Monday, January 30, 2012

Family and Heritage

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

The value of extended family and the importance of the support structure that is inbuilt into the Indian family are invaluable.  For hundreds of years and generations after generations the traditions and values are continuously bestowed on the next generation and them respecting the past and continuing into the future is a part of the Indian psychology.

With technology, internet and a wide array of communications and television and other influences, there is a shift in the way people communicate and keep in touch with each other, but the influence of family continues to survive the test of time and advancements.  People do live farther away from their families and the families themselves are no longer with many brothers and sisters in each generation, but they still behold their love for who they are and where they come from.  

After the mobile phone and great expansion of telephone networks, people speak to each other often and keep current on what their respective routines.  In recent developments such as Skype allows people to use their internet existing services to even visibly communicate with each other, and perhaps get to do more together and also see how they look.  So much technology advancements in last 20 years from writing letters to call long distance to video and voice chat on demand.  I am not sure what else is there to develop or invent to bridge the distance from families and friends, but it is pretty close to quite invasive today as it can be as living together.

Marriages can be shared from one part of the world to the other and photos or video clips are as common as sending a text message.  It bring backs the days when people were together and participated in the family rituals, just that they could be thousands of miles away but not miss out on the family traditions and practices.  Technology has definitely helped in taking the distances away and allowing the families to become more involved with things they have been missing due to time and travel restrictions due to the distances they are away from their families.

We also continue to maintain our traditions and heritage that we have left behind in our homes, but not in spirit.  Even living as far as in America, Indians devote a great deal of time and effort in maintaining their identity as who they are where they come from.  Not just by donating or visiting their respective local shrines, Indians truly maintain their home life as Indians while engaging in their respective professional duties without deviating from their traditions.

Ms. Winfrey visiting India for a week and highlighting the way of Indian life and the tolerance built into the Indian society due to its family structure.  Although her trip is a recent event and she particularly highlighted the Indian family structure, there is a lot of press to our family and our heritage.  The value systems in Indian families have never been in question for hundreds of years, just been adapting to the changes in people’s migration and technology in being in communications with each other.

The respect that continues from generation to generation will continue to foster the relationships and respect within the families.  The friction within the systems and individuals is always overshadowed by the unity displayed by the families, and the communications of today are further cementing the relationships that are long in distance but not in heart.

While Ms. Winfrey’s trip to India and her observations highlight the family structure and its heritage within our society, it is something for us to take to heart as the charm of an Indian lies with the family and traditions that come with each person.  They will forever be built into our life and will continue to influence our lives wherever in the world we choose to live.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trip to India

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Every small village in India has its own history and significance attached to the local area with tales of grandeur and architectural significance.  Every place has great fables that are told everyday and people talk of the ancestors and their contributions with such closeness that exemplifies the dearness that beholds to the people and their past.  For those visitors who traveled to India for centuries, the country continues to provide great interest in culture, heritage and definitely architecture.  Although the urbanization of the country and the tremendous population growth continue to encroach into the many historic and archeologically important part of the country’s vast historically significant findings, the country continues to hold wonderful heritage all across the stretch of the nation for people to learn and appreciate the contributions of the generations of the past.

There are fascinating natural and manmade places all across the country which all deserves to be preserved for future generations to come.  There is a great deal of learning to derive from the wonderful past of the country, which is as enlightening today as it might have been the day when they were created.  While in India and since relocating from India, the country holds the historical significance very dear to heart as the fascinating details of each of the places is endearing and beholds the person visiting each one of them.

From the valleys of Kashmir to the Vivekananda temple in Kanyakumari, From Bombay to Calcutta, or the matter of fact any corner of the country to the other India has a rich history for its people and anyone else who visits.  Thoroughly enjoyable are the wild life parks and many hill stations of India which are also all across the country.  The fascinating train rides or bus rides that take you to every part of the country while delivering immense pleasures with local cuisine and culture.  Not to forget the local languages, customs and dialect which combined with localized English makes it fascinating adventure.  There are many pictorial and literary works that capture the beauty and essence of India in great detail and have been for generations.  There is no end to the glory and history that can be repeated over and over with equal enthusiasm and fascination as if it is being told for the first time.

Everywhere in India you would find the incredible mix of religious and traditional cultures and every possible religion represented and respected.  There is no other place on earth that has its people of all faiths living in harmony and together while practicing whatever faith they choose to follow.  Every instance a new religion or tradition has been introduced into India; it has only broadened the country’s tolerance for expression of faith, and integration of new ideas and opportunities to learn from each other.  There is no place on earth that has the vast diversity of people as India, which fosters every freedom of expression.

Visit every part of India if you can and enjoy the place for its beauty and diversity.  Take a friend and family with you and get your young ones introduced to and interested in the glory of our nation’s ancestors and its significance to today’s inhabitants.  The country is filled with tolerance to everyone, democratic principles and the endurance it has had for centuries of invasions and occupation.  Today we have over a billion people and growing and man verses the limited resources, but still possessing the great charms of the past coupled with today’s people who continue to represent the history of the country.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Another year ended and a new one started without any real change in what is happening around the world.  Except a few holidays during the Christmas and New Year things remain status quo, and remain so through the beginning of the New Year.  They seldom seem to change although there is a lot of hype about making resolutions.

Very rarely things change during the course of the last week of the year and the beginning of the new one.  It is just imagining that we will abide by the decision to do or not do something overnight on the 31st of December every year, as if we were not able to do so in the first 364 days, it is unlikely the last calendar day of the year will somehow influence decision making to alter things we normally do.  It is not being cynical about New Year resolutions, but the fact of the matter is they better serve if thought through over the entire year and not as a prelude to a new calendar year.

In the past year we continue to see India struggle with the acceptance of Ombudsman at the national level, and Anna pushing for sweeping anti corruption legislation.  What started out to be one of the national challenges somehow fizzled out in the last days of the year with the parliament unable to draft and passes a bill that would please the elected officials.  The hype and drama that was prevalent for most of the year dissipated once the elected representatives had to table and vote on the bill in the parliament.

The true chance of anti graft legislation fizzled out with the parliament unable to agree to a draft that is acceptable to the legislators, and never even got into the discussion on what general public would like to see in the ombudsman.  There is plenty of confusion on what the bill is and how it should impact the elected officials and bureaucrats together, and who should be and who should not be included in the bill.

The high drama leading to drafting and tabling the lokpal bill fizzled out quickly once it got into the legislative agenda, and Anna got sick and was unable to further the cause with umpteen complications in the political and public opinion.  Everyone blamed each other for not supporting the bill and also blamed each other for either having or not having the appropriate language in the version of the bill that the parliament was supposed to vote and ratify.  After all the hoopla and drama nothing got done except everyone blaming the other for not getting it properly written and passing the bill.  It is as if the entire legislature did not want to have any kind of ombudsman in place and implemented to monitor the abuse of power and graft.  It is as if everyone seemed to be happy with the way things are and really did not have the heart to support across the board legislation to attack graft.

After the debate and a lot of discussion nothing was accomplished except unanimous consent to make issues of everything to not support the ombudsman and not delivering the necessary legislation to attack the graft in the system.  So, we start another calendar year and still have the same systems that foster looting of national wealth by a few, and continued finger pointing on who to blame for making the bill preposterous and unmanageable.

So another end of the year and beginning of a new one but it is the same old systems and same old story.  We will continue to live with the system of graft and the hottest news on a daily basis on the who’s who of Indian politics going to jail because of some scandal or the other.  We will continue to see massive amounts of the national wealth being siphoned off to off shore locations and will never be able to trace the money to bring back into the economy that needs the wealth.  We will continue to show deficit budgets while having the enormous wealth that will deliver positive budgets, but will never be able to deploy the appropriate funding as it will continue to be siphoned into to some bank account or the other.

So, what do you want to try and resolve this calendar year that we have already not attempted to in the past.  Whatever resolutions we make will make no sense until and unless the entire system will foster such changes that will allow for decency and common sense.  Until such time we are able to accept appropriate changes to the way of life we live and the surroundings that allow for positive and progressive thinking, there is absolutely no need for resolutions.  The day we adapt positive and progressive thinking, there will be no need for any resolutions, as the positive changes will resolve any issues we might have.

Past Perfect

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