Monday, March 16, 2009

India Shining Again ?????

Recieved an SMS some time back from none other than the BJP !!! Yes, this is the new-age communication channel wherein political parties (though only the BJP so far has latched on it) reach out to their voters through the cellphone. Anyways, the SMS informed the voter that LK Advani had unveiled 'BJP's grand IT vision for transforming India !!'. And what does it entail ?

- Rs 10K laptop to over 1 crore students
- Internet-enabled education in every school
- E-Banking for every Indian
- 1.2 crore new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas alone

Now these are some numbers !!! And using IT, the BJP is all set to transform India (if it comes to power that is). Forget even how they are going to set about achieving this grandiose vision, one can legitimately ask where this is indeed the solution to the problems that plague the country ??

- Does giving Rs 10K laptop to over 1 crore students really help when a sizable proportion of them have to drop out of school because either their fathers have committed suicide or they are sucked into the family occupation to support a growing family ?

- Of what use is Internet-enabled education in every school when we cannot even find enough teachers to teach at those schools (not because we lack quality teachers but because teaching itself has been made into a singularly unattractive career option)

- How can a person who has not even completed basic schooling ever get on the Internet banking website and enter his account number and password ??

But it seems nobody in our political class has thought of this. Of course, you will turn around and say that this is all pre-election mumbo-jumbo and come June, everything will be forgotten. But then if this is so, I cannot comprehend whom the BJP is trying to win over by these announcements. Surely not the educated urban elite, who do not get to benefit by this and who, of course, can see through them anyways !!. Or is it India's 60 odd crore rural population, whom this vision promises to transform ? But then, I can hazard a guess that a school-going child in any of the thousands of villages across India will be more relieved to find a good teacher waiting for him/her in school rather than a laptop and broadband connection !! And a farmer would also be happier to get credit with reasonable terms from his neighbourhood bank rather than an Internet banking kit.

Hope the BJP realizes this or this might end up as another 'India Shining' campaign that cost them so much last time around.



Dhananjay said...

Amit it might be a case of segmented advertising. Means realizing your portfolio they might have sent you a message which will interest you.
For other strata's of society it may be different and if everything else fails, there is always "Ram" ;-)
Honestly being a middle class and that too upward middle class party BJP is cut from the masses in its very thinking

Amit Gokhale said...


Yeah, the message did interest me (enuf to write a blog post abt it ;-) but not in a positive sense, and I guess majority of ppl of my profile would not have been impressed by it.. hence, I said the segmented advertising (while in itself a good strategy) might not work if the segments are not well identified..

Kau said...

I'm not sure what segment they are truly catering to in this ad.
I would think that National Security would be on any segments wishlist but no one seems to be making concrete promises about it.

My question regarding their IT plan is .. how do they propose to power those thousands of laptops in villages that dont have electricity most of the time ?

Great Post. Keep up the writing Amit ! When you get all fired up - it shows in the blog posts :)


Amit Gokhale said...

@ Kau..

Extremely relevant question... and thanks for the final line .. :-).. cheers