Atanu Dey On India's Development

Hi from Singapore

Hi from Singaore, one of my favorite cities. I am writing this from the Overseas Family School (OFS) during a break in my meeting with David Perry, the man who founded OFS.

Ah, yes, the weather. The regular afternoon downpour occurred on schedule around 3:30 PM. It rained cats and dogs. David says that these days they have monsoons round the year. Climate change is definitely evident in Singapore. We did not get into whether it is anthropogenic climate change or not.

What I like about Singapore is that the city is neat and clean. Some say that it is sterile. Maybe so. But I would take sterile over disease any day of the week. Of course, fertile trumps sterile. I am convinced that there is a way to get to fertile from sterile. I think that the transition from disease to fertile has to go through the sterile phase. Cleaning up is not a very attractive job but at some point one has to do it.

Laters.

  • But Sir

    Singapore is one of the best examples of DeCi. A completely artificial paradise funded by the investment community using the exact same techniques you’ve written about in your ongoing DeCi series. An entire country smaller than the city of Bangalore, with a huge GDP. They made a country in the middle of the sea. Obviously no drinking water, they buy water from Malaysia. No sand for concrete and buildings, they buy sand from Indonesia. Nothing grows there, they buy food from everywhere. Singapore grows 5% of its total supply of 180,000 tons of fresh vegetables and imports rest from Malaysia, Indonesia. Bacon – imported. Beef – imported. Draconian laws to keep the peace. No assembly of more than 10 people in any place! Newspaper is govt mouthpiece. Despite all that, I still liked Singapore. I stayed there long enough, and I will hopefully never return, having tasted the freedom of the West. But Singapore is your DeCi. And I have a feeling less than 1% of Indians would want to live in that sort of a place, though eventually 100% might warm up to it after looking at the facilities. When I lived in Singapore, I felt I was living in a zoo. All your needs are met by the zoo-keeper. You simply have to wake up, stay in your cage and pose for the visitors. It is certainly better than fighting for food in the jungle. But if Singapore is one extreme and say Nandigram is the other extreme, there are lot of choices in between. I personally prefer the organic closed communities of Scandinavia. Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden these places rank much higher on my comfort level than Singapore.

  • Guru Gulab Khatri

    Singapore has no creativity.
    They have sterilized that out of their system.

  • Sriram

    Wow, what a coincidence. I am a former student of OFS. Graduated from high school some 3 years back. My sis still goes there in the middle school. It’s a wonderful establishment and brings back many fond memories.

    I pine for the day when the typical indian school will be like OFS. Heck even the typical singaporean one is nowhere near.

    I hope the football ground is looking pristine. We had many a great game on it and some of our greatest victories on it and the nearby basketball courts. It certainly carries a history.

  • gami

    I agree with the criticism of Singapore.
    and it should be more severe concerning the awful smug attitude most Singapore Chinese have towards Indians.

  • Anuj

    Anybody who has had to sleep on an empty stomach will tell you that they would much rather live in a “cage” and be fed four squares, than go hungry.

  • Guru Gulab Khatri

    I dont know what the cage analogy here is.
    But to me living in singapore would be a cage.
    I have been there(i didnt have to pay it was work related) and dont want to go their ever again.