Ever since I started traveling overseas which was from a very young age, as a child I would be fascinated with these clocks displaying different time zones. They would be at airports and at hotels across the world.
My curious eyes would try and see if any of them displayed New Delhi or Mumbai but I would never find one except when looking at them in a hotel in India. And I would wonder why my country’s time zone was missing.
As I grew up I would collect photos of these clocks from across the world. Many places in late 90’s and early years of 21st century, started adding Dubai and Shanghai or Beijing time zones to these clocks but Indian cities continued to be absent.
Then the Taj took over st James court hotel in London and I saw the clock at st James court reception display New Delhi time zone with the name plaque. I can’t tell you how happy I was that day. It was like after traveling for 25 years across the world a moment of sheer joy and pride had finally arrived.
But alas that clock remains an exception and across the world our time zone is not displayed because the truth is its not important. The truth is despite being the largest democracy in the world, second largest populated nation, the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, fastest growing economy, having the fourth largest military with the largest contribution to the UN peacekeeping force and being a nuclear power.. we have yet to make our forceful mark in the global geopolitics, economics and international affairs. And that is a matter of disappointment.
So here is my appeal to PMO India Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi as you accomplish two years in office and since you have actively sought to transform India’s engagement with the world, i would say this: “Sir, I look forward to the day when clocks around the world will have one of them dedicated to the New Delhi time zone, that is my dream for India’s global influence…that day we would have accomplished the dream of India actively shaping the world order. I hope you will make this dream a reality in the coming years of your government.”