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.

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