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.

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 ...