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There, in fact, is no limit to dreaming big. Problem is, Indians seem hardly ever doing this – and more so at levels where one’s supposed to do it with great frenzy. This is a pity as, after all, dreaming is an inexpensive indulgence. Note, for instance, a proposal that has come up from the UAE, that has a population of less than half a crore including the large throngs of Indians and other nationalities. Its offer is to launch a UAE-Mumbai undersea, hi-tech rail service using magnetic pull to ferry passengers as well as move freight.

The UAE is by now known for its futuristic pursuits in myriad fields. The proposal made by a UAE start-up platform of considerable reputation is also to help ferry oil from the Gulf region to India, and in return take excess water from the Narmada to the desert-turned urban sprawls in the UAE and beyond. This could be done by laying of pipes alongside the proposed underwater rail line. Ultra-speed floating train is a concept that has already been implemented successfully in Japan, South Korea, Canada etc, and China is currently at it as well. Styled as Maglev trains, it works on the magnetic propulsion and repulsion system. The rail network will be less than 2000km long, and there’s no hassle about land acquirement as is the case with other Indian projects.

Curiously, with a one billion plus population who have all the time on them to dream big, it is worth checking whether any such big, inspiring idea ever springs up from India in its avatar as the world’s largest democracy. Even the bullet train project, started many decades ago by Russia followed by Japan and China, is making baby steps to its future launch here.

India’s credits, rather, are what happened here in the distant past, centuries ago – to which some saffron saints now and then take real and imaginary journeys to boost their nationalistic spirit or Hindutva pride. Question is, where have India’s scientists and technocrats got stuck? Other than in IT or to an extent in Space science, the Indian mind fails to work, and hardly ever springs surprises. Indian universities that should form the bedrock of scientific investigations are themselves ailing and not in proper form.

The blame must be fixed on those who lead this nation from the front – the leaders of various political hues and the bureaucrats who push growth backward with their whimsical actions, red tape and single-minded interest in making money for themselves.


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