I’ve still not ‘sampled’ the new Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge.
Reading the newspaper reports, watching news television and talking to friends convinces me that I’m in the minority.
Even those who were stuck in traffic approaching the bridge and after completing the ‘journey’ had only positives to describe the link.
To them, the bridge is a sign that development is possible.
I’ve been traveling to Pune (once a fortnight on the average) for the past Godknowshowmany years. The journey, quite often, was a complete nightmare – I’ve once taken 12 hours to reach Pune. Then came the expressway which changed the way we thought of highways in India. And as different sections of national highways were modernized, one began to think of long drives for pleasure. Peter Mukerjea, for example, drove to Delhi from Mumbai a fortnight or so ago – and absolutely loved it. Just couldn’t stop raving about how magnificent the roads were.
Those who have been to Bangalore and Hyderabad in the past few months can’t stop raving about the airports. They’re spectacular, they’re efficient, they’re comfortable to the extent that they reduce the tiredness and tedium of business travel.
Such expenditure helps raise the brand equities of, and loyalty to, the governments and political parties responsible for the development.
Because unlike most government expenditure, a bridge or an airport or a road is a tangible benefit to all of us.
Such expenditure helps raise the brand equity and the loyalty of the governments and political parties responsible for the development.
When you think of New Delhi and the furious pace at which flyovers are built and the Metro is extended, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that Sheila Dixit gets re-elected. The beneficiaries of the development are the voters – and voters acknowledge the fact that the Congress government in Delhi delivered by voting the party back to power.
Such development is there for posterity – and the parties, the brands, too, gain for years to come.
Today, the party in power in Maharashtra will definitely gain (at least as far as Mumbai is concerned) because Mumbaikars have seen tangible benefit from their tax money.
And you wonder, when all the government has done in this case is to do what they have been elected to do, why there are so few of the Sheila Dixit mould in politics?
One tangible, visible sign of development – and it doesn’t have to be a mega-project like the BWSL – and half the stress of being re-elected is eliminated.
Like, when you sign on a new client, ensure that you deliver one efficient or memorable campaign during the course of your contract – and half the stress of a pitch is eliminated.
Photo credit: Hindustan Construction