Recently, Shri Narender Modi, Prime Minister Nominee of BJP doled out a prescription for Brand India. He spelled out 5 Ts for building Brand India. Of the 5 Ts, one T he mentioned, is Tourism. It is not a new concept; earlier people have said the similar things with slight change here and there. They would swear by two additional Ts for Tourism viz. Transport and Toilet.
Last month my Face Book friend a PIO in USA wanted to know about Palace on Wheels train. Knowing I work for Railways he wanted to know the details and if possible, booking with some discount (Indian that he is at heart) for him & his wife. I did a bit of home work through my source in Jaipur and could obtain a telephone number of one official In-charge of the train booking. ‘Palace on Wheel’ is a joint operation between Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism. I did ask him about discount too. He readily offered 10% discount. I happily informed my friend in USA.
Last week this friend rang up from New Delhi and told me about his visit to Jagannath Puri. I enquired “why? What happened to Palace on Wheel joy ride?” He explained with pain in his voice “I tried the phone number you gave me. The guy at the other end will pick up phone and ask me to hold on, I would faithfully ‘hold on’ endlessly, knowing fully well that it was an international call even then nobody bothered to respond, So much so, once I was made ‘hold on’ for half an hour”.
So, I believe, no T will work unless we have another T (Tilt) to work sincerely for our nation. Till then, ‘Brand India’ would continue to be known by 4 Rs rape, robbery, rough roads and ruffians on & off those roads.