Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scamisthan or Scamdia

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

I had to find some satire on Hindustan and India, and with all the scams (unending and continuous like a soap opera on the USA day time television) going on and on, and the most valuable resources of the country, both real and political being abused to no end, had to name this week’s column with satire.  The entire nation both at the center and at the state levels is embroiled in some irregularity or the other, and it is never ending.  Every resource of the nation be it visible, invisible on the ground or under it has been subjected to massive misappropriation.  The people of the country, who enjoyed quite a ride for sometime as a developing nation and with information services as one of the main drivers pushing along with telecommunications, suddenly seem to be embroiled in scams and scams, and there is no end to the abuse of democracy by politicians and bureaucrats.

The government at the center is oblivious to the issues that are plaguing the country and no one seem to be in charge of controlling the misuse of office and national resources.  The highest office of the country seems to simply challenge a trust motion verses owning up to the issues that are continuing to be of issue to the national interest.  By having a coalition of parties to form a government that simply survives is not a basic model for democracy.  The fundamental principles and rights of the nation and its people should be upheld in democracies while protecting the basic rights and the national interests.  India has simply forgotten these in the past few years.

The intelligent and intellectual leaders of the nation seem to be helpless in managing the resources and the cabinet colleagues.  Everyone is only interested in how much they can scam in every aspect of the resources of the nation, and nothing else, and the powers in control cannot control the abuse, nor act to stop any future misuse of power.

Democracies are meant to be placing people in power to manage the country’s resources and maintain a stable and developing economy and protect it from internal and external strife.  For India there seem to be threat to the country from anywhere but from within, and that too from the people in power.

It took probably forty years of independence and democratic rule (if we want to call that) to start seeing economic development in the country, but it took just a couple of years to scam the people of hundreds of billions which could have been best invested to educate, feed and develop the infrastructure to global standards.  The country has simply squandered the opportunity to be a global leader, rather choosing to be a loser of opportunity.

In a country god is sacred and revered, people simply will want to bribe him also to get favors, rather than display hard word for rewards.  No one can save the place until the people in power start thinking of people and stop stealing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Intolerance

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

India as a largest democracy on earth has over a billion people, and very large population of various caste, creed, religion and color which adds to the diversity of the country.  People simply refer to each other with single word syllables such as Hyderabadi, mumbaiya, Bihari, benarasi, Punjabi, madrasi or whatever the term that defines the original place they belong to within India.  Most of these terms are endearing and quite affectionate.

There is absolutely no difference in people from various states or regions and they all live happily together in large metropolis areas or small colonies, and when displaced from their native habitat to work in other parts of the country they readily pack-up and move and quickly make a new home in the new environs and typically learn the language and ways of the natives and quickly intertwine with the locals.  Even the smallest towns have people from various parts of the country who do specific type of work and are readily accepted in the community.

Adding to the people being displaced because of work, India also has a massive population of various religions who once again intertwine into the fabric of life in big and small towns and villages.  The beauty of the variations of people and their religions and languages makes a fantastic panorama of life on a daily and regular basis.  Rarely would you see people have difficulty with each other, their way of life, religion and language.  They are all Indians and live happily together and do their work and be great neighbors and friends.

The entire country is one great mosaic of variations in living and how people are happy despite their habits and color and religion and language.  Every once in a while some incident happens and disrupts the whole life of entire communities, in some instances something as simple as the internet can cause mass exodus of people simply leaving their homes and going back to their ancestral roots.  As strange as it sounds the entire community of people simple pack-up and leave everything they have, worked for and live for.

This doesn’t have anything to do with communal violence, religious intolerance or any international incident that provokes or makes people do inhuman deeds.  Simple misinformation makes them scared and leave everything they worked for all their life, and going back to their native land, which probably is not as hospitable as they believe it is as things might not be the same now, as they might believe to be, but the fear of persecution in their adopted regions within their own country makes them flee in mass and just go back to what they believe their home is.  In reality where they live are their home and they should never feel that they are in danger from others in the community.

This happens too often in India, and somehow the fear factor is fed so quickly and dramatically for any sane action to be taken.  Neither the politicians nor the law enforcement foresee this happening and take appropriate actions to help ease the fear factor.

India with its great people’s fabric must learn to be sensitive to everyone and everything, and every way of life.  To see people get scared and simply leave everything and move back to what they feel is their ancestral land is crazy, as this is a country they all belong to and where they live is their home.   Neither politician nor fundamentalist should dictate to people on how they should live and why they should fear each other.  Stop the nonsense and let Indians be Indians, and let them live in peace and happiness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Than A Billion Without Gold

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The Olympic Games in London concluded yesterday (12th August2012) and they were a fantastic spectacle from beginning to the end. 204 nations and almost 11,000 athletes competed for sixteen days, and competed for 4,700 medals (gold, silver and bronze).  For almost all through the games the city of London, in USA NBC coverage and overall organization and competition was as expected, Olympic in nature and competitive in spirit.  Barring a very few instances the athletes were competing in good faith and did their best to win a medal.  The very fact they made it to London to compete and gave their best to the competition is itself a great reward for the individual and the country they represent.

Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas, along with everyone competitor who won a medal in the 2012 Olympics made me very happy.  Whatever color the medal was the great thing is the spirit of competition and the work that went into the sport.  Whenever I got a chance to watch the games I did, and enjoyed them.  Once the games were over is when it sunk into me that not a single gold medal was won by an Indian. We have probably more than 1/6 of the global population but we could not get one gold. Man that has been bothering me since the games ended, and I keep thinking what in the name of god are we capable of?

We should not take away the medals won by Indian athletes no matter what color the medal is, and each one of them deserve the compliments of the competition and spirit of the games.  It is the country that really should introspect on what it does on the global stage.  We keep calling India emerging nation or developing nation, and for how long shall we be developing or emerging.  What are we developing and what are we emerging from?  Decades of using the same words must be tiring for the politicians, bureaucrats and people who think of the country in such terms.

It is not just the Olympics but in every aspect of the global stage we continue to show poor attitude and performance.  The only thing India is well known for is the scams and suitcases, and none of the politicians are willing to tackle the real issues head on.  The majority of the country’s resources and wealth goes to funding political coffers, and a few businesses.  There is no proper planning for the country’s needs except occasional flash of planning to show that we are doing something.  There are individuals who display brilliance politically, but it is limited to their state and tenure, and once they are out of power the development plans go back to normal, which is simply do the minimum to keep people happy and get elected one more time.

The Olympic results made me think about our country and its abilities.  Absolute mediocrity with everything we do, or we don’t do is displayed on the global stage every day.  The big news on India’s Olympic team was some woman gate crashing and walking with the team in casual clothes at the opening ceremony, and no one noticed her, and even after the most disrespectful behavior by an Indian, no action taken to prevent such disregard for the nation.

With the next independence day coming in a couple of days, I am sure we will hear a lot of rhetoric and language to address the nation, but we should really look for actions that make the nation proud within the country and on a global stage.  Hopefully in the next Olympics we will win a gold medal and get started with the attitude of winning globally.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Blackout

Vasu Reddy in Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

More than 600 million people were out of power for most of the days in two consecutive days, last week in India.  The government did not offer any specific solutions to avoid any future such outages, but blamed misuse of power by the states.  As incredible as it the excuse sounds, there was not much political backlash about the outages.

The most amazing aspect of the blackout was there was no reported abuse of any kind in the two days that six hundred some million people were affected by the electric outages.  I followed the news constantly to see what the cause was why it would happen in such a mass scale, and how so many people, states, businesses could and everything and everyone involved, no one so far has been able to offer solutions.  No one is even offering a plan for resolving the outages if they happen again, and if there are even corrective steps being taken.  One thing that made me happy is that there was no looting, no mass destruction, no communal incidents, no unwanted happenings, no killings, stabbings or anything that was typically front page news in the world.

Politicians have not even harping about the failure of power grid.  Even the opposition parties have not made a big deal out of this for some reason.  In a country even the smallest thing gets blown out of proportion, power failure seems to have come and gone as quickly as it happened.  I am still trying to smart it out in wondering why the guys are not yelling and screaming for the government to be replaced.  This time even the power minister has not been castigated for non-action.

The problem is that we don’t have any power plan for the needs of the country.  The majority of power is generated for the needs of the industrial houses and big cities.  The rural and agricultural needs are probably not even considered in the power planning of the country.  Even if there is a plan for power generation, the country doesn’t have the hydro electric capabilities nor the natural resources to generate the power that is required by the country, and may not have for many decades to come.

We have too many people, too many demands, too many loopholes and too many of everything that is beyond the capabilities or the resources of the country.  There are so many problems with managing the power grid that a large percentage of the power generated might be lost in transport, further adding to the stress on the power grid.  People have no sense of community, simply their own needs and businesses and agriculture also watch out for their own needs.  No one cares about the next person, just the whole country has “ME” syndrome.  There is absolutely no overall plan for energy independence, no plan for meeting the demands for foreseeable future or how we can even plan for future.  Politically it is disastrous for parties to start offering blanket solutions for power or energy management as it is impossible for meeting the demands of the country.  We shall save the energy planning or suggestions for some other time.  This time it is to reflect on the country, and its reactions to the power outages.

It made me feel proud that the country survived two days of outages, but people simply took it in stride and went about their lives.  India is incredible despite of its issues which are complex, but the country’s resilience is incredible and unbeatable.  Jai Hind.

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 ...