Showing posts from 2011

Imperfect Democracies

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Throughout the documented history of mankind democratically governed countries have prospered and found ways to reinvent themselves when in danger of extremist governance.Communist rulers, dictators and oppressive regimes come to abrupt or violent end when people in these regimes begin to feel the need for freedom of actions and speech.However difficult it is to endure a democratic government, it is still only as good as the current term and people can vote the elected government out if the governance doesn’t meet the demands of the general public.
History repeatedly points to the success of democracies where people decide on the elected government and its leaders for a definite period of time and when the elected officials don’t deliver to their promises they typically get voted out with a new team of government.Each government in its term typically sticks to its election promises and with proper planning, support from the economy and industry a…

Where Are The Blockbusters?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The days when the movies ran for 100 days, 200 days and some as many as 365 days or more in the same theater to packed houses have been long gone. Just about every language films had a long run at the box office and drew crowd’s day in and day out, and people enjoyed the time at the theater despite and glitz or pomp associated with today’s marketing of the movies. There was no television, internet nor aggressive marketing of a movie, except huge cutouts, radio advertisements, wall posters and news paper advertisements.

People flocked to the theaters and had great fun watching the movies four or five shows a day and if the movie was good it continued the house full boards for a long time. Some of the Indian classics ran for a year or more to packed houses, and people saw the same movie again and again and never got tired of the repeat performances. The actors worked on multiple movies at a time, some as many as six or more a year and delivered …

Relishing The Diversity

Many diverse people and their tastes, traditions and their way of life make India a great country which embraces just about every aspect of life and its greatness. Every place has a Panjabi dhba, irani chai (although it is not from Iran), Dosa and idli, Biryani and samosa, pav bhaji, vada pav and a million other delicacies we fondly remember and chase down at every opportunity. It is not my intention to forget mentioning any of the delicacies as we have so many of them, which I may not list in my short essay. All of us Indians and non-Indians devour the fantastic delicacies irrespective of their origin or nature, and enjoy them day in and day out. Some of the foodies at midnight as some of the places cater to the taste buds at midnight feasts. Whatever region of the country we come from the food seems to transcend the regional boundaries, and just taste draws full praises while washing the delicacies down with a lassi or goli soda. Never in your mind has it crossed that the orig…

Twelve Trillion or Twelve Zeros

The current US debt is at 12 trillion dollars and counting up. Each minute the ticker goes up and continues to climb each day. It is mind boggling to even count 12 zeros after a number, let alone 12. Every year we hear of congress and the president working on debt reduction, and lots of debate on what steps to be taken to reduce the deficit. In years and years of piling up the debt, the money set aside for interest on servicing the debt is larger than the budgets of many a countries in the world. Every couple of years there will be a big debate between congress and the president and talk of government shut down, and they always work out ways to compromise and make the deficit bigger and bigger. Not since the days of President Clinton, annual budgets have been revenue positive. Many years have gone by with the annual deficits getting larger and larger, and debt servicing getting to be a bigger and bigger part of the annual budgeting process. Years of multiple wars, natural and …

Political Yatras

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

One of the oldest forms of political canvassing is conducting walking tours of the constituencies. Every day we hear politicians undertaking tours of their respective constituencies to promote their agenda, and mostly show up to the people's door step to make sure they are personally representing the agenda being promoted on respective tours. Even before India's Independence Gandhiji made walking very popular form of addressing the issues of people and making them a part of the formal protests he undertook. In those day except radio and new papers there was no 24/7/365 coverage of the events. They were strictly by word of mouth and telegram, and eventually on radio and news papers. They were very effective in involving people to participate and support the causes which were noble and represented the common good of the common man.

The country welcomed the walking tours with open arms and at every step waited to embrace the cause and suppo…

Method To The Madness

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

As bad as the reputation of political leaders is today, there is some history to where the current crop of politicians in power have been up to and why many of them are in jail. When Nehru was the leader and followed by Lal Bahadur Shastri for a short stint as the Prime Ministers of India, there was no need for them to raise money for canvassing around the country, and be in front of the media 24/7. The leadership of the country relied on principals of democratic India and only had to express their desire to have India continue to be democratic and remove poverty.

Even when Indira Gandhi became prime minister after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the big slogan was Garibi Hatao and removing poverty was the main slogan that people heard on the radio, prior to the days of the advent of television. There was never scandal related to the politicians and squandering national wealth in form of kickbacks. Only when the television and communication…

Story Telling At Its Best

CBS 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney died at the age of 92 on November 5, 2011. He has been on radio and television all of his life and just weeks ago did his commentary on 60 minutes. Many years I watched 60 minutes every Sunday evening and special focus to Andy Rooney’s segment at the end of the hour. He only spoke for a minute or two and picked on everyday subjects to comment or critique on, and always was to the point and even with humor. The humor was dry and to the point but ha always made it look like it is simple and true and to the point.

When I first start watching 60 minutes, I was interested in the human interest of the stories and mainly the interviews with the famous figures in the world. Newsmakers, presidents, prime ministers, business heads, dictators, and men and women who influenced the world in some way or the other, sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Many segments covered Africa and Middle East and Asia, and fascinating detail on the subjects and lan…

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan without a doubt is an actor and individual is a true superstar. He is always well mannered, unabated by the personality and fame and every word well chosen in speech and in writing. He has taken to the web lately and frequently shares his daily life with his millions of fans across the world. His taking the time to update his millions of fans on a regular basis is very commendable and brings him closer to his followers and fans. Every update is as elegant and well versed as all things he does. Just recently the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wrote in his column that Amitabh should be awarded the Bharath Ratna, which is the highest civilian award by the Indian government. No small recommendation from the chief of Shiv Sena, which can be echoed by millions of others across India on the well deserved commendation to the gentleman and superstar.

For decades his movies provided great action, great dialogues and great performances by all actors who worked along with Mr. Bach…