Monday, December 30, 2013

Return Of The New Year

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

2014 is just hours away, and another new year is almost here. Lots of excitement as it is at the time of the New Year, with everyone on holiday and in the mood for a reason for celebration. Chicago is going to be bitterly cold approaching 2014. Yesterday the Chicago Bears lost their final game of the regular season in the last minute (I was watching and it breaks your heart, just like many other seasons with the Bears), and the last remaining thing to cheer for the year, and first thing to cheer for the locals for the New Year is gone. Also, the Indians lost to South Africa in the last test match of the year, and they lost big. There will be expert commentary on the losses and the justification behind the massive losses by everyone their brothers. They just won't simply say the teams were up to no good, and they were just average and lost to much better teams. This is also quite a traditional happening in both Chicago and with the Indians.

Its also my last column for the year, and as always its good to look forward to the new year with some excitement. My publishers and readers and everyone else, I am sure are looking forward to the new year and along with it the time off from whatever each one of us do, and also a bit of a celebration. For us in Chicago, it is a really hard time on the body's fat from Thanksgiving through the beginning of the new year. Despite repeated attempts to control the intake, it is impossible to do any kind of moderation during the time. All the workouts for almost eleven months are shot in the space with one month of binge gouging.

The past year has been uneventful as it has been similar to just about every other in the recent past. Politicians continue to bicker, rather well dressed these day but they constantly mouth off against each other, and the availability of massive media outlets is making them sharper looking and sharper in bad mouthing everyone else who is in the opposition; sometimes in the same party. So nothing new can be expected in the space of addressing the people's issues, let along finding solutions for them. Neither the Indians nor the Americans, both large democracies with vastly different economic structure have done a single thing to help their people. The last straw was the arrest of the Indian diplomat in New York and the treatment meted out to her by the Americans, was simply the attitude displayed by the law enforcement in the USA, albeit with the politicians and legal system involved. At last the Indians are showing some spine in taking their own measures to give the Americans their own medicine. Hey! We are are all capitalists and not communists, so let us treat each other with dignity, specially when it comes to women and children. The Americans are not very innocent as they have done things like this to Abdul Kalam (probably most loving Indian living) and to SRK (who is definitely one of the most popular Indians), and the current fiasco in New York is not an isolated incident. So much for the friendship for Dal and Roti as professed by Obama, and Singh proclaiming the friendship between the two great democracies. For the love of god, please have the respect to at least show it for the diplomatic forces, if not for general public.

My state of Andhra Pradesh remain in boil as the state is constantly subjected to the division politics, and for months after the declaration by the INC it remain unitedly divided. There is no magic to the division as it is politicians who are finding the forum to mouth off powerful movie dialogues or equating each others activities to sports. Not a single one of them have done anything to address the people issues, but simply paying to the crowds. We have actors and orators by the thousands in the electorate, and we really don't need any training to make movies these men and women as they play to the gallerias without hesitation.

The AAP forging the government in Delhi is not a real surprise either as people are fed up of scams and incompetence and kissing behind by the politicians. Getting a band new party into power is not a surprise as it is almost guaranteed that people will vote you into power if they can hear you address their concerns. As of writing this column, AAP has fulfilled the promise to deliver free water in 24 hours of coming into power, and its a start to one of their 18 things in their election manifesto. Even if they do half of the things they described in their election manifesto, it will be a welcome change to Indian politics. I personally like this man Arvind as after just getting elected as CM of Delhi, he gets diarrhea and fever and is working from home, and has already done one thing he said he will do if elected. I don't want to forget his electing to stay at his own home and ignoring the big security detail, by saying he is with his people and he doesn't need any security. Way to go champ! And hope you will do all you said will do. Anna seems to be happy with developments in Delhi as his protege Arvind as taken the hot seat and now is the time to perform. Delhi is the seat and root of corruption and if Arvind can get the house clean, it is likely it will flow to the rest of the country from New Delhi. Here is to the newness of clean government, at least for now. Jai Hind.

Many things to move on from as the world is pretty much the same except the figure of 2013 will become 2014. While waiting for the new year, here is to wishing everyone great things to come in the new year and peace to all.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Common Man's Agenda

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

With AAP (common man's party) accepting to form the government in Delhi, it is one more time displayed that common man believes that change can happen, and when promised to meet appropriate requirements of the population as a whole, the electorate is willing to give you a chance to deliver what you promised. The fascinating aspect of the election is that people did not reject the incumbent party completely, nor endorsed the new entrant AAP completely, while allowing the current opposition BJP also some room for being a player. At the end of the week, AAP is being allowed to form the government, despite not having the absolute majority required to form the government in Delhi on its own.

Congress is extending outside support to AAP to form the government. The conditions of the AAP to form a coalition government are well laid out, and look promising. Promising in the sense of achievable electoral objectives. While the party that was started to fight corruption and the status quo, first is being forced to form the government in Delhi only with the help of INC, which has been the main focus of AAP in its campaign against corruption. As ironic as it might be, there is no other way to form a government in Delhi without the help of INC or BJP. BJP has taken the high road and has not offered to cater to the demands of AAP, and congress although has agreed to the rules of engagement to form the government, it has already started to back track on its offer to support without reservations.

It will be interesting to watch and wait to see if AAP will be allowed to from a government, and if it is allowed to form the government, how long will it survive. Will the congress party keep quiet and let the AAP execute to its poll promises? Many a questions will start to formulate for the public as this political drama unfolds.

While the intentions of Congress are not clear; weather they really are keen on supporting a new party to run a large metropolis; weather they don't want further humiliation of losing more if another election is help; weather they want to support now and back stab the AAP as soon the government is formed; or for whatever unknown reasons.

The ideology of the new party is obvious. The leaders are educated and articulate and also have a great understanding of the bureaucratic process of the government. While shunning the perks of the elected politicians, they also show the symbolism on simplicity; where as the risk of public exposure is also there if the newly elected officials don't want appropriate security. All said and done they seem to be struggling with what is a respectable representation of public interest, and what is that they have to do to get into power to start working on the agenda they laid out to the public before they got elected.

Once more in the large democracy with a billion requirements; the process of eradicating corruption is the main theme in getting a new party elected, and in this case offering to allow it to form the government. It is a wonderful step to achieve a people's agenda through elected politicians. All wonderful on print and paper and also on the internet. If and when the INC and BJP really allow the AAP to form the government in Delhi, all AAP has to do is stick to its agenda, and simply do it. It is hard to imagine that INC and BJP will simply sit back and allow AAP to do what it said to people, but if they try to put spokes into the process it is universally known that they will get thrown out of more seats and probably outside Delhi also with the next elections. If they simply allow AAP to perform to its electoral promises, they will have to hide go knows where.

India is a dirty place for politicians and politics. While we want AAP to keep up to its promises, all of them, we also know that the major political parties will not allow them to successfully implement the people benefiting schemes.

It is a great time for political observers to watch what will happen in Delhi. There is high drama, and great interest in the actions to follow. People simply hope that the party that will come into power will start to work on people's agenda. Jai Hind.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Return To The Times Of Asoka

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Everyone in India remembers the times of Emperor Asoka. Such was his administrations focus on implementation of programs and development to take into the needs of his people, even today he is used as the guiding force to the urban and rural development, and education and transportation planning and whatever was necessary and needed and appropriate to cater to the needs of every man, woman and child in his kingdom.

At the bottom of this column, I have attached a column from for reference, which is a great adaptation of some of the centuries old governing tradition of Indian emperor Asoka the Great. This column is not an endorsement of a political party, rather a reflection of the great past of our great country, and its rulers. We have a number of wonderful dynasties that have ruled the greater Hindustan for centuries, with ideals and logic that can be very relevant in today's time. The reference to the Times of India column is also not a comparison to what is listed by a political party and what the great emperor Asoka implemented in his kingdom, it is simply a reflection of the great things that can be undertaken by the elected politicians to make India a better place for its citizens. It requires nothing more than simple planning and goodwill towards the electorate.

Nothing has changed in the perceptions and behavior of people over generations; except we simply wear differently, and look differently, and live differently; but our mindset is as primitive as the man kind is. The differences of rich and poor, the differences of men and women; the differences of back and white; and the differences of educated and uneducated; and a whole lot of wordy differences which we live with and confront every minute of our life; with haves and have not's is not just today's issue that humans handle, but has been in existence since the beginning of life.

Why do we not want to follow the simple rules of life and apply them to the governance of the country? If we read through the 18 points are put forth to the two major parties in the country, they seem mundane and to a point being childish. We the people of India have began to look at our history and try to relearn the principles of life and living? Are we so far removed from caring for what is happening to our land that we no longer can remember what is good for our society? With so many simple and steadfast examples of life and reasoning are being ignored by our elected officials, the country really needs to stop party and personal worship, and start to look at the needs of the citizens.

While the current political scenario is hopeless with all politicians embroiled on scams and controversies, and all political parties without a clear mandate nor direction, the country needs to introspect on it past and its current history. We are after all a country of great examples of courage, management and definitely sacrifice. We must get back to realizing the potential of the nation, and its people. Just because of a couple of political parties and a few politicians, the country cannot look forward to mismanaged resources and squandered opportunities for its citizens. We have always found our destiny to be great and have always found leaders who will plan and execute towards the greater good of the people. Just because a generation or two of scams and incompetence, should not deter us from looking forward to a country of opportunities and greatness.

Each one of the citizens wish for the opportunity to dream and plan for a prosperous and peaceful country, which will be devoid of corruption and incompetence and bickering. Here is hoping that the long list of needs of the people that need to be attended to will start to take center stage, and politicians become simple executioners of the mandate bestowed on them by the citizens.

Jai Hind.

18 issues raised in AAP letter to Sonia, Rajnath

The 18 issues pertaining to the common man raised in Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal's letter to the Congress and the BJP chiefs includes:

1. The VIP culture should be stopped in Delhi. No MLA, minister or Delhi official will use a red beacon on their cars. Neither will they live in big bungalows nor take any special security.
2. Passing of the Janlokpal Bill, the same version for which
Anna Hazare held fasts.
3. People will take decision directly in 'mohalla sabhas', which will be held in every locality and colony.

4. The AAP demanded complete statehood status for Delhi. Central government's hold on DDA and Police should end.
5. The party also demanded a special audit of all electricity companies in the national capital from the time these were privatized. The companies that refuse to participate, their licenses should be canceled.
Electricity meters should be checked.
7. There is 220 liters of water available for every person daily. Where is it?
8. AAP wants unauthorized colonies should be regularized. Thirty percent of Delhi's population lives in such colonies and these should be regularized.
9. The party demanded to know if the Congress and the BJP will support its decision to give clean and affordable 'pakka houses' (built up houses) to those living in slums.
10. It also sought their support to give regular jobs to those working on contractual basis.
11. It wants to give infrastructural facilities like roads, electricity, water and basic facilities to the ordinary trader.
12. AAP said it is against FDI in retail.
13. The party wants to provide facilities and subsidies to farmers in the villages in the national capital.
14. The party also demanded to know the Congress and BJP's stand on opening 500 government schools, stopping donations in private schools and making the fee system transparent.
15. The party said it wanted to open new government hospitals with better facilities.
16. It also wants to have special security units for women and wants all harassment cases to be tackled within three months.
17. It wanted to set up enough courts and appoint judges so that all cases are dealt with within six months.
The AAP wanted to know whether the municipal corporations of Delhi will support them on these issues.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Looking For Light

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

It is Diwali time for 2013, and lots of celebration and cheer among the Indian folks world over. Everyone of the NRI folks seem to embrace the festive nature of the festival of lights and much is written and said about the time of the year for revival and new found attitude towards the next year. It's fall here and already a touch of the cold weather to come in the next few months, and Halloween Candy adventure was already cold and splattered with rain. A typical time of the year for those who live in Chicago. This year was very similar to the weather at this time of the year.

Beginning with Dasara and Halloween thru the beginning of the calendar year, Indians are quite blessed with the days of Dasara and end of the year to new year celebrations. Personally the sweet tooth is well fed with all kinds of confectioneries for almost 3 months and probably 25% of the body weight to be lost as new year's resolution. All wonderful things come together and everyone is buoyed by the spirit of the season and celebrations.

While we celebrate the season and the festivities of the end of the year, it is still the same political uncertainty in our beloved state and natural calamities are added to the season, along with the politics of the division of the state. Much to be concerned about the division of the geography of the land of Andhra Pradesh, and although the announcement has been made, there is still no clear road map of what will be thrown upon the people of the state and their friends and relatives world over. Each day there is speculations on who said what and the bitterness in addressing the real and perceived issues that are in front of the people of the state.

All over India and all over the world the festivities of Diwali have been in full swing, but we don't hear the same from our state of Andhra Pradesh. For obvious reasons the state is subdued in its celebration of new year and the festivities of Diwali Much is written and said about the political uncertainty of the state, rather than the season of festivities. Each day doesn't give any more comfort to the people of the state, but the political bickering by the politicians.

The time for reasoning has long past its time as the politicians don't make it any easier for the discussions on what to do next and how to handle the real issues of the people, rather they fuel the fears of the entire state and sometimes the entire nation to be in limelight. The center has no real agenda except political, and the state's politicians have no agenda except contempt for each other.

People continue to suffer with education and services are not receiving the attention of the people who are supposed to be managing the services, and politicians who have been elected to govern and support the process. You don't even see them passing on Diwali wishes as they typically do to their constituents. Its strange behavior considering that the elected officials and appointed bureaucrats are simply bickering, and ignoring that there are millions of people who need help.

Diwali has come and gone and people are waiting for resolutions to be at peace and live their life. While looking for a greater new year, there is little that we can look forward to as there is no end t the war of words, and no end to the inaction from politicians, and it doesn't look like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Great History and Anecdotes

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

In everything Indians do and in everything India represents, its history and mythology is represented as if it constantly emphasizes the relevance of the past to today and by the vastness of its history. The anecdotal reference to something in the Ramayana or the words of Mahatma are a way of life for Indians. Every situation has a reference to the past that was glorious and full of human virtue and great sacrifice. Just that the current crop of people simply use it as a reference to the past with great relish, but confine the reality of practicing the anecdote to someone else, and no to themselves. We are very good in referencing the past or a great person's reference to today's surroundings and we are also very good in applying to the everything around us and everyone around us. It simply doesn't apply to us, per SE, but only applies to others. It is all of us, and everyone of us who do this with great anecdotal referencing, and it only applies to only our fellow citizens, and none to ourselves.

Our mythology and history, and the great men and women of yesteryear have chronicled the impact of their service to humanity and the country; depicting sacrifice and selflessness in making India's history a glorious and enchanting tale to be told again and again, and the relevance of its history and the significance of events of the past will be constantly relevant to people of all ages; past, present and the future.

While we savor the past and constantly use anecdotes of history as a common reference, our habits belie the past referencing to present day living. From the life of lord Rama to the life of Mahatma, and great men and women before and after, there is no lack of courage, humanity, dignity, practice, patience, devotion and many a human virtues that should be the qualities of humans; and to only reference them rather than practice them has become a way of life for us, and at least after India's independence from the British and the advent of chronicled history and present happenings we can clearly see that we simply use our history for anecdotal referencing, rather than practicing them in spirit and life.

When the politicians invoke the name of the father of the nation or the name of the lord (in all forms), and also sometimes compare themselves to the yesteryear legends; they seldom think of the consequences of their speeches, which have increasingly become scandalous and directionless and only point to negative bashing of everything that is in opposition. Now a days politicians have learn the art of including not just historical references, but also sports analogies in their opponent bashing, its comical to listen to politicians speak. They don’t have anything to say about their own achievements, or the progressive nature of the policy making of their party, only bashing their opponents in harsh and uncomplimentary language, harboring on the border of only abuses. This is because of that they really don't have anything to tout about, and nothing to show for as elected legislators. The party in power is constantly involved in survival and scams, and nothing else. For them to find something to speak of as achievement, its hard to find anything worthwhile.

The land of epic historical past, and the land of many epic achievement, and the land of Rama and mahatma, we have become a land that simply use anecdotes of the past, and have nothing to speak of as present day achievements. The country continues to grow with population and no stopping the population growth, but doesn't boast of significant achievements as a nation nor as population that is close to the largest on earth.

It is time to stop references to the anecdotes, and start to think of the present, and what we could be doing now and into the future. We certainly have the people power, and thereby the human and brain resources; just that we must focus on the achievements of the current time and what we can be in the future. It is granted that our past and history is full of epic anecdotes, and we must now start building for the future, and not just laud on the past.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I Don't Want To Know The Future

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Nothing sacred, but I really don't want to know the future. If I go back in my life in India and subsequently in the USA, with a lot travel thrown in the middle of my life, I am quite certain that I really don't fancy about the future and what might happen around me and my people. From India to the United States and everything between and around really have been changing for the worse as time goes by.

From change in people and families, from changes to the countries and their neighbors, from changes to the environment, from changes to the water both inland and the sea, from changes to the definition of life in general, a lot has changed in less than a generation and nothing for the betterment of mankind and nothing that shows that we care about our environment, our nature, and even ourselves. We have simply abused everything that is available to us, and sometimes even unavailable to us.

This evening my family was invited to go pay respects to a swami, and he would be able to foretell what could come to us in the future. I did not want to go not because I have disrespect for the swami, but I might hear something that might happen in the future and really did not want to hear it. When young and was asked to go to school away from home, and college away far away from home, and further go to America to seek fortunes that we could only imagine; I was willing to go without hesitation and without worries. Just get on the bus, or a train or an airplane and just go wherever the elders wanted me to, and never question why. The future was always full of promise for everyone involved and that included me and my family. But if at this time I have to go somewhere I worry about what might come to happen, and truly what might come to misshapen.

I am not afraid of taking risks or chances, but seldom I am given the chance to do something that is rewarding or challenging. Everything a person has to do is complicated and convoluted. The simplest things life have become difficult things and difficult things have become impossible. Just looking around to see that the governments going into default; not some small country that can't meet its debt burden or a country in civil war, but the largest democracy and largest market in the world shut down because of the politicians don't see eye to eye with each other. As impossible as it might be my adopted country, also the largest market in the world can also declare itself as not honoring its debt if the current impasse continues with the president and congress. Looking at the state of affairs why would I really want to know the future?

The future of employment, future of nature, the future of countries, and the future of economies, the future of education, the future of children and their development; all of them are simply unimaginable. The politicians keep promising a bright and futuristic outlook of what they will do when they are elected into power, and the ones in power will continue to ask for more time to achieve what they promised in the last election cycle, but none seem to be able to come close to deliver the promises they made while getting elected.

The dynamics of the world continue to change everyday, while the old hatred for each other, and the religious and regional conflicts of the old ages continue to ravage the resources that are available to all human beings. The daily dose of bad news keeps people guessing on what else could happen when they wake up? All too much resources and energy are diverted to protect from or fight with each other, and the next big tragedy to strike the earth is always lurking in the name of religion and economics.

All said and done I really don't want to know what might come next to me or the world. I am grateful for whatever that has already been mine, and whatever I have as family and friends and life which was full of promise, and I only wish the future hold the promise of opportunity and acceptance for everyone.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Secularism In Politics

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

In political terms, Secularism is the separation of religion and government. The word was first used in the year 1851 by George Jacob Holyoake a British writer. It is very likely that his reference to Christianity and coexistence of other religions, and allowing practicing of every religion with equal rights, and outside of the government as secularism. Considering that politics have been around for as long as human life, the description of the word secularism and its active use in political language is quite new to the humanity.

India is a state that declares itself as a secular society, and in general terms the country by far may be the most secular country on earth. The difficulties of day to day religious strife has come in to force just before the 1947 independence and the division of the country. Even after the communal strife with the independence and separation of the country, Indians do have great camaraderie with each other irrespective of the religion they practice and they coexist without much communal strife.

Common man in India, although belonging to different religions do not find it difficult to live together with multiple religions in a single community. Indians identify the religious differences with dignity and clarity and most times have great respect for each other, and have no issues of living together and in peace. It is rather a great mix of people, religions and castes who all live in peace and harmony, until political elements are injected into the communities. The difficulties of religion comes into play when the political elements interject religion into their politics and force the issues of differences among people.

Prior to 1947 there was little religious strife in India. The nation was ruled by Hindus and Muslims and some parts by other religions, and people were subject to same rules of the country and not different set of rules for different community. They were identified as who they are and primarily the work they did and religion went hand in hand, rather than what they practiced as a religion. The respect for every religion was a part of the greater Indian fabric and people simply lived together and practiced whatever religion they chose to embrace.

The injection of race and religion into politics in India has become common since the independence, and as the time goes by the political parties are using the religion as a political tool and delivering speeches to the insecurities of the nations population. The infiltration of destabilizing elements into to India from the neighbors, couple with terrorist activities and continues rhetoric of politicians and international elements; all of them add to the insecurities of the general population.

The political parties both national and regional constantly remind people of their secular credentials while also injecting the fear of each other into the general population. India in principal is a secular nation and before and after 1947, has continued to be a secular nation. In fact the word secular came into English language long after the greater India rulers have practiced the secularism as long as the country existed.

The current politicians are anything but secular, and their constant claims to secularism is far from the truth. For a human being to practice secularism, there is no need to reinforce it daily, as if it is practiced it is a daily routine, rather than a politicians speech. The country has a lot of other economic and real issues to deal with rather than worry about secularism, which is a part and parcel of the Indian fabric. There is no need to remind the people of being secular as they already are. What is is required by the politicians is that they avoid fueling to the religious fears of the people and stay focused on what they need to deliver to the needs of the ever growing population.

Irrespective of what happens in the country and outside of it, India will remain a secular country and people will be living happily coexistence, unless politicians interject the fear of each other. The electorate need not be fearful of itself, rather of poor politics and poor resource management by the elected representatives. We no longer live in a kingdom but in a democracy and we already know how to be secular as Indians, without being told that there are problems with coexistence.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Reinventing India

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

India and its population has been growing at an unprecedented rate, and in a decade or two India could be the largest populous country on earth. While the human explosion is not just the worrisome factor for the largest democracy on earth, it is the stagnant and stale leadership of the country and its states that has been in the dark ages for almost all of its time since the Independence from the British in 1947. The leadership, the followers and one person based build-up of the political parties and their ideology have not caught-up with the present day needs of the country and also the country's position in the global scenario. We continue to have the centuries old mindset of hero worship the leader and not put the public interest first.

Global economies and leadership are constantly changing and economic considerations and human resources drive the political and people agenda in most of the world. In most global democracies leaders get elected and leaders get replaced based on their commitment to positive change and people's agenda. India although the largest democracy on earth, still seem to be stuck in the medieval times in following the leadership, and only paying obedience to the leadership. Although we no longer have kings and kingdoms, the mentality of the elected people has been stuck in medieval times; blindly follow the leadership. Changing global dynamics and massive population and depleting resources and political greed, will not allow for the country to cater to the needs of its people first.

May be the British rule for so long and perhaps the invaders of India prior to the British, who practiced the that accepting the way of life with “baksheesh” has been well engrained in Indian culture and its people, it is catastrophic in nature for the country. Every aspect of the people and resource management of the country requires whetting of the hand at every level of the administration, its not just a small gift in return for a job well done, it is a greater portion of the resources that are lining the pockets of a few politicians than that are being invested into the economy of the country.

Even if we ignore the way of life of our religion and culture, the father of the nation constantly demonstrated and practiced Life of simplicity. We as Indians only have his name on our lips and never practice or respect his ideology. We only grab what we can and take whatever comes our way, and never want to be satisfied for what we work for. The father of the nation looking down on us must be wondering about what ever happened to his people, and more so his teachings. None of us want to worry about our neighbors and our society, we only want to worry about ourselves.

While Indians want to look forward to positive and futuristic changes to the society, individuals will seldom contribute to extending support to others. We are always looking for divine intervention, but seldom practicing the teachings from the history of the nation. Our respect for the resources and nature is seldom reflected in our day to day living. The continued and destructive natural calamities brought on everywhere in India are not really natural disasters, rather man made mismanagement that contribute to the destruction we face almost in every season of every year.

More than a billion people and growing, it is difficult to plan for controlling the demands of the population and basing them on available resources. The country will have to find the stomach to reinvent itself, and it must be through education, employment and looking forward to peace and prosperity. Politicians and people wanting power need to really look at the founding father's example of “service to people” rather than bank balances. There must be pride in representing people, rather than politics as a business enterprise.

Leadership and commitment to the people and making India First in the agenda of politicians will certainly point to reinventing India again and again, and when it needs to be challenged. We have the people power and knowledge power, and also the resources and needs to become self-reliant and self-sustaining. We just have to start by reinventing our individual attitudes to the country and our fellow-citizens, and then the country will start to be reinventing to a forward looking and progressive democracy, envisioned by the father of our nation.

God alone and prayer will not be able to solve the insurmountable issues that the country has without the greed of politicians and bureaucrats. It does require extended planning and unflinching commitment from elected officials at all levels to look for common good of all the people of the country. The nation has the natural resources and human resources to help meet the demands of its ever growing population and ever growing demands on its infrastructure. We can start with one or a few leaders who will make country first and then reinvent the process of building a happy and prosperous India that has the best interests of its citizens first.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Any Reason For Worry?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The chief minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi has been elevated to lead the main opposition party in general elections next year, and just a couple of days ago he was announced as the priministarial candidate of BJP, if they come into forming a government at the center if the elections are held in 2014. If the elections are held in 2014 is a real question based on the history of Congress in India, but all likelihood that next 12 months will be full of political super action in India. The rhetoric and accusations and counters will equal to some of the greatest action movies of India, if not the world. The public will be spared no time to worry about themselves and will have themselves inundated with abusive coverage for months to come.

The interesting challenge for the ruling party was to present its own candidate who will become prime minister if they acquire a majority of the parliamentary seats. They simply announced that their younger leader Rahul Gandhi will be an inclusive leader who will embrace all sections of the electorate where as Narendra Modi will be a divisive force in the nation with his hinduvata feelings.

Everyone in India and everyone who follows Indian politics and government agree to the need of changes required to the policy and power of India, where as the current party in power (twice in a row) would like to remain in power while promoting a new member of the political dynasty to the people of India. The main opposition wants Mr. Modi to take the leadership of the nation, which has been struggling with internal and external pressures.

The critics of Mr. Modi target him for his links to his religion and hinduvata. The Congressmen present Rahul Gandhi as a savior of the party and the nation. Until a couple of week, Mr. Modi was a fantastic regional leader with great people, political and business skills which all has shaped his state into a model for development. If you speak to just about everyone from Gujarat, irrespective of their political affiliation or whatever caste or religion they belong they have a high regard for what is happening in Gujarat. Gujarati’s are more favorable to their state than that of any other NRIs of other states of Indian origin. Some give very high praise to Mr. Modi, and some simply praise the development in their state without acknowledging Mr. Modi, but all of them are quite fond of what is happening in their state, and full of praise for the development in the state. The fact of the matter is that in general the Gujarati’s from India and the NRI's both contribute to development of their state, and take a lot of interest in what is happening there.

Mr. Modi's skills in managing the state and its bureaucracy is highlighted through his time in politics and his ability to mobile people and organize efforts are well documented and recognized. He has worked hard within the party ranks and various channels leading to the position of chief minister, and now being elevated as the party's candidate for prime minister. Even people who dislike him will grudgingly admit to his skills to organize and mobilize. One and probably the biggest asset he has is of not having baggage to carry to do any favors for family as he identifies no family connections in his resume, and doesn't have a long list of people who might use his name to seek favors. This man is hardcore politician and sees development as a model for helping his state and people.

Mr. Modi is also quite articulate and pointed. His speeches are full of directness and wit, and sometimes quite effective in getting into the skin of his opponents. His elevation in Gujarat was never questioned nor opposed, but his elevation at the national level has been seeing a lot of opposition from not just the opposition parties but also some with in his own party. While no one is questioning his leadership skills and organizational abilities, some point to his religious views. We will all forget that every leader comes from a different community and India has historically was never influenced by a single person's views on religion. India and its people should never worry about what will be the view of prime minister on religion, rather his or her competence in managing the millions of things that are of importance to the country, and having the abilities to focus on India and Indians. He or she should make every effort to stop the scams and cheating by the elected politicians and high level bureaucrats, and do everything in power to protect the resources of the country only for the use of its people.

It is not going to be an automatic decision to make one of these gentlemen as the next prime minister of India. Indian always springs surprises on its people and electorate, and next national elections can be one full of surprises. There is a lot of drama with regional parties and their interests aligning with their local requirements, and caste, religion, sects, language and whatever other factors will be a factor in electing and choosing the next parliamentary party to lead the nation and then a leader.

Its good to have these two men identified as their respective party's candidate to run the country, but we have a very long way to go before the elections. At this point of time no party might get the absolute majority to form the government and they will have to work with a number of alliances and regional parties to form the government. All we can do is look forward to the next general elections and see how the drama plays out. There is never a reason to be concerned about just one leader of the country, rather we must focus on eliminating the corruption and eliminating the thievery of national resources.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Policing The World
Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The United States once again is looking at intervening in the internal conflict in Syria. For the past couple of years thousands of innocent people have died and millions have been displaced from their homes. The images from Syria are haunting with devastated country and death and destruction all over. The displacement of people simply brings back into memory the past wars which continue to be fresh in our minds.

Why people kill each other and destroy their own belongings is really a question that doesn’t have an answer. Since the beginning of time humans are their worst enemy. We have found every which way to create differences and destroy each other, and with each passing day there is more and more hatred for our own being.

Syria is the latest human tragedy, where people are simply being killed and displaced for no fault of their own, just for being in the country. There is no rhyme or reason for the killings except groups fighting one another for whatever cause they believe in, and a government which is using all its might and brutality to kill its own people, and a bunch of groups from outside fighting and killing indiscriminately. For more than two years killing and destruction has been going on and no one wants to intervene and stop the killing. The couple of weeks ago incidents on gassing people and the videos showing the human suffering is difficult to look at, but for some reason or the other the world doesn’t want to either get involved to stop the killing nor parts of the world doesn’t want to acknowledge the killings. A lot of discussion and debate on who is doing it and how to handle the situation and threats and finger pointing, while the people continue to get killed and displaced.

Whatever the debate that the rest of the world is having the people of Syria have continued to suffer and getting killed. Kids and women have nothing to look forward to but fear, with no schools or work, no markets or homes and nothing but destruction and death. The whole world sees these images daily and just gasps, but no one wants to stop the carnage. We just don't know what to do as the rest of the world is not in agreement with the steps to intervention. We show images of suffering and we give speeches on how bad it is, but really don't agree on anything that needs to be done to help the civilians who are in the line of fire, and have lost everything they ever had.

The countries with resources don't agree on the plan of action, and even the most democratic countries are not keen on involvement. When you hear the next person saying we are waiting for UN to report something, while viewing the carnage first hand. The US President doesn’t have the support of the electorate nor the elected officials, and so is the others nations which might have to form a coalition to stop the killing. With each war and with each intervention the countries have great experience that Afghanistan, Iran and other areas have never been a happy intervention by the international community. The helpful hand that was extended has never been appreciated and the way out of the conflicts have always been bitter and, bad for the counties who interfered.

Always all the time the human interest and national or global interest is there in getting involved in other nations internal conflicts. The price paid by the international community has been enormous, while the internal conflicts certainly destroy their own country and kill their own people, unabated.

Countries are not indifferent to human suffering, but the politicians have no support from their constituents to go and get involved in conflicts that perhaps have no end, and will only bite the future of the helping hand. People although being killed and displaced by their own rulers, most times are not receptive of others coming in and getting involved in their internal conflicts. There is always a call for international intervention, but the after the intervention reception has been always hostile. Syria is begging for help, along with nations surrounding Syria with the flow of refugees, but when the leaders of international community look for support from their constituents, very little support s being extended.

The reluctance of the international community is based on more than just lack of public support, but also what will transpire once you intervene and how do you get out? Get out is not just withdraw but also the after effects of the intervention, and almost assured negative reaction of the country you thought you were helping. While the leaders of the world who want to intervene are probably sincere in their public speeches, their public is reluctant to police the world. While we want to stop the carnage, we also are wary of the long term and negative consequences of the helping hand.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Minding My Own Business

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

There is absolutely nothing I can do or add to the crisis of dividing my state in India. Absolutely nothing. Since we all heard the announcement from the Congress leadership that Andhra Pradesh will be split into parts, there has been a lot said and written for and against the division by all people of the state all over the world. I too have written several weeks on the confusion that has raised from the decision to bifurcate the state, and it is absolutely and utterly confusing at best and there is no plan, process or people's involvement into how to go about dividing the state, except Congress have to split the state, and that's it.

I can't seem to mind my own business about the decision to split my state, and however much I discuss this with whosoever who may want to discuss it, and however much I write about the decision and its haphazardness and what might happen to my brothers who live in the state; a plethora of issues that I am incapable to even thinking about, and everyone else in India and outside keep talking about and discussing on the decision to separate my state, by there is not a thing we can do about it, except talk and talk.

While the non resident Andhra folks have been looking at the internet, watching every possible Indian channel on cable television, and burning the telephone lines with their friends and family (some with even total strangers), and a few NRI even going on hunger strike in the USA and some other countries in support of a united Andhra Pradesh, the center's decision as communicated has been as stated, and no change in the posturing of the ruling party. The folks that used to go on hunger strikes, and destruction and suicides and constant saber rattling have gone silent as their demand for a separate state has been accepted by the central government and they are now making new threats and demands on the so called settlers. The whole exercise has been quite television worthy, and for those who are living faraway, it is a reminder of helplessness and what is happening in the good old state.

From ten thousand miles away I have absolutely no influence on even making a case for anything that people are fighting for in the state. There in no discussion happening amongst the leaders with any influence that seems to appeal to the general public in the state, and the center after making the wild decision to separate the state is unable to present a plan that can appease the people. It is a guarantee that whatever the central leadership announces or decides next will further make a mess out of a already messy situation. No one will like it, and everyone will simply dismiss it as a heavy handed and political decision made for survival, rather than in the best interest of the state.

The whole mess is fodder for news magazines and television channels and great business for telephone companies and internet providers and anyone who can transmit the situation. Its an overload of useless and unwanted information that increases anxiety of the audiences. I try not to worry about the ramifications of a separate state and next trip to my home state, I might have to land in an airport that is no longer in my state. Not that the airport makes a whole load of difference but it will sure fell strange, for the very fact that the last time I left it was my state's pride possessions with a brand new and shiny airport, and now I will have to land in another state and then travel thru a couple districts to get back into my state. I really want to mind my business and not get too excited about the ramifications of the division, but I keep thinking about it, and it makes no absolute sense to keep pondering the situation.

People of the state have already started discussion on how best to deal with the separation and probably want this thing to be done and over with. The kids are not going to school and people don't want to work anymore, and everyone is protesting about something or the other. So, the difficulty of leading a normal life has really become difficult. The guessing game on what might happen to the new state and its capital, and its water requirements, its infrastructure and its everything is up in the air and no one has answers to the real questions. All you hear is we will do justice to both of the divided regions of a state.

It is a constant reminder that life will not be the same for my folks, and for some of my family and friends who have relocated for work and business and have made new home for themselves, and their kids who are all of a sudden being told that they might have to relocate to their parents native place, but it is not theirs. No one for sure knows what to expect after the division as the politicians continue to create as much noise as they possibly can, without any answers on the questions people have. Everyone is worried and that’s exactly what is probably the reaction wanted by the central government. They have no idea of what they have planned to do except keep people on the edge while they figure out how to get more seats in the parliament to be in power. The government at the center want to mind their own business; which is try to get back into power for one more term, and here we are trying to figure out what our business will be in the future, or if we will have anything left for doing business.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Splitting Because of a Rookie?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The state continues to be in turmoil and in agitation, and several weeks after the announcement of splitting Andhra Pradesh the tempers continue to be high. The children going to school and the workers going to work and the vendors and buyers and travelers and tourists; everyone is agitating or agitated. There is continued destruction and strife amidst the uncertainty of what will happen next with the division and what will be the consequences of separation?

The discussion on the main reason for separation being the influence of Jagan leading into the next election is discussed as the foremost in all the decisions made by the ruling party. Over decades of separation sentiment no party in power at the center declared their intention to separate the state, and Andhra Pradesh remains untied despite the sometimes real and sometimes mild discussions for separation of the regions. Politically it did not suit anyone in the center to support the division of Telugu speaking people.

The state delivered the parliamentary seats to the current ruling party in the last two election cycles along with the state government, and there was no reason to contemplate the separation of the state with things in favor of the party in power. The current state of affairs are very unfavorable both in the center and in the state, and status quo will probably be a zero benefit to Congress. Something has to be done to win the parliamentary seats and also possibly retain power in the state. The announcement to separate the state was going to bring support from the region agitation for separation, and also position the party in positive light in the region against the split, but the outcome of the announcement has been exactly the opposite. The appeacement of the separation movement did not workout as anticipated and the merger of the lone party that has been driving the separation has not been forthcoming, rather it has become a more contentious. The ruling party's decision has not been welcome in any region of the state as there are so much ambiguity in the process, no one is sure of what will be the reality when the state is divided.

Few people in leadership have come out and said that the decision of the ruling party has been made to counter Jagan's growing influence, and the near certainty of his part's victory in the upcoming elections; both at the state and central elections. This week there is one leader who has come out and said, that the congress had only one reason to declare the separate statehood; Jagan and his party. There is no doubt in this assertion and politically it may have back fired on the Congress losing out across the state. The the Telangana region the region if the regional party doesn’t merge with Congress, the ruling party will score Zero, and in the rest of Andhra Congress will score a Zero whatever its decision on the state.

The opposition parties have no loss or gain from the separation, except Jagan might have had the hold on the united Andhra Pradesh, instead of a separated state. The assumption that the congress will come into power in both regions by a simple virtue of its decision is at best the worst political blunder in the Indian democracy. The state has lost all its normal functioning and destruction everywhere, and no one is happy with the consequences of the decision. Work stoppages and property destruction continue and there is no stopping from rhetoric against everyone and everything. The state is unhappy with one decision or the other and the gloom of doom is all over the place, simply because of the way the decision was made and announced.

If the state was being divided for one single reason; avoid putting Jagan in power then the results have not yielded what was expected. The assumption of the separation movement will disappear and it will get merged into congress also seem to be farfetched. The entire state is unhappy with the regular announcements that come from the center and the posturing of the state leadership. It did not produce the desired results rather has created uncertainty and mistrust amongst the people.

Congress has run out of steam and ideas for leadership in the state, and perhaps need to be wise in the future steps leading to separation. The decisions made for Andhra have started demands in the other parts of the nation for separation, and a lot of fodder for the opposition parties. Its a no win situation, and if the announcement had any bearing on an individual politician who is new to politics, the ruling party has missed the boat by miles.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Playing to the Audience

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

The politicians of Andhra Pradesh are really trying hard to keep their constituents in good cheer, by playing to their fears and apprehensions. Since the division of the state has been in the news, there is more openness in their opinion on where they stand with the division of the state. It is not a new decision for the politicians to make, as their stance on the united or separate state is aligned with the region of the state they come from, and now that the Congress in the center has decided to announce its intention to divide the state, politicians have to come out in support of, or dividing the state; simply to play to their constituents.

The biggest drama is from the ruling party itself, as its leaders have always thought that the central leadership will continue to waffle on the decision making, were caught with the sudden decision to announce a divided Andhra Pradesh. They were always proclaiming to be abiding to the decision of the Central leadership, and once the decision was made their constituents did not like the decision made by the leaders in Delhi. Their leadership did not take the state leaders into confidence while announcing the decision, and no matter what the state leadership presented to the powers to be, did not help in the announcement.

The center has only one agenda, to survive in the center, and whatever consequences of their decision doesn't really matter to them. They were only counting how many seats they might win in the next election which is coming up in 2014. The issues of people have seldom been on the agenda of INS, and this decision too was not an issue of the government rather a decision of the politics.

Now that the center has gone ahead and announce their decision to split the state, the elected politicians have to pay the cards to keep their constituents still interested in voting for them in the next elections. They have to now think of a new act for the public to view and reelect them, while they have to keep the central leadership also pleased in their public support of the decision made for their state.

Congressmen have always suffered the humiliation meted out to them by the central leadership, and this instance is nothing new to them. Someone who is interested in continuing in power, and faraway from the people of the state will make decisions that are detrimental to the state, and there is absolutely nothing that the leaders of the state can do to support it. The claims to abide by the central leadership is only true if the center makes decisions in support of the local leaders and their constituents, not when the local constituents are 100% opposed to the decision of the center.

There are supporters of the separation, and their voices have been quite vocal until the announcement was made to split the state. The voices of people who want a united state have been mute until the elected politicians who represented them were blindsided by the decision to divide them. Now they have to play to the voices of people to keep their elected office at least for the current term. No one in the electorate is supportive of the congress politicians and their positions and posturing taken within their party, and nothing can save the party in united Andhra Pradesh as people of all regions are disenchanted with the party and their decision making. It might be likely that Congress might form poll alliances with the separatist parties and might also be able to play to the tensions of all of the people of the state. It is certain that they will not be able to retain the current number of seats in the parliament. It might also be possible that the alliances that congress anticipated might not happen, now that the decision to separate the state has been announced.

Elections are a year away and anything can happen between now and the next elections. For sure the congressmen will have to come up with a brand new set of script to play to their electoral audience. It will be quite interesting to see what they will tell people. The dramas of resignations has run out of steam, and their current voicing of anger has already been heard by the people. It is worth the wait and watch to see what these congressmen will enact for the people.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Divided States of Andhra Pradesh

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Within days of the announcement by the Congress government on splitting the state into two regions, the people of Andhra Pradesh have simply forgotten their common bind having been a united Andhra Pradesh. Everyone is simply in favor of a separation or a united Andhra Pradesh for different reasons; which seem to come out of nowhere and only after the announcement of breaking up of the state. All of a sudden there is nothing in common for the same people who have lived together for generations. There are no common interests, no common identity, no common politics, and no common anything; if you listen to the rhetoric or read the news papers. Andhra Pradesh has become like two countries that seem to not coexist as one people, rather two states that simply loathe each other.

All of the bickering is fueled by the politicians who probably will have nothing to gain but a term in the office, and survival just because of the rhetoric that fuels the hatred in people. There is a comingling of people from the different parts of the state, in fact from all parts of the nation; over decades of working together, marriage and migration, education and employment and many other normal and natural aspects of human existence. It is not just people of the same state, but people of all states and all countries adapt to their environment as it best fits the needs of the land. It is not a foreign concept for people to migrate and adapt to their new home. The kids grow up to become entrenched into the new place much faster than the adults, and in reality it is their real home. People of all walks move constantly, and for a fact some statistics in the USA refer that 20% of the population moves every year, which is a normal and natural way of life which takes people wherever there is opportunity and need.

The situation in Andhra Pradesh is fueled by emotion and rhetoric rather than common sense. Every politician is claiming the injustices done to their region and how they will make it better or what might be worse for their region, thus fueling the fears of the public. These are the same guys who have represented people of the state for a long time, and the injustices meted out to their regions were not an issue for their time in the office to date? What were they doing in Hyderabad or in Delhi if things were so bad that other regions of the state were stealing from them? Why did they not raise the issues in public forum as elected representatives of their individual constituencies on a regular basis to make sure that they received the necessary allocations to meet the demands of their people? There are a thousand questions that come into mind on the idiots who are elected to represent the interests of the people. Each one of the elected representative is better off monetarily after getting elected to public office, and not a single one of them can claim that they are not better off after getting elected, and their family and friends get favors bestowed on them that are not available for the common man.

To divide or not to divide the state is not a common man’s issue. It is a political and power issue. The common man goes where there is opportunity and also looks for a stable and well managed economic situation, and not wanting to be in a constant state of fear and posturing by the few individuals who seek to further their personal ambitions by stoking the flames of fear amongst the people. The media channels constantly feed on the negative coverage and sensationalizing the statements of the politicians, which in turn create constant uncertainty in people. No one knows what is true and what rhetoric is.

India is famous for its fights about division of family properties and we constantly have examples of how brothers fight with brothers, and families kill each other over division of what is left behind by their ancestors. Siblings turn into enemies and friends become foes overnight when the time comes to dividing wealth. Dividing the state is no different, and our inherent attitude to keep everything for our own self is not going to go away with the division of the state. It is engrained in us, that we want all the wealth and give nothing to our siblings. The division of the state will face the same separation issues as we face in our family properties being split. There will be a lot of bad mouthing and bickering and nothing will be polite and gentlemanly.

We are at a point of no return and are heading for a split, and as we can see from the last few days of destruction. It is difficult to separate the state and satisfy all involved, and it has also become increasingly evident that the people in high places will not allow us to be together. This is going to play out like any other family situation embroiled in separation, with a lot of acrimony and animosity. It is our age old practice to divide and live by destroying each other and fighting within family.

Monday, August 05, 2013

United States of Andhra Pradesh

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

If we have three people from Andhra Pradesh, we might have several factions and groups, which might be aligned with everything under the sun.  One has to wonder how we can be called Telugu people with so much uncommon in our attitudes towards each other, and so much animosity to each other, even if we don’t belong to different districts of the state.  We can be neighbors and still don’t like each other.  Our differences are with everything from language, slang, caste, religion, and even street to street, from the regional differences.  Even our language has its own nuances and there is nothing that holds us together as one people and one state, and it is hard to imagine how the Telugu language survived such animosity between people that speak the language.

The late and beloved NTR fought for pride of the Telugu People until his death and his success as a politician was primarily based on the self determination and upholding the pride of Telugu people.  We Telugu people somehow were in one state of Andhra Pradesh for more than five decades and most of it strife ridden and un-cohesive as a unit of one language speaking people.  If there was a group of people who really lived together in indifference to each other, there is no better example than people of Andhra Pradesh.  Within their native places in India and when they migrate to other states or countries, we are so divisive in projecting ourselves as one unit.

The current situation with declaring the division of Andhra Pradesh into two separate states by the central government should come as no surprise to the people of Andhra Pradesh.  It does not behold the wishes of the common man, but is true to the politics of congress (divide and rule) and a few politicians in the state that keep driving the wedge of hatred on the regional basis of the current state.  We the people really believe in the constant badgering of hatemongering through every media outlet, and some innocents have given their life to the cause of separate statehood.  No amount of blood and destruction and hatred has been instrumental in declaration of separate statehood for the regions in Andhra Pradesh, but a political decision by a party that clearly doesn’t care about the socio-economic issues of any state, but only self-interest of its survival at the center.

We have destroyed enough infrastructures and killed enough innocents and spoke badly of everyone and anything in the world, and then come this unilateral declaration by the center without consultations and relevance to the state.  No one seems happy about the division once it was announced and the pro-division leaders and parties will no longer have any relevance to existence, and the anti-division leaders have no plans for a divided state.  The people are so polarized amongst themselves they have no idea of the impact or relevance of the division of the state and how and what needs to be done to make anything better in their environment.  The pro-division forces have already made comments on sending people to their original regions and the reactions from opposition have been swift and with some more violence.

There is no place for anyone to look from ten thousand miles away and make a recommendation on the separation or unification of any state or people.  The well being of a language and its race is more important than politics or people’s agendas.  The current state of the Telugu people is really up in limbo as their best interests or their economic considerations have not been fully thought out, and the leadership that might lead the divided state is not really showing any inclination to a partition that bears fruits to the people.  All this looks staged and political and has not put Telugu people first.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Goodbye Henry

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Henry was put to sleep on 24th of July 2013.  The Greek term” Euthanasia” or the good death was upon him as he was no longer able to function on his own.  Animal euthanasia (from Greek, meaning "good death") is the act of humanely putting an animal to death or allowing it to die as by withholding extreme medical measures. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable (and especially painful) conditions or diseases, lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control, which are performed for purposes other than an act of mercy, although in some cases the killing procedure is the same.

In domesticated animals, this process is commonly referred to by euphemisms such as "lay down", "put down", "put to sleep", or "put out of its/his/her misery".  When he was put to sleep, Henry was 12 ½ years old when he really was unable to survive on his own and was very sick.

Henry was a yellow Labrador, and he was runt of the litter when Jamie picked him up from the owners’ of his parents.  Jamie was there when he was born, and since his adoption has always lived with Jamie and his family.  Jamie and his three children; Alex, Andrew and Alison and their cat Milo were a team.  Jamie is my brother and friend, every day I would get an update on how the guys were doing and never forgot Henry and Milo’s update, until last week when Henry’s time has come to go.  The kids are on holiday and they are away visiting grandparents and still don’t know of Henry’s passing away, and Jamie has not yet figured out how to tell them.  It will be hard to tell them that Henry who has been a part of their entire life is gone, and will not be around to watch them.

I have never seen Henry in person, but he was very much a part of Jamie and his family and they were very much attached to him, and he towards them.  I never had a dog, as I did not live at home most of my life and when I grew up never made an effort, but always admired the animals and their love of humans.  Dogs, cats, horses and domesticated animals in India such as cows, buffalos and chickens and goats, and whatever we chose to raise and care for, and at the same time they have their undivided devotion to their owners.

Henry’s loss is deeply felt, and also brings into the question of Euthanasia.  The doctor, the owner and the surroundings determine the final decision to put down the animal, and it must be a difficult choice to make for the humans involved.  It is just to see that the suffering ends in a kind and gentle manner, albeit a very painful and heartfelt decision to make.  Good bye Henry.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Financial Reality

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Last week the newspapers highlighted that the City of Detroit has declared bankruptcy.  It’s a major city that is renowned for it its car manufacturing; being the home of the biggest car manufacturers in the world including GM, Ford and Chrysler along with many other auto businesses, and their suppliers and support services. This is the motor city which is the capital of auto manufacturing in the world, and just went bankrupt.

Detroit not only lost its good credit, but also a major portion of its population.  Only in America this happens that a major city is allowed to follow the natural course of correcting its financial abilities, and Detroit declaring bankruptcy should not be regarded as a shameful event, rather the nation facing the reality with changes to population, jobs, infrastructure and a slew of financial and accounting issues that are a fact of life.

It is quite commonplace for individuals and companies to face bankruptcy and restructuring the balance sheet to get back into facing normalcy of the day, after going thru tough economic times.  It is also fact that not having the foresight forces bankruptcy, and the country allows for restructuring and reentry into a normal financial status after a period of time where you are allowed to restructure the balance sheet, and start fresh and start contributing to the economy once again.

What is a cultural shock is to read about a major city like Detroit declaring bankruptcy.  It probably is a long time coming for this city and perhaps a few more big and small cities that have lost a large portion of their tax revenues and also population.  Detroit is still a great city with a big suburban population which is still very much blustering with people and jobs, it is just that the city of Detroit that has lost its people and revenues beyond a reasonable rate to sustain its cost structure.

The news papers cover the story in front pages and display the empty streets and boarded-up homes, and lost population.  They also highlight the imbalance with the balance sheet and the city no longer able to pay its bills, and also highlight all the wrongs of the situation now.  No one wants to take into account that a major or minor city cannot go bankrupt overnight.  The support for borrow and spend attitude of the people in power goes from Washington to states, major cities, small cities and small towns and villages.  Everyone wants everything on earth and the best services to be provided, but no one is willing to pay for the benefits that they are asking the cities or states and the country.  The gap between incoming revenues and outgoing expenses along with the demand for services (along with growing dependence on the state and national support for services for the new population) only gets wider and wider as people don’t want to pay for the demand for services by the new population, along with the old commitments that are already on the books.  It should come as no shock to people who are leading the city to bankruptcy, and everyone wants services but don’t want to pay for them.  As drastic as bankruptcy sounds, Detroit declaring bankruptcy should be an an eye opener for both people and administrators.  You cannot have a good thing going on forever and not account for it or pay for it.  No free lunch.

As bad as it sounds about a major city going bankrupt, it should serve as an eye opener for managing the resources and also the people.  Jobs, relocation, immigration, changes to economy, demographics, management and whatever else is required to manage the resources of the entire nation needs to be in focus, rather than a single city facing bankruptcy.  All People in the country, politicians and the administrators; all as a group needs to start to look at this as an exercise to live within available means.

Past Perfect

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