Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Safe Place

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

For societies that follow basic rules of living life, it is hard to imagine that someone would just barge into a public place and start shooting people without discrimination.  For religious or fanatical groups to highjack and crash big airplanes into great big buildings in what is the greatest city on earth was an eye opener not just for American people but the whole world.  It really showed how vulnerable life was when someone was willing to risk their own to destroy other people’s life and property.

Home grown violence of indiscriminate killing of people, all of whom are typically innocent strangers has become common in the recent years.  Shopping malls, movie theaters, parking lots, schools, and any other place we think as a place of safety and recreation and visit without worrying for one’s life, have all become places attracting violence.   Of late very public places have become places of carnage, and it is not because of some terrorist organization, but home grown individual discontent.  These individuals who are discontent with their life (for whatever reasons of their own making) go on a violent rampage on unsuspecting and innocent people in public places.  There is absolutely no way to anticipate the brutal carnage and there is never a warning to unsuspecting victims.

The latest incident in Newtown, Connecticut is by far the worst of its kind.  It targeted little children in their school.  No safe place for anyone; what has come to the society in which little children’s school is the target of killing, and that too of little ones so little, who can’t phantom why they are being shot at.  The children are not only innocent of what might be happening around them; they are the future of this society.  Killing them for whatsoever personal reason one might have is plain wrong and inhuman.

Whatever the wrongs of the society that might have been inflected on the individuals who kill strangers are self made issues and have no relevance to those who are being attacked.  Labeling these killers as mentally challenged is to hide the disgusting behavior they display and the callous attitude they have towards other people’s life.  These killers are stable enough to acquire guns and ammunition, and target specific places and mercilessly massacre unsuspecting and innocent people.  They are completely in control of their actions when they drive to public places with intent to kill.  They cannot be mentally challenged to load guns and find people to kill.  If we had someone of another faith or color target public places we call it terror, but when local guys kills we call them mentally challenged, and this is really a farce allowing the law and judicial departments from accounting these guys as anything but terrorists and treat them as terrorists.
As a society we show great empathy to such tragedy and I am personally 100% sure that everyone who heard of this carnage on little children had tears in their eyes as the President did.  What do we do now and what will the president do next along with the legislators of this country?  We live in a country which has more shops selling guns than McDonalds.  We must find a way to stop the attacks on general public by disgruntled individuals.  Each and every one of us has right to live; free and without fear and in freedom.  This society should not allow individuals to simply carry weapons and use them at will on unsuspecting people.  The killing of the little ones in Newton should serve as catalyst for the law makers to act to prevent the loss of innocent life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Following the Leader

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

India has been in its inception a society which looked-up to its leaders.  All through the history of the nation can remember Indians have always followed individual leaders for their leadership, behavior, exemplary skills and governance with putting people first.  We admire every aspect of the significance of the life and times of great leaders from our mythology and history, and also the conquerors of Indian soil in some instances with great reverence to the meaning of governance.

Perhaps no place on earth has endured the attack on the country as much as Hindustan has in the history of the world, while it retains the love for its history and long lost greatness of then people.  We love our heroes and most times revere them so much their life stories and deeds are a part of the Indian day to day life.  There is never a moment that passes by without a reference to the great acts of the past heroes of the nation.

A nation with more than a billion people and vast cultural and geological variations with diverse agendas is a tough country to govern and manage.  The challenges of the elected officials (they are no longer rulers of the past, just elected into the office by the people of the nation) are enormous with resources getting to be meager and meager with each passing year, and ever increasing demands of the population.

Prior to the Independence from the British and breaking the large nation in parts, Indians still had a few examples of rulers of tracks of the land, who were beholding to the needs of the people, and although they either had to be dethroned by the occupying forces or simply gave up the fight against a large enemy.  The rulers were generally very adept to the people of their kingdoms, and governed with keeping the people’s requirements at large.

1947 and break-up of India and independence from the British has been several generations ago, and just about anyone who were a part of the Independence movement has left the people.  We as people have yet to come to grip with how to handle freedom in a democratic way, and how to make the best out the freedom of choice with every aspect of life.

Before the independence in 1947 people of Hindustan followed the leaders who fought for the single democratic way of life; freedom from occupation by a foreign force.  The one single minded ambition which claimed numerous lives, and created multiple nations, was the one and only thing people of Hindustan wanted; freedom from occupation.

Well; now we have had freedom for generation, and we still have yet to learn to be a democratic nation.  While the pre-independence movement needed leaders as a voice of the people of the nation, we don’t need to do so in a democratic India.  The country and its people have not just the right to choose a leader who represents them, but also an obligation to pick and choose whosoever does the right things for the sake of the people.

We should get over the complex of a single person or a past history of someone when we choose our next representative.  They should be chosen based on actions that are representative of a democracy and well being of the people who sent the person to the elected office.  There is no reason to follow a leader for life time and then pass on the baton to the legacy of the past rather we should elect people based on people’s well being.
With more than a billion people India certainly has enough will power and mind power to choose leadership that is well meaning and people serving.  Leaders should only be in place as long as they represent the issues and causes of the people, and not just because of where they came from.  We should look for leaders to follow, only when the leader is representative of the people who voted in elections and they only should be sent back.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fostering Democracy

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Since the beginning of time, people have always preferred democratically established governments.  We have seldom seen dictatorships or single person enforced laws successfully supported by people who live in such rule.  Even if such rule was temporarily accepted by the people, they eventually result in revolt by its population, leading mostly to violent overturn of the establishments.  The world rarely has seen a peaceful dictatorship and the very fact the word dictatorship don’t foster the freedom of choice by people who live in such conditions.
Irrespective of where we live, we prefer to make choices of our won and when restricted to what a ruler dictates, we typically revolt against the idea of being told what to do on a daily basis by someone who is in power by force.  Time and again restricting human thinking and living, results in revolt that leads to violent overthrow of the powers in place, and people wanting to have a choice of their own in their day to day affairs.
Whatever the mankind has witnessed over the past century or so (while not forgetting the thousands of years of history that we know and read about), there has been very few instances of peaceful transformation of dictatorships into democracies.  Nations go through turmoil with loss of life, financial strife and eventually learning to live in a democratic environment, which often is a challenge in itself.  After years of being told what to do and how to live and restricted to think freely, freedom of thought and expression is not a simple thing to embrace immediately.  Democracies are also fostered to be successful over a period of time, wherein the people who live in it respect the process and live to be free of a single person’s rule.
India has been independent since 1947, which is several generations into freedom, and there are very few remnants of the pre-independence era’s policies and people.  Yet, the country has not come to grips with its freedom of choice.  Perhaps the ability to be free has not yet sunk into the thought process of the nation, which is large, diverse and mostly new in thinking.
Once we lost the leaders who worked hard to gain independence from the British, the new set of leaders have not been able to focus on development of the nation as a whole, rather they have become increasingly concerned about only retaining power and making money while in power.  The power to elect people’s representatives is still in the hands of the people, but who we elect seem to feed from the seat of their power rather than focus on what is needed by the people who have sent them to elected office.
For successive terms and governments in both the center and state level, the spirit of people’s agenda is clearly missing.  Although tall claims of each elected party are rhetorical, the actions don’t seem to match what is being promised and what is being done.  The country and states have more than enough resources to handle the needs of the population, but much of these resources are diverted to individual benefit.
There are nations who are as diverse and large, as India and strive in democracies.  Elected representatives minding people’s agenda and business and striving to develop their constituencies is not an abnormal thing, but how do we get this into Indian elected representatives.  Irrespective of who we send to the office, quickly forget that they are there for people’s purpose.  Regional parties, national parties or even very small parties, all of they get elected by emotional issues they bring to the people, and promise the moon, but once elected they all ignore the basics of good governance.
While Indians love the largest democracy title, its politicians have yet to start respecting the value of the democratic system.  The population of the country also doesn’t seem to get grips with the value of the democratic process, rather they probably don’t believe in the system, but simply send their elected representatives for the next term simply because of irrational thinking.
Each passing election cycle is more and more cynical than the previous one and the conditions in the country survive only gets worse.  New parties come to life whenever a senior leader of a party is dissatisfied or caught in a massive scam and wants to start fresh, but always with same old philosophy of all talk and no action, but feeding to the fear factor of the population.
India is a massive population with diversity of people, religion, regions, language and every imaginable people’s factor.  The very fabric of the country being democratic and under one nation is by itself a massive human endeavor.  While elected politicians are unable to appreciate the value of democracy, and how best to function under democratic rule, its people are also hapless in selecting the next set of elected representatives, who might turn out to be equally selfish.  There is no end in sight for money controlled electorate, and until the overall system rejects corruption in politics we will continue to be challenged as a nation which will always be classified as developing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are Indians God Fearing?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

All through this year the news from India has been scam after scam, and accusation after accusation, and negativity and negativity, and every elected and unelected person in power simply blames one or other for every reason that a human being can think of.  We are looking at most of the politicians who belong to the post-independence era, and may not share the camaraderie with each other as the India’s pre-independence folks did.

The generation of freedom fighters had a common purpose of achieving independence from the British as a common goal, while their individual aspirations were kept in check.  They focused on one and only one thing; freedom.  From the father of the nation to the foot soldiers of India, all of them wanted freedom from oppression and the only and only thing that was their lifelong goal.  When you read of the stories of the sacrifices of countless Indians to achieve freedom, they will forever be our pre-independence leaders and people who have given their all to the cycle of life and time, and those who remain now must be wondering what has come of the nation they wanted to be free.

Bapu’s “Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram” in the recent years has been delegated to just a prayer, and “Mere Bharat Mahan” has just become a slogan.  We have many places of worship, probably in every corner of India, and every once in a while we are reminded of God in one form or the other, and with one miracle or the other.  We as people in general are god fearing, when it comes time to think of the almighty, but quickly seem to forget about this power upstairs, and go on about our business every minute.

No one person in power seems to be using it for the benefit of the people.  It seems like a routine thing to get into power and abuse it as much of it as possible and people seem oblivious to the gross misuse of the power given to individuals by the population.  Everyone who acquires power is using it for self-benefit rather than to the benefit of the people.

Is this a nation of god fearing people, who think of the almighty every second?  Is this a nation of people who fought so hard for generations on against foreign invaders in obtaining the freedom of forming their own constitution?  Is this the nation of more than a billion people who are in pockets very smart and globe trotters?  Is this the nation of NRI’s who have achieved global success yet attached to their motherland?  So many questions that have answers but doesn’t seem to add-up to the reality of what is really happening in the country.

There is so much indiscipline with managing the national resources, which equates to a greater evil than any external threat to the nation.  There is so much hoarding of national wealth, so that none is being directed to the needy and the young for their future development.  So much abuse of power that anyone who is not on the side of the party in power or doesn’t want to follow the orders of the party in power gets the boot.  So much so that every politician that gets elected is preplanning to improve one’s bank account rather than developing the constituency that has sent him or her to the seat of power.

For a bunch of god fearing people we don’t really seem to worry about the consequences of hoarding national wealth.  The country has developed the attitude that each person to his/her own in grabbing whatever of available and nothing stopping from taking-in as much as possible, whenever possible.  If we fear god it doesn’t seem to show in our way of life, rather we seem so self-centered that it is a nation of individual profit and acclaim.  God is simply a way of trying to cover the massive self-centered life we live, irrespective of how rich or poor we might be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Time

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

It is Thanksgiving time in the USA, and beginning of the holiday spirit and time in North America.  Children are making Christmas lists and staring to count down for the holidays.  Not much has changed since the last year and we continue to have same conditions as last year, along with the president reelected, and back in the office for the next four years.

Typically turkey has a different connotation in the vocabulary of the United States, and not just the bird in the thanksgiving dinner table.  All through the year and probably in the coming months we have a list of turkey’s to look forward to, and perhaps they will keep coming until something is done in the world with both peace and pockets.

The biggest turkey we had recently was the just concluded election where president Obama won handily, and the republicans accepting the defeat grudgingly and the comments after the election in justifying the loss.  This country is full of immigrants and it belongs to everyone who lives here.  The privilege is of being American is just that and it makes everyone one and the same, and just because a few folks have a bit more money than the others doesn’t give them any more rights than the others.  They are all equal under one roof of a massive country which embraces everyone.  The elections should have thought those who believe in privilege that it is not so, and to get elected people must believe what you propose as a plan for the future, and not just four more years.  Whatever actions that are taken by the president will have long term impact on all the people.

Fiscal cliff or the automatic expiration of the tax cuts and deep cuts to the budgets across the board are just around the corner and could be the biggest turkey of them all if the President and the Congress will not have the time and inclination to reach a compromise by the end of the year which is fast approaching.  This may be a good turkey for all the country’s sake as the US budget needs to be balanced for the sake of all of its people and perhaps the global economy.  Many financial gurus don’t see much harm in letting the country get to grips with deep cuts to the budget and increased taxes.

The mid east once again is simmering with new tensions in Israel and Gaza and could bring in new set of issues for the international community.  Here is an international issue that has been an issue and will probably continue to be an issue for foreseeable future.  All parties involved have been hunkering down and no one is backing off on this age old issue.  The USA as usual has made its position clear, but this was the region which started off the mid east and perhaps the beginning of many of the global issues we have had in past several decades.  Only the almighty may have a solution to this age old issue between the people.
So many turkeys are all simmering at the same time, within and outside of the USA, and there are a number of old ones such as Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and the continues tensions in Syria and other places will continue to affect the global environment and economies and certainly peace.  Its thanksgiving and we sure have to find ways to be more thankful, and not anything else.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Blessings of Second Term

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

President Obama will not be running for public office again in his life.  The reelection of the president of the USA, allows him to build his legacy and work on delivering the election promises he made to the people of the USA.  His job is the most powerful job on earth, and term limits prohibit same person from being on the job more than two terms, and after being the president of the USA, one definitely don’t want another job.  Once again congratulations on his second term to president Obama.

The second term presents huge challenges to the president.  The second term will start with the fiscal cliff, which is just around the corner and the reality of expiration of the tax cuts to the rich, and automatic budget cuts to major programs, and across the board cuts to start bringing the deficit down are all a reality, as congress and president are still at loggerheads. 

The republican congress and the president have always been at loggerheads on the programs and policies to be adopted to meet the demands of the population.  As always there will be a lot of saber rattling between the parties, and one can expect a deal just in time to beat deadline, or the budget cuts and reductions, automatic roll back of taxes for the rich will become a reality.  The president at this time has nothing to lose as he is has been already reelected and just beginning his second term.  He has four years to worry about public opinion and fixing any issues to deal with his presidential legacy, and actually the fiscal cliff might simply help him balance the budget and fix the ills of the country by having to face through the last 3 presidential terms.

Allowing the automatic cuts will not hurt the President as it actually might help him in the long run with public opinion.  People don’t want to really pay most of the money they pay in taxes to the government going to pay interest on money borrowed by the government.  They would want to see it go to economic development and public interests.

There are a lot of other issues that are ready to be handled by the President and the leaders of the USA which require immediate attention.  Unemployment, inflation, housing, immigration, trade, international strife and political pressures; all add-up to the task of the President to be an enormous task to handle in the next four years, and he will need all the support of his staff, congress and senate, including the state and local governments, along with policies that will please the public and be adapted to better the country as a whole.

The President is still blessed with the largest economy on earth with great resources of the nation, along with intellectual capital that is the best available on the planet.  It will take some hard negotiations with the leaders in congress, along with the national acceptance of the policies that will benefit the whole country as one nation.

While the very rich or very poor have vastly different agenda, the country’s prosperity and cutting the cost of interest (for a fact entirely eliminating it) will have a huge impact on the global economy, and drive a pro-people agenda.  There is no doubt that people whosoever they are very interested in peace and prosperity not just today, but for generations to come, and the USA is still a nation of opportunity, and can continue to deliver to its people on the promise of the nation they live in; and all in all to the rest of the world while it flourishes.

The President and his team of advisors and the elected representatives can make decisions that will help prosper the nation.  If they place people first, it is absolutely possible to lead the nation towards low unemployment, budget surpluses and prosperity.  While the nation continues to the leader of the world, it can also become a model for economic leadership by making decisions that are long term and pro-growth.  The opportunity for green industry that is eco friendly and earth sustaining can not only be a great economic growth engine, but also save the earth as it is for many generations to come.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sandy’s Aftermath

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Franken storm Sandy did tens of billions of damage, and millions of people in danger and without basic facilities even after a week of the monster storm passing through the east coast of the United States.  It has been a week since the big storm and many millions are still without power and basic amenities that are a part and parcel of daily life in the United States.  Before and after the storm the people and the services were well aware of the strength of the storm and the possible impact it might have on the areas affected by the storm.

The devastation was expected, although horrific in looking at the power of nature on all living beings their homes and businesses, and establishments.  Slowly but assuredly the people are trying to get back to their homes if they are still intact, and those destroyed trying to grapple with the reality of rebuilding.  The public services and governments, and disaster recovery and support services, and everyone involved were apt with their pre-storm warnings and after storm response to the affected.

Little more than a hundred people lost their life, and countless animals along with the loss of homes and neighborhoods.  Just looking at the devastation makes one wonder the wrath of nature and its fury against the human encroachment all over the world.  There have been enough warnings and signals of global warming and abuse of earth to no end by the habitants.  The inhuman attitude human show to the earth is difficult to describe in words, and Sandy’s fury is only a small example of what we have done to our own habitat and what we can expect in the future as the nature’s payback to our misdeeds.

While Sandy’s path certainly awakens the well developed habitat to be wary of the fury of nature and man’s insatiable appetite for destruction of resources around himself, the nature of human behavior is also on display after the massive destruction of human habitat.  With entire neighborhoods wiped out or destroyed, and people abandoning the whole towns and vehicles and boats and whatever that was in the way put out of place and no way to control the path of displacement; all done in such abrupt and destructive way, still held the people affected from not doing anything inhuman.  There was no abuse of other people’s property, no human behavior that is indecent, and no looting or fighting, nothing that should be alarming to anyone else around.
All the destruction and loss of property and life never brought out the savage in the human who was the root cause for the nature’s fury.  Everyone in big or small towns, all of the people affected were civil and courteous, simply looking at the destruction as god’s fury, no one was yelling or screaming, no one being blamed, no one was trying to be uncivil, no one was asking for any favors; everyone looking out for each other and some cases of extraordinary kindness even towards small animals is well documented in the days following the huge storm.

Two very important aspects of life in the United States makes me document the aftermath of the storm;

1.    The people of the United States are well observant of their human nature first and follow the law of the land and rules of engagement without anyone prompting them to do so
2.    Tragedy simply makes humans more human and brings out the best human nature out irrespective of who we are and what we are and where we live

While it is sad to see some of the most populated area of the United States in the path of destruction, the display of human side of the country makes one believe in the land of opportunity as the land of best humane behavior.  It is still the most attractive place for people to live and let others live in peace and kindness.  The respect and shared sorrow, and the path for redevelopment will also yield a better global society, and here is hoping that we now to begin to respect nature as we should and preserve the resources around us will make the world a bit safer each day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surviving the Entire Term

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

When elected for an office the politicians typically focus on serving for a full term of the office, and when reelections are on the radar, they start preparing for contesting the elections again.  Typically incumbents present their accomplishments and their party’s accomplishments in the term they are serving and seek reelection for the next term.  Democracies allow for candidates to present and support their political party’s agendas, and if popular and acceptable to the public they will continue to be in the office for their full term, and if the administration is successful in meeting the needs of the electorate they get reelected.
In running a government with a group of coalition of parties, the dynamics of the ruling party get prioritized primarily with satisfying the demands of the coalition partners, rather than having a singular agenda for the national interest.  The coalition partners typically keeps shifting the demands it has for the leader of the coalition and the differences of objectives of each of the partners clash with each other, conflicting with the agenda of the leader of the coalition.  The demands on available resources and funding programs that are of importance to the individual partners of the coalition often conflict with each other, and put pressure on the governance.  There is the pressure of keeping the coalition together first as the government needs to survive the majority rules requirement, and then the continued demands of each of the partners to meet their own constituents needs.  With many promises made to each of the constituents, and the meager resources available to meet the demands of the nation, above all the planned incoming resources verses expenditures; all place a great demand on governing the nation.
The current government continues to survive on a regular basis despite the appearing and disappearing of coalition partners, and massive scams that involve national integrity and resources.  Along with changes to the cabinet which continues to evolve along with the changes to the coalition partners, it has been hard for the government to keep governing with the slew of scams.  The survival of the government has taken front seat, rather than the public agenda.
While the term of the current government is coming to a close, it continues to be precarious and partners ever more demanding.  The pressure of keeping the power outweighs the governance issues, and has affected the national to no end.  There is no end to the issues that are internal to the political party, and there is no sure shot way of setting goals that keep the people first.  The only mantra has been to be in power irrespective of the issues that face the citizens, and continue to make relationships to keep the term going.  There is no hope that the next government will have absolute majority to be in power for a full term without the threat of coalition partners ditching the governing and deliver to an agenda that is promised prior to the elections.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Divine Intervention

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

For what it is worth, even the group that is trying to fight against corruption in India, it itself needed to have its own people be subjected to their own internal ombudsman.  It is not surprising to have one’s own introspection in an environment that has fully supported corruption everywhere and every part of the system.  There is no steadfast and quick fix to problems that have been entrenched in the political and bureaucratic system of the country prior to its independence in 1947.

Ombudsman in USA and some other democratic countries is an effective way of having governmental agencies respond to common man’s issues, and sometimes problems in having the systems perform their duties on time and correctly.  It’s a simple system that has someone who is watching the performance of government and its agencies.  Ombudsman works well in helping citizens with issues that are a bit more difficult to handle than a normal process of getting them done.  It is not a legal or bureaucratic system, rather a system that seeks resolution of issues of the people within the frame of legal and functional frame of the country’s political foundation.  It is a simple process of helping with the issues that falls into the cracks of massive bureaucracies.

India is beyond such organization that can help the common man with simple problems that have an organization that can help solve them.  Everywhere and anywhere in the country and in every organization both public and private, and any religious or educational institution we have issues of hands out for favors.

Not a single thing in life has been left for the common man to say “I can do this without problems and paying for it”, and nothing has been left unexploited.  The physical resources of the country, natural resources and even invisible resources such as airwaves have been thrown into scams and more scams.  Games to religion are fair game for the scamsters and they keep getting bigger and bigger.  All political parties and government agencies routinely have their hands out for a piece of the action, and everything needs the grease to get done.

While there is some talk of anti-corruption activism they themselves are falling into the scrutiny of their past and what they are doing now to get their agenda heard.  It costs money to do things and in such a broad spectrum of things to cover and a vast audience of people to reach, it will not be a free pass to even present ombudsman as an alternative to cut graft.  First ombudsman is not an anti graft vehicle, rather it’s a means to get things done for common man who runs into problems with the bureaucratic systems.  So, it as an alternative to managing graft is not a solution.  With the current state of affairs in India, it probably needs divine intervention.  As most Indians are (I hope) god fearing, we all probably should pray for some magical way for god to intervene and stop the graft in the country.  To leave this to mere mortals will be an impossibility that will not be handled as a true ombudsman, and will never realize the dream of helping a common man.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Is Anyone Left Without A Trace Of Misappropriation?

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Each day we hear of massive use of influence to build books and gain financial strength that is unimaginable in a business environment.  Each instance typically is backed with a government in power, and person of interest is either someone in power or related to someone in power.  You seldom hear of anyone who is not connected to a position of power.
Last couple of weeks have yielded great fodder with one building books from a few hundred thousand rupees to billions of rupees with in a fairly short span.  Typically when a company goes public through share markets, they can yield massive investments to great ideas, but not to real estate investments without any track record.  This really doesn’t mean that there was something wrong with the way business was built, just that the person who is building it and the support of the massive corporation that has helped build the books of a brand new company without any track record of performance.

India is place of great disparities and great differences in people and their living.  While the super rich have the resources and the ability to connect with investors and capital, it is also a market that fosters good/great ideas into opportunities for development and massive market growth.  The years of computing and customer support has seen massive growth with the Indian businesses, and many of the global information technology giants that have come out of India are new enterprises which were supported quickly by the public markets and fostered into massive billion dollar enterprises, without any hint of misappropriation or political support.  They were developed with market potential as the main backing and only controlled by performance.  Barring a big company example in computer services, all major Indian Information Technology companies have been excellent examples of global adaptation of Indian enterprises to meet the demands of the markets.

Highly competent and competitive people will find that the world embraces their work and will reward them, irrespective of the environment or country.  There is always acceptance for work and people who wants to work, and hard work has no other replacement.  It always rewards people who work hard.

While the latest incident for book building of a single individual who is well connected to perhaps the most powerful person in India could have been accomplished with market support, the conditions that surrounding the business development raise questions of quid co pro, placing the burden of proof with the accused, and although all powerful politically at the present time this is not going to go away quietly.  Even if this is pushed under the rug as long as the current leaders are in power, it is likely to continue to be a point of political discussion for years to come, and the current leaders are voted out of power, the new governments with start to which hunt the current accused.  The cycle of disruptive practices and politics will continue to haunt the country, and with each passing year the scandals and politicizing of them by opposition parties will be the norm of the system, rather than finding solutions for people’s issues.

It is a wonder that the country continues to function and actually grow with the politics and pillaging of the nations resources.  While the democratic wonder of India continues to surprise the world and itself, the continued scams that haunt every state, every department and every aspect of Indian life is a great distraction to its people, its economy and it way of life.

While no immediate solution is available for fixing the loop holes that allow people in power to loot public resources, it is appropriate that the country and its public start seriously look at putting a stop to the large scale misappropriation of national resources.  There are many democracies that for a long time continue to be democracies and foster public interest, and when there is a deviation of the public interest by the elected or appointed officials, they are quickly dealt with and sent home.  One of the greatest examples of such act of democracy without disruption of the national interest or economy was impeachment of President Nixon in the United States.  There are many such instances of change of power or change of functioning of governments without disruption of life in democracies.

India needs public response to these daily disruptions by vested interests, and only when people reject such blatant abuse of power, we will see restoration of public interest.  There is no sure cut way for restoring normal democracies that have such diverse tradition, culture, language and interests, but certainly the people of the country should come together to abolish the custom of public looting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Oh My God!

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The idea of finding and defining the almighty has not been possible for humans from their inception, except the notion of the power of god is felt in varying times and in times of need for every person.  The attempt to find god has been attempted as long as human beings have been in existence and there is not a definitive case made of anyone really seeing and interacting with god.

The movie Oh My God, explores the human frailty in attempting to make a simple insurance claim being denied as an act of god, and then the person suing god for damages for loss of property and business, and then the entire episode of how he tries to convince the court to claim his damages.  Although the movie was adopted from a play, the essence of the power of logic and perseverance, the role of the almighty in a common man’s battle against being denied a legitimate insurance claim, and specially one man’s determination in displaying the logic of reality and simply working with the circumstances that arise with every instance in fighting against the system of injustice and loop holes is absolute master stroke.  This is not a review of the movie, rather the belief in the man upstairs in time of need.

I am first of all a believer in the guy upstairs and him watching our every move, and only fingering with instances where we really need help.  The very fact that we have life and have a long time on earth and the magic of life and death and the cycle of life itself is a miracle, and every human is blessed for whatever time is given on earth to fully live life to the fullest and be as accommodating and contributing to the fellow humans is god’s way of making us very valuable in the cycle of life.  Nothing is more precious as the gift of life, and we are already indebted to the man upstairs for giving us life.  We continue to burden god with the enormous appetite for each of our wants and our needs as typically met with the accommodations already made available to us on earth.

While we are at some time grateful for life. We do spend enormous amount of time thinking of better and bigger things in life, and better and bigger is typically materialistic and money related, and typically when we are asking for more is when we remember the man upstairs.

For love of god, we never seldom tell him we love him and we seldom thank him for what we already have, but simply keep asking him for this and that, and never think that he has billions of others and only god knows how many more living beings also asking for betterment of conditions around them, whatever it might be.

Going back to the movie, it was really touching to see a simple man who only uses logic to try to get back what is right fully his, and how the man who controls the powers of the world, simply points him to the right path.  Also, when really needed how god does show up in a form that gives a helping hand to the needy and rightfully, so and simply disappears when there is no further need for support.

Whether or not anyone likes the movie the message is fantastic and simple.  When in need god will help you to find the right direction, and it is up to the humans to make the nest out of the opportunity.  Doing the right thing will always lead to a happy ending and there will always be satisfaction of doing right thing, its human.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All News Planted?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

If you read any of the web based news it is nothing short of unbelievable and often sensational.  Typically the level of believability is often tested, and the reader has to interpret the reality verses fabrication or imagination of the writer.  As there is little protection for the receiver, and the ability of the writer to simply name unnamed sources, there is little to lose for the writer.  Just about any speculation can be made and corrections can be posted on an ongoing basis, and by the time the story gets told, it can be exactly the opposite of what was originally reported.

From movie reviews to personal stories, news columns to financial reports; all of them come out first and then get verified.  All the time unnamed sources are quoted as the real source of information, and anyone and anything can be targeted for negative news.  All the stories typically when flashing will get corrected over the days that follow and each of them have a disclaimer that they are still evolving and unnamed sources.

From not so important story such as Rahul Gandhi’s private life to massive coal or telecom scams get sensationalized first and then as the reality or facts come out in the open the story will be retold with new information, and typically the life of a story completely gets changed over the real life of the story.  From sensational news of reporting breaking news to a final report on the facts of the matter is really very different, as different as day and night.

From real reporting of the news papers that had real reporters with sources that fed them proper information, and did real reporting on the breaking news, we have become a society that feeds on sensationalizing the issues rather than the worthiness of the report.

Just that there are too many channels and web based reporting that are all trying to wyes for the eye balls of the readers or listeners, all of them simply trying to have as many people as possible paying attention even for a short span, thereby enhancing the survivability of the channel.   I still remember reading Illustrated Weekly and waiting to read Kushwant Singh would write, or waiting for Hindu to catch-up on daily dose of the news, read Veerendranath’s Telugu weekly and sensational writings of the time or such wonderful magazines and news papers before the advent of the TV and Internet.  For a fact I have read the same stories and books many a times and I still read them regularly, and never get tired of them, and they continue to be exciting and interesting read even after a generation of time passing away.  I am in no way trying to belittle writers of today or the abilities of the writers, as I myself in my own small way write all most every week and try to take pride in original writing and unbiased views of my India.

The problem is with reading so much with almost all of them sensationalizing every aspect of the daily reporting; simply to attract more eyeballs is overbearing and often tiring.  A reader or viewer want to get real information and facts of what is transpiring in the world, and want very little sensationalizing with the reporting.  Life by itself provides daily dose of sensation so there is no need for so much biased stuff pushed at people 24/7/365, as reality often gets blurred with what we see or read.

Going back and reading the literature of yesteryear, or trying to weed through the barrage of reports that are from all kinds of unknown sources and making sense out of what you hear, and being able to keep a track of what is actually happening is an art by itself.  Much can be said about the agencies that report as they do invest heavily into the happenings around the world, and are trying to be ahead of the others who are competing for the same audience.

The audience is quite loyal to a channel, news paper or periodicals and seldom tries to waver from their regular sources for their daily dose of news or reading, and the channels can be realistic and true in reporting to keep their audience interested, and also provide factual and real reporting.  Perhaps it is asking too much from one or the other channels as they are all of the belief that creating sensation is what keeps the audience glued to them, rather than the facts and reality.  The problem lies in so much speculation on reporting which is far from facts, rather unnamed sources to make up for airtime.  Perhaps a bit of trying to get the facts right might allow people to see what is real, rather than wonder what really is happening?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Depending on the Government?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Be it democracies or communist countries or dictatorships, the value of the government is in planning the process of education, success and enterprise which dictate the daily habits and life of the citizens.  Prosperity is not a relative term to a country or a class of people; rather it is the way of life for organized and hard working folks.

Each country has its own share of unemployment, poverty and desperation, which is not a choice of those who face it, rather circumstantial to the conditions they are forced to be in.  There is no denying that some portion of the people will always choose to not to work and hang on to the programs that are afforded to the public by the governments.

In general majority of the population of the earth would like their families to live in dignity and comfort.  People would like their children well educated, live a life of cause and goodness, and almost all the time a better life than their own.  The world has become more mobile with people moving from place to place and sometimes from country to country, and trying to look at the best possible place for them to work and also raise a family.

The western countries which for the better part of the last 100 or so years have been places where people would want to migrate to, looking for professional growth and greener pastures continue to still be attractive for countries with limited opportunity for education and professional advancement.  In fact last 20 years or so have been witnessing a portion of the migrants wanting to go back to their roots and contributing to their ancestral communities.

Migration from place to place is not a new phenomenon nor will it become passé, as people since human inception have always moved from place to place in search of opportunity and advancement, and also better weather and living conditions.  No one should claim to stop or start this process as it as a normal process as human evolution.  There are political issues and national issues that at times drive people from their natural surrounding and forced to move from where they are comfortable, but when they move they quickly adapt to the new surrounding and build a new life.  There have been extra ordinary circumstances where brutal regimes have displaced millions of people, who at first face the tyranny and brutality of an individual’s desire to enforce conditions that are inhuman on them, and move on to safe guard their families and rebuild a life anew.  These brutal circumstances have been witnessed quite often in the past century and continue to be so even in this age and time.  Most of the world when it has to receive people who are forced to evacuate their own homes, embraces the misfortunate who are forced to leave all their worldly belongings and go somewhere new.

No country, no people and no community would like to have a government dictate the life or what they should do next.  The politics of a nation or a state might influence the living standards of the people, but there is no real reason for them to depend on the government, rather they become victims of the politics.  The desire for politicians to retain their seat of power as long as they can, and remain empowered to dictate the political and policy of the state often dictates their political ethics and policy making, which in turn reflect on the community they represent.  Seldom people want hand me downs, rather they are forced to making political choices that best suit the politicians.

Communities and people in general want to be independent of any government or politicians, and also want to make independent decisions relative to their life and families.  Only the politics of a nation that are either imposed on the citizens and force them to make limited choices or have no appropriate choices.  No one on this earth wants to depend on a government, or an individual, or a society; if given a chance to make their own independent decisions.  People like to think for themselves, and live their own life on their own terms, just that the politics impose the difficulties of limited choices on them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Insulting the Prime Minister?

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Until he was appointed as the prime minister of India, Dr. Singh was one of the most respected economists and policy makers in the world.  His leadership in leading Indian economic engine to grow and prosper is the story of legend and will forever be remembered for the decisions the finance ministry took and implemented.  There was no question of his decision making and policy implementation in leading India into the new century with astonishing results.

The past week saw him called a few choice names by a US publication, which were quickly rebuffed by the Indians, and asked for an apology of sorts for calling the Prime Minister a do nothing wimp in kind words.  We all know anyone can write anything they want in any country and just get away with it, and even heads of state are not an exception to the sharpness of the language being used by the writers.  The truth of the matter in making a story on Dr. Singh is new to the international media in a negative light, but there are no short stories on him in the Indian media.  There is a constant attention to his style of governing and his inaction on many of the issues that continue to plague India, specially referring to the ongoing and ever expanding scams of the government at the center and in most states.

While no one accuses Dr. Singh of any wrong doing of the nasty kind, he certainly is at the helm of the party that has made India popular for scams, and each passing one getting bigger.  The party identifies the scams and throws a few of the politicians involved into jail for a few months, and profess to be taking action.  In the first place why is the government allowing the elected officials to scam the country?  And only after a massive abuse of people’s resources happen is when you take action.

No money has ever been recovered from the scam leaders yet, although some of them have been sent to jail.  A few have been sent to jail because they no longer want to listen to the government’s prophecy anymore.  Those landing in jail claim total innocence and also claim that they were acting according to the law, and only implemented the policy of the government.

Everyone including babies know that people in power cheat, lie and steal, and only to the degree they do these things once they get elected is for the record.  With each passing election the cost of getting elected gets higher and higher, and once elected the recovery of the investment also is at a massive scale.  Politics has become as if people investing in education and training to get good jobs and get a life of comfort after initial sacrifices.  Politicians have become so used to cheating as much as possible to recover their investment into to getting elected.  There is only one political agenda in India that is to get elected and steal as much as possible as quickly as possible.

While Dr. Singh personally may not be interested in wealth creation, his party certainly has been quite aggressive in scamming and cheating while in power.  No matter how you define his personal qualities, he as the head of the nation has not been able to rub off any of his personal qualities on his fellow party men and women to work for the benefit of the people.  If the US papers call him names, it is difficult not to question Dr. Singh’s abilities rather than the news papers that raise the issue of inaction against corruption.  Judging his personal abilities is no longer important as he is the head of the largest democracy, and he should be responsible for the actions of his party at all levels, and should impose the same standards he has on all of his colleagues.

Past Perfect

Vasu Reddy from Chicago vasureddy@aol.com It has already happened. Past is already on the books, recorded, and can’t be changed.   It ...