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.

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 ...