I wonder whose idea it was to plan a China trip for the entire lot of Karnataka legislators. They add up 300 members – 225 MLAs and 75 MLCs. Their mission: a study of economic development models adopted in China. No wonder the external affairs ministry has yet to clear the trip,proposed to be made in batches this September. The Karnataka assembly speaker is quoted as saying that the China trip would help our legislators “change their mindset” towards development models to be adopted in Karnataka.
Even if our foreign office buys this story, you and I may have problem figuring out why so many of our legislators need to go abroad for a change-of-mindset. Understandably, China appears to have made remarkable progress, development-wise. So can we, if we have the political will and can effectively implement projects. More importantly, unity of purpose among legislators, divided by their party or caste loyalties, can work wonders. If only they learn to put economic interest of Karnataka above the interests of their caste, community or political party, we can be in a position to tell China a thing or two about fast-track development.
I share the speaker’s contention that legislators need a change of mindset. But do they have to go to China for this? Can’t we accomplish this change at lesser than the Rs.6 crores the foreign trip would cost the Karnataka tax-payers? Mercifully, the CM and the deputy CM are reported to have opted out of the proposed trip. Their entourage of officials and security squad may have to forego an opportunity to visit the Great Wall.