‘The country has gone to the dogs! Shameless corrupt politicians! No morals whatsoever!’
This is not my rant against our politicians. I have moved beyond that – moved beyond ranting and waxing eloquent about the lot that our politicians are. Now their idiosyncrasies do not enrage me, they just keep me amused, well most of the times that is. The words in quotes rather form a part of my dad’s daily tirade against the state that our country is in – they are his standard lines to vent about the shenanigans that our worthy politicians indulge in on a daily basis.
I understand his helplessness. And I also understand that with his kind of idealism and clinical approach towards issues that have plagued and continue plaguing our country, he can play a vital role in sorting quite a lot of mess out of our corruption-prone administrative policies. Only if we had politicians like him, who could transfer their frustration into well thought out and implementable plans of action. Wow! That’s an exciting idea – my dad as a politician! Not just any politician, but someone important, someone who has a say in the way the country is managed.
Well, how would things be different if my dad was a powerful politician? I guess many of us if given a choice of having their dad as a mighty man from the parliament would want them to handle significant portfolios like External Affairs, Finance or, Defence may be. But not my dad, I do not want a fancy portfolio for him. No complex foreign policies for him, please. No scam-prone multi-million dollar schemes to accelerate the economic growth either. If my dad was a politician, all I would want is a beautiful country flocked by tourists! Yes, that’s what I want, for starters. If my dad was a politician I would want him to head the Tourism Ministry.
My Dad, the Minister of Tourism
Lame, you would think. Why not Railways or Coal for that matter? Oh…Tourism Ministry for the junkets and the other perks? Free family trips to exotic international locations? Nah nah! That’s not my story. My story runs on a different tangent. I am a travel enthusiast who is passionate about ancient monuments, and all the architectural grandeur that abounds our beautiful country. But other than a few much-publicized monuments, quite a large part of our architectural heritage lies ignored and neglected. Many such monuments are a treasure trove of intriguing historical stories. If my Dad is the Tourism Minister, I will ask him to take initiatives to highlight the tourism worthy sites across the country. He will look into it and then advice his the ministry officials to plan out policies and brochures that bring to limelight the hidden treasure trove of architectural beauty that our country is.
Besides highlighting the architectural glory of own country, there would be campaigns to highlight India beyond the Golden Triangle and the Taj Mahal. The Tourism Ministry, under my dad’s leadership, would also take concrete steps to formulate policies and programmes to encourage people to travel more. There would be media drives to encourage locals to explore their country, with special packages designed to meet every budget.
While these measures would focus on encouraging tourism, the ministry would also have a special Board, solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all the listed tourist sites across the country. There would also be another national Board to look into all sorts of issues and complaints from tourists, regarding any problem they might have encountered while travelling in India. This Board will have separate divisions for domestic and international tourists so that the complaints go in their respective divisions and are handled in an expedited manner.
I am sure the present Ministry of Tourism has already incorporated some of these steps in its functioning, but with my dad as the Tourism Minister, the key would be to strictly stick to the laid out rules and regulations. It is the discipline that he will bring to his office that will make him a cut above the rest and will make him the best Tourism Minister the country has ever had.
And if someday this happens for real, none would be more proud of him than me. So probably for starters, I should get going to goad him to jump on the political bandwagon. Delhi should not be too far once this passenger gets on board! And what would it all mean to me you ask? Probably exotic junkets the year round, eh?