A nice little postcard from a Western traveler to India appeared in the comments the other day. Here it is:
I spent a couple weeks in India 4 years ago and I completely agree with this post. The day I arrived I caught something (Delhi Belly) after drinking a fruit & ice blended drink and I was sick for a month. Guess why? Because there's sh1t in the water they make ice out of.
The cities smelled like sh1t, especially the areas where the fishermen lived. I nicknamed the harbor in Mumbai, which is called the Queen's Necklace by locals, the Queen's Toilet. The water was brown because it's probably full of sh1t. Many buildings were literally crumbling with holes in the floor, but it was all normal to them.
Whenever I meet an Indian hyping up the country and how it's going to be the next China, I either point out that it'll take a long long LONG time to make progress in that country, or I just politely agree because there's no use arguing with someone who's delusional and going to take your comments personally.
My opinion as an educated man with many friends in the class of top 1% richest Indians, the country won’t get better until:
1. Seriously fights & punishes corruption and bribery (many friends’ families use government connections to gain advantages over business rivals and especially foreign investors/businesses, the rich also tout their position, net worth, and bureaucratic friends to threaten cops or other officials who would dare punish them for violating laws).
2. Invests in infrastructure – build sewers, clean the water, increases the building safety code and regulations.
3. Increases public education (many people lack analytical skills, the lower class basically has a slave mentality).
4. Put some of the many homeless to work cleaning up the streets – there's too much garbage everywhere.