TL on the Bullet Train Project, I am realizing most of our thinking is poor. See, this isn't money that is used from the budget - it is money that is taken at a loan (with a 30 year moratorium and another 15 years post that to pay back, with a interest rate that is peanuts).

India needs some marvels to show the world - and most of all to elevate our thinking that we are moving into the modern world. Would one bullet train do that? Nope, but if this project succeeds and you see the difference, various other states and cities will compete and prioritize projects like these - which does two things a) Corporates in India which are right now more consumed with consumer focused goods - selling salt, and vanaspati, will start thinking about putting together infrastructure units b) that In turn will create a pull for knowledge transfer of high end technology, that will create an ecosystem of whole new things. Most of all Jobs.

I am not able to understand our obcession to not be able to think beyond food, and toilets. The minute a budget is mentioned, everyone talks about the number of people it could have fed. Well, this could create jobs, aspirations and give hope. To me the Chandrayaan mission, projects like these will give hope for our educated class to find jobs that are worthy (how long are they going to be sitting in benches and serving the developed nations?). Also if not for projects like these when will other streams of STEM - be it physics and other streams of engineering (other than IT and CS) ever find fulfilling careers?

The way to move this billion people (heavy) country, is to have an elevated mind. Imagine if back in the day, Raja Raja Cholan had said "Who needs a temple? Lets feed everyone for the next five years instead!".

If we want to be a democracy, then we all need to pull together. And we need to think beyond, eating and sleeping and going to the toilet. For that, the emerging middle class needs aspirations (there are a lot of frustrations there). And if the middle class starts to do well, it will bring back the dream that if you work hard, you can do better in life - and thats almost the fundamental building block of a society.

No society has developed sitting on aid and eating and cooking food you got out of ration shops. or protesting with the govt for loan waivers (be it corporate or farmers). Nope. Never. Ever.

This article is written by Vijay Anand from The Startup Centre