Its heartening to note that Changi of Singapore would be modernising and managing the Delhi and Mumbai international airports (Bottomline; Mar 24) which will give a much needed shot in the arm to Indian tourism. Apart from modernisation, the government should seriously draw out a plan to highlight the various tourist spots in the country and make the necessary infrastructure to facilitate tourism. For instance, the average Mumbaite (leave alone the tourists) may not be aware of the various caves (which should be declared heritage sites) like the Kanheri and Mahakali caves.
I suggest the following:
1. Make available free booklets highlighting the tourist sites, the way to get there and the charges at the airport. Changi Airport perhaps can be
an eye opener.
2. Highlight the culture, the various nuances of daily life. For instance, Malaysia emphasises the humble art of tea-making, Indian style (what a shame we Indians missed it). They also highlight Indian dances and promote their country as Truly Asia.
3. We have a rich collection of flora and fauna. Why not develop ecotourism like Kerala did
4. Put up Internet kiosks at tourist spots where tourists can send their pictures via e-mail against the backdrop of the place as Switzerland has done.
I am sure that we will make India Shining bright and beautiful if we make simple changes like these in our tourism.
I refer to Sanjaya Barus edit page column An agenda in search of a Prime Minister (Mar 26). The Congress, unfortunately, has decided to remain dynastic. Without someone from the Nehru/Gandhi family, maybe even the grandson and grand-daughter of Sonia from Priyanka, Congress cannot remain united and alive for long. This is a shame for a real democracy. But it will go on till the masses remain uneducated and politically irresponsible.
The BJP is to leave back its historical priorities and become a national party with a vision to develop the country into a strong and powerful nation. Perhaps all the younger leaders in BJP feel accordingly but to win elections they keep some of the old issues alive. Simultaneously, it must also remain a casteless party unlike Laloos, Mayawatis and Mulayams. I R Sharma
Curb Holiday Madness
In this secular country, holidays are seen as an instrument to woo religious, regional and sectional sentiments. But come April, the calendar will read many red dates. Newspapers will print write-ups criticising holidays the bankmen enjoy but lose sight of the fact that the government departments enjoy the same holidays causing direct loss of revenue, the courts observe holidays despite lakhs of cases pending for decades and the Parliament enjoys all intervening holidays.
Divide banks in two groups and implement the proposal of a five day week with staggering holidays. The clearing house should work throughout the year. The average annual holidays may be merged into casual leave, if necessary with some compromised reduction. The proposal will effectively provide seven day banking services, be cost effective and remove uncertainties. Mohan Koparkar