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RE: A small list

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
How many good, working CMs are there in India besides Chandrababu Naidu?

Sanjeev's beefs are genuine. I live in the same part of the country & I
can tell u that nothing ever works here. I have not been able to get a
new phone connection for the last 2 years. It took me six attempts to
get this e-mail across, as i get regularly disconnected after 10 minutes
or so.

Indrajit Barua
Guwahati, Assam.
>Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 17:42:54 -0800 (PST)
>From: "Ajay Gandhi" <ajay@gandhis.com>
>To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>Subject: RE: A small list
>Reply-To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>While I appreciate what Sanjeev says, here is another point of view.
>point of view is from Hyderabad and from a member of a not
>class. Here it goes, point by point to Sanjeev's list.
>Sanjeev says:
>* Garbage is thrown and piled up by people on the
>roadside since there is no bin provided  or the bins
>are broken themselves (just come to my house to see a
>huge garbage heap outside my backyard!).
>My point: Come and see Hyderabad. It is a much better place than it was

>before. Roads are cleaned every night, by private agencies. Often, you
>find it hard to find places where you would like to throw your garbage,

>since things are generally clean.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       People urinate all over the place leading to
>obnoxious smells since we do not know how to run
>public urinals (Sulabh Sauchalayas, where are you?).
>        My point: True generally.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       The notes supplied by banks are put into packs of
>100 each by use of 4 huge rusted staples pierced
>through the bunch, which not only take superhuman
>strength to open, but require big screwdrivers and
>other tools to take apart, thus tearing up the notes
>in the process. Bankers cause damage to the notes they
>are supposed to preserve!
>*       Banks supply you Rs.500 notes which are then not
>accepted in the market, and indeed are not accepted by
>banks themselves (so leading to one more personal trip
>to senior officials of the bank! The last one was when
>the teller would not start transacting till well
>beyond 10:30 am. India is one long line, where
>everyone waits for everything on earth, including
>making payment! For getting your money, you have to
>wait, of course. We dislike smoothness in life and
>will not provide ATMs. We would much rather go on
>strike against computerization)
>My point: Try out foreign banks and Indian private banks. Great service

>no hassles! Many ATMs around, at least in this part of the world. No
>problems with computerization exist today with nationalized banks also.

>Sanjeev says:
>*       The telephones either don't work at all, or possess
>massive static and noise, or dial up wrong numbers, or
>receive wrong numbers (I get about 4 wrong numbers to
>each correct one), or you can't hear the party who is
>calling you, or you hear your own echo! Miraculous is
>the ability of our telephone department to mess up a
>simple gadget called a telephone which can be
>mass-produced in Timbuctoo or Afghanistan if needed.
>My point: All our phones work. There are rarely wrong numbers since
>connected over electronic exchanges. Communication is perhaps the
>Phones are on demand. And, private companies are offering competing
>telephone services which are equally good or better.
>Sanjeev says:
>* To get the internet, due to the government monopoly
>over the system, there is scarcity of supply of dialup
>ports, leading to a long waiting list for provision of
>the connection, which you overcome by pressurizing the
>GM Telephones, and thereafter you fill out a long
>form, wait for a demand note to be sent to you, submit
>money in a different office located in a distant
>building (before 12:30 am else their counter closes!),
>and then wait endlessly for the internet exchange to
>inform you about your account being activated. After
>that (and this is based on the experience of my
>friends) you dial up a series of different numbers,
>upto 80 times and whenever you are connected, you get
>disconnected in a short while. And as a bonus for
>being a loyal Indian, you pay at rates much higher
>than people 50 times richer, pay in USA. And you see
>huge massive buildings and hundreds of staff belonging
>to the great DOT, feeding less than a few thousand
>subscribers. Communication in India is a luxury. Long
>live industrialization!
>I say:  You get internet connection in a day. Here you get a phone
>connection free for every internet account with VSNL!
>And, every city has a private ISP who will give you the connection at
>door step, same day.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       It is still not customary to use computers in the
>government, leading to unending problems of
>organization and communication. One short draft letter
>takes two days with many corrections and re-typings,
>costing well over Rs. 1500/- in labor costs of the
>stenos and officers. And e-mail is not used, of
>course, adding hundreds of rupees and many days to the
>delivery cost of that letter.
>I say: It is quite customary in government departments to use
>Many departments are quite advanced in using them.
>Sanjeev says:
>* Virtually no ATMs exist - at least not in the
>North-east. Therefore, if you somehow miss drawing
>cash from banks before a series of holidays, you are
>stranded without cash and have to borrow from others
>to survive the holidays.
>I have replied above.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       There is inadequate supply of coinage, a basic
>function of the government, leading to situations
>where shopkeepers turn down purchases made by you if
>you do not furnish exact change. I have not been able
>to buy biscuits worth Rs.12 because I did not have
>change. And the less said about our leprous Rs.2 and
>Rs.5 notes, the better.
>My point: not true here. We have enough coins and notes are ok.
>know that the situation re notes is bad in Gujarat, at least.
>Sanjeev says:
>* Shoelaces are not available in "Bata" shops or
>regular shoe shops since 'there is no longer any
>supply,' and you make do with laces which are far too
>short for your shoes, by leaving huge gaps in the
>I say: Really?
>Sanjeev says:
>* Everything is scarce. You hunt and you hunt. You
>make special lists of shops which might keep a
>telephone or electrical socket of reasonable quality,
>power cord, tennis ball, good stationary, and so on.
>No one-stop shopping here. You peck from shop to shop,
>collecting one item after the other. And of course you
>cannot order over phone, nor expect mail delivery of
>goods. More often, you get a poor substitute or simply
>give up.
>I say: Really?
>Sanjeev says:
>*       Your car's door lock is of such poor quality that it
>does not open. You hammer it and then it yields. No
>one seems to know how to produce anything of quality -
>whether the private or the public sector.
>Your car's ignition key slips out and falls down on
>the floor mat as you wait on a slope; and of course
>the car stalls and stops. Being a stick shift as there
>are no automatics in India, it requires unbelievable
>dexterity to somehow restart it and move ahead again
>without causing a serious accident.  Your car's parts
>such as screws and wires come out at all odd time on
>journeys of merely 100 km, brakes fail regularly
>(brake oil leaks out mysteriously), and it is a sheer
>miracle that you still have a life-expectancy above
>I say: which car do you use? Perhaps, an Amby since you are in
>service. With Maruti onwards, such problems are non-existent.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       You bargain for milk not mixed with water with your
>milkman by offering him a much higher than 'market'
>I say: Capitalism.
>Sanjeev says:
>*       Electric power is of such a bad quality that you pay
>more than your entire annual electricity bill in
>purchasing stabilizers and UPSs for your equipment.
>And so many emergency lights, electric torches, and
>even inverters and generators.
>*       Getting kerosene and gas to run your kitchen are
>tasks of such immense magnitude that the travails in
>securing these are best left unrecorded. The amount of
>paperwork and ridiculous procedures that we follow are
>so mindboggling that it is a miracle that so many
>people still use these modern 'facilities' instead of
>using coal and wood to cook food. And of course our
>kerosene stoves do not work properly, causing the food
>cooked on the stove to reek of kerosene. And rubber
>pipes of the gas stoves leak gas. You have to be on
>the alert lest your house gets burnt down by these
>I repeat: Really? Things are much better here.
>Like Sanjeev, my hands also got tired, so I have stopped replying to
>other points and have deleted them from this reply mail.
>I believe the difference is because he and I live in different
>countries. He
>lives in the North East and I in Hyderabad. He should visit Hyderabad
>know the difference. And what difference can a good, working CM make.
>Ajay Gandhi

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