As Minister of tourism – a fantasy.(This thread has won the Consolation prize in the Essay contest)
I was resting on the couch facing the PM elect taking oath on the lively evening of 26th instant. The charged atmosphere in the courtyard of pristine eastern facade of Rashtrapathi Bhawan, the jewel of Lutyens' Delhi. Doordarshan was beaming the proceedings with Hindi commentary, with setting sun at goodhuli lagna, the auspicious moment had arrived. New Prime Minister had taken oath in the name of Ishwar that he will do his best for the country. I had just slipped into the celebration.
I was shocked by the surprise announcement of my name for MOS, hurried to the makeshift platform where Hon'ble President was in anticipation, I bowed in respect and stared introducing myself and as Mr. President stated I, continued with the written oath in the name of Ishwar. I was applauded all around where I saw dignitaries, and SAARC leaders, I could make-out by different traditional costumes, I bowed president and the esteemed gathering in due respect and walked towards register to sign the oath. Hands trembling I could hardly recognize my signature. I was elated.
I could not sleep the night and hours looked like ages, PM sent me message for the cabinet meeting by 9.30 AM. There was no time to laze, hurried past daily ablutions and wore my best for the occasion. I was punctual for the meet where I saw seniors Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma swaraj among others. All wore serious faces on and were best for the day when Mr. Modi announced the portfolios where I was awarded Minister for tourism (independent charge).
I took the announcement seriously and thought my priorities, there was always room for expansion in this sector. India being a rich cultural country had lot to expose in nook and corners. Every village or city had its tale and it is to be presented to apt audience to attract them to visit us. Medi-tourism, Edu-tourism, Eco-tourism, cricket- tourism, festival-tourism, religious- tourism flashed my mind.
Just then one introducing himself as Secretary – tourism excused me to join the annexe of SAARC discussions. Prime Minister had mooted SAARC to be developed as a common tourism package and my presence to understand the response of foreign delegates was felt. I had no time to think, call of work, rushed to greet and interact SAARC delegates. My day had begun even before me understanding, there was much to follow, prioritize and act. I had no time to rest, table lamp accompanied throughout the night with my pen scribbling very many thoughts. I struggled to prioritize my lists of things to do.
Next morning, secretary wished me good day and informed that official car would pick me by 9.00, but I stated I was already ready it was 7.00 in the morn. So two hours for that scribble I thought and sat before the table.
1. Development of tourism spots was to be my priority, I would like to invite FDI in this as major fund was to be expected that too quickly, It stoke me that my brothers in foreign as NRI's would be interested to develop tourist spots around their birthplace. I wanted 52% stake to be owned for development.
2. Connecting roads to nearest city was to be developed with town council participation through BOOT principle. Thereby the council can expect some regular revenue.
3. Quality lodging was to be invested, business tycoons were to be roped in.
4. Transportation was to be upgraded, I needed state governement's active participation. I had a plan with Railway ministry to have separate compartment for package tourists.
5. My ministry had to priorities the structure for package tours and promote with social media's effective use.
I was ready anxiously waiting the car.
My son swinging his badminton racket pulled remote from my left hand which shook me out of slumber I had fallen into. Fantasy, ah its beauty, I was transformed a minister from ordinary employee. I wanted to pinch myself to ascertain but heard the call to raise for the National anthem involuntarily I stood attention with my son gazing inquisitively from couch.
My entry for 'If appointed as Minister in Modi's cabinet – An Essay writing contest'.