Monday, May 19, 2008

Random musings on Travel, Politics and Economics

I think after travelling a bit I have finally started understanding why it is important to travel the world while you are young. Since I work in the Information Technology industry I had the good fortune of visiting countries like USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Belgium, India.

Travel really is one of the best education a person can have. It is one of the best ways to have fun and learn at the same time. It gives you the oppurtunity to learn the best things that different cultures have to offer. It also gives you a good idea of why some countries offer a better quality of life to their citizens than others. Travel gives you the oppurtunity to see for yourself which Political, Economic and Business Models work well in practice and which ones look good on paper, but when it comes to implementation, fail miserably.

So I guess if you want to improve the quality of your own life and have ambitions of improving the quality of life for the citizens of your own country, make it a point to travel to some of the countries who have already done some good work in the areas where you want improvement.

I spent the first 20 years of my life in Mumbai, India where the biggest challenge was infrastructure and cleanliness. So when I travelled to the US I was very impressed by the Highways that connect the different States within the US from the East Coast to the West Coast. When I lived in Singapore, I was very impressed by the Public transportation system which connected all of Singapore using the Metro and Bus services.

I sometimes wonder, if we have some of the best brains in the world who are doing cutting edge work in various disciplines, why are we not able to improve conditions back in our home country. I personally feel that the political system has degraded drastically since independence and the rampant corruption has made it difficult for honest people to really make a difference. But on a positive note I also believe that the change in economic policy unleased in 1991 by Dr. Manmohan Singh and P V Narasimha Rao is finally beginning to make a difference. There are more oppurtunities for the next generation of young Indians to really compete in the Global markets and contribute not only to the Indian Economy but to the Global Economy.

I hope that by 2020 more and more Indians feel that India offers a quality of life that is better than or at least at par with some of the best countries in the world today.

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