PM Modi's Japan visit: MoU to develop Varanasi into 'smart city' signed

#1 Aug 30th, 2014, 21:16
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India and Japan signed the cultural agreement of Varanasi-Kyoto which focuses on how to preserve heritage while building smart cities.





http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation...d_1462331.html
Last edited by Pammi; Aug 30th, 2014 at 21:19.. Reason: Editions
#2 Aug 31st, 2014, 00:16
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Nice, and I still wait for a plan to clean India till 2019. MoUs... Coal Gate sais hello
#3 Aug 31st, 2014, 01:17
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Having recently been both in Banaras and Kyoto-the former only last week, and the latter in April- I can't help but snigger at the comparisons being made between the two cities on TV.

I admire the gumption of this initiative nonetheless.

The mere thought of Kyotofying Varanasi, or Japanifying India is admirable, unlikely though it is in practical terms.
#4 Aug 31st, 2014, 03:12
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Originally Posted by BholeBaba View Post ...The mere thought of Kyotofying Varanasi, or Japanifying India is admirable...
The mere thought of Kyotofying Varanasi, or Japanifying India is incomprehensible I cannot get my mind around such a notion. Putting aside the logistical complications (how do you clean up Varanasi or dirty up Kyoto?), I cannot imagine the intent. Why should either want to be like the other? These are arguably the two holiest cities of each country, come to be that way over millennia. If the idea is just to smear each city with a bit of the essence of the other, that seems like some kind of heresy.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#5 Aug 31st, 2014, 10:15
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Of course there is no way to Kyotofy or Japanofy anything. Varanasi is Modi's constituency and he is interested in cleaning up the Ganges and the city. We can only wait and see.

I do feel like this time it is different. Mr. Singh's visit was not even a one liner in prime time locally. I only read it in Indian papers online. Last night there was quite a coverage for Modi's arrival on TV. Local papers are also getting in the act. Lot of importance is being given to him. Abe met him in Kyoto instead of waiting for him in Tokyo. China may have something to do with it.
#6 Aug 31st, 2014, 10:38
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#6
Yes to hfot2

Coming up next, "Indian population signs MOU with each other to behave with civic responsibility in public spaces"
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This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#7 Aug 31st, 2014, 10:54
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Shouldn't read much in to these 'smart' or 'sister' city MOUs signed as part of good will tokenism during PM/president visits. Nothing happens other than exchanging souvenirs.
#8 Aug 31st, 2014, 11:38
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by BholeBaba View Post The mere thought of Kyotofying Varanasi, or Japanifying India is admirable, unlikely though it is in practical terms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post The mere thought of Kyotofying Varanasi, or Japanifying India is incomprehensible
I wonder how this came about, the only thing mentioned in the link and news I have been going through is that Kyoto will help Varanasi to become a modern city without destroying the heritage.

What is wrong in taking help of somebody who has a proven record in maintaining heritage, does it mean 'fying', i think not. Moreover, India has little regard for its heritage, and any step in that direction is a welcome step.

Now talking about practicability, it is of course a herculean task. For things to change, there has to be a two way push, from the Citizens, and from the Government

As citizens, we Indians have zero civic sense, zero concept of community well being, complete disdain to heritage structures, and practically no vision for India, so from this side the things seem impossible.

But does this mean the policy makers flow in the same wave and do not try anything? Until now, the governments had no vision, no interest in making India a better place, it was all a 'chalta hai' attitude.

If Modi envisages something good and different, then that should be welcomed. We will know by the end of five years if it was all air and no substance, until than, let us keep our apprehensions at bay.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#9 Aug 31st, 2014, 12:24
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post As citizens, we Indians have zero civic sense, zero concept of community well being, complete disdain to heritage structures, and practically no vision for India, so from this side the things seem impossible.

But does this mean the policy makers flow in the same wave and do not try anything? Until now, the governments had no vision, no interest in making India a better place, it was all a 'chalta hai' attitude.
Well said. We are again reaching out with a 'begging bowl'. That's the bottom line.

Na-Mo can't do anything more - the bureaucrats will see that nothing gets done and the aid money vanishes.

Reminds me of a joke: A Japanese PM told Lalu Prasad, give me Bihar for 1 year and I will transform it into Japan. Lalu replied: give me Japan for 1 day & I will transform it into Bihar!

Cheers

Nattusbs
#10 Aug 31st, 2014, 12:49
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My limited point was that though the Japanese may sign business contracts with us, help us operationalize Shinkasen bullet trains between Banaras, Delhi and Cal and make a few expressways they can't really alter our collective psyche and attitudes.

The roads after some years will develop pot holes, the train toilets will eventually grow filthy and paan stains will return on the walls before the paint over has faded. And in this regard no MoU has the teeth to uplift general civic conditions for they dont touch on our individual responsibilities, the onus is only on us as a people as it has always been. Changing how we think about our role in shaping the external enviroent will take generations.

The lack of civic sense that Jituyadav alluded to is something that is too embeded in our culture for Modi to change overnight but as I said before I nevertheless admire his gumption. For this alone he deserves praise.

I saw firsthand the various facelifts bestowed on Delhi in the runup to the Commonwealth Games and just as closely witnessed old mentalities quickly return- the Chalta Hai attitude (if it has been going on a particular way let it go on in that same way)-in its aftermath. Whilst it's arguable that Delhi has the best infrastructure of any metro city what with our excellent metro system, wide roads et al..old habits die hard. Connaught Place in less than a year went from freshly painted castle white to a faded paan streaked colour. The underground metro eventually needed to separate coaches for women. Hauz Khas Village has undergone mammoth overhauls but no one can miss the cows and crows feasting on plastic and waste in the overflowing garbage dump on the side of the road leading up to its entrance. A typically Indian sight and one that is all too common in Banaras.

Banaras isn't going to become spotless amd orderly like Kyoto in any of our lifetimes and so in the meantime we might as well enjoy a dubki (immersion) in the muddy Ganga flowing along its banks and chant Har har Bhole Baba.
#11 Aug 31st, 2014, 12:59
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I wouldn't worry if they have a 60kmph Shinkansen between Dilli and Benares as long as kulhar chai-wallas are allowed to ferry their clay pots in the aisles.







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Last edited by ViShVa; Aug 31st, 2014 at 14:14.. Reason: 'speeling'
#12 Aug 31st, 2014, 14:37
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A Shinkasen terminal at Manduadih!
#13 Aug 31st, 2014, 14:40
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#13
I see pictures of the Japanese PM and Mr Modi hugging.

What is all this hugging? Have they been mates for years? What's wrong with an exactly-to-protocol handshake? Or in Japan, a precise and distant bow?

What is the world coming to?
#14 Aug 31st, 2014, 14:48
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post What is the world coming to?
Kaliyug! Kaliyug!

Apologies to edwardseco!

I think this particular hug is calculated to raise temperatures in Peking.
#15 Aug 31st, 2014, 15:23
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#15
Just overheard at a gathering:

Dekhna Modi Banaras mein char chand laga dega..
.arey Kyoto unka Hardwar hai.


Just you wait and see Modi will make Varanasi as glorious as a place that has four moons shining on it...for Kyoto is Japan's Hardwar.
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