Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Psychology of an Elected Politician

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

The election cycle has become enormously long for politicians these days.  From the time one is elected to the next election, the campaign is a continuous and arduous process which takes a toll on the general public.  The promises of pre-election continue to be reiterated as long one is in the office and they will be continued in the reelection cycle.  The only change that comes into place is fundraising that is continued throughout the time that one is in power, and with vigor and intensity to support reelection plus makeup for any investment made in getting elected in the first place.

Every election manifesto promises the moon, and massive reforms and restructuring of the current socio-economic systems, which are never justified with the available revenues in the country.  There is never any intelligence involved in making assumptions in forecasting the resources that will become available, but simply make every promise that can possibly be made to impress on the general electorate.  The irony of the country is that the public seem to believe in boasting that is fully incorporated in the speeches of politicians, if they don’t believe that simply are listening to the rhetoric of politicians and perhaps know that whatever they are hearing is simply made-up and never will become a reality.

Despite repeated and similar promises, the politicians continue to make same statements before and after getting elected.  Those who are not in power also make quite exorbitant statements on what they would do if they are brought into power, perhaps the claims of those not in power are more exorbitant than those who are in power.  Neither one of them make any sense and are realistic, as once again they are not practical and in the best interest of the general public, and cannot be afforded by the available resources of the country.

Whatever the conditions in the country; drought, famine, cold or hot or whatever is thrown at the public, they find a way of continue to live in conditions that are bestowed on them by nature, and added to that the politicians add the human element to it, by taking advantage of every opportunity they have by misappropriating the resources that are available and never having the interests of the people who need them.

The election promises themselves are so out of line with reality, it is hard to fathom the actuality of delivering them to the public.  The psychology of the politicians is to simply get elected and try to suck up as much resources as possible from the public coffers.  With each election cycle and every new entrant into politics the rhetoric and actions are only wilder and wilder, and the resources seem to be getting more and scarcer to meet the ever growing demands of the public.

There has been telecom revolution, industrial revolution, information technology revolution, financial revolution, and whatever other revolutions that have added tremendous value to the development in jobs and wealth globally, and creating massive opportunities for people, but for some reason the development in the nation seems to lack the global pace.  The politicians simply pocket majority of the wealth in their overseas accounts through middlemen and kickbacks, and whatever is left goes in the manipulations in the market place.
Nobody seems to care about the electoral audience, and the electorate might care but whatever choices they have to elect seem to have only the agenda of lining their pockets.  In a nation where the national fervor is 100%, the national leaders are simply only interested in getting elected so that they have the opportunity for fat bank accounts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Experience Needed

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

There is a lot of discussion and expectation prior to being elected for being a leader of nation.  Much importance is placed on time in public office and what the person has done prior to making to claim to manage the nation.  Where there is a choice with electoral process, much is made out of what was done rather than what needs to be done.  We always forget that the past is already past, and the country needs to look forward, rather than rest on the laurels of one’s past.

Past experience, education, and training and on the ground development is valuable, but no one can gain the experience of running a country until you get into the hot seat.  The only claim to experience in such a position is from a person who is already elected as the head of the state and planning for reelection.  Running for reelection has a real history of performance that allows the public to evaluate if the reelection of the person is really warranted.
Next year’s elections in India should be an interesting scenario as to the future of the political parties and which party will have the ability to forge a coalition to form a central government.  The current scenario of the political landscape doesn’t present a clear indication of which party will have the votes to come into power in the center.
Congress although currently in control, doesn’t clearly have the indications of having the ability to once again form a coalition government at the center.  It has already lost a lot of regional alliances and in some places it holds current seats, is vulnerable to the next contested elections.  Some of its charismatic leaders have passed away leaving leadership vacuum at the state level.  Congress has also lost several electoral alliances and currently barely hangs on to the power at the center.  As the elections are coming in 2014, it may not be worthwhile for the opposition to get into midterm elections; it would rather be better suited for the upcoming general elections.  It is likely that congress would further falter in its administration, which will obviously help the opposition parties.
The experience of being power multiple times has not done much for the current leadership in managing affairs of the nation and where it is in power in the individual states.  If all the scams and strife is to be sidelined, the management of day to day affairs is also to be desired.  There is constant procrastination of making decisions at the state level where the party is also in power, and where states which are run by opposition there is absolute differences in managing the people’s issues.  Although the opposition is expected to keep the ruling party honest, the honesty is the last thing from reality in the way things are being handled.  With 24/7/365 badgering from TV, News Papers and the internet, it is difficult to figure what is real verses made-up information.  Sometimes even the person making the statements perhaps doesn’t know what the truth is.
The country is no longer young and freshly independent.  The country is not at war and doesn’t have any external influences in governing, other than its standard across the border issues.  There are no new threats or disturbances or economic calamities that are out of the ordinary, but we still have no solutions to economic and well being of the nation and its people.
It is difficult to envision that we might have brand new direction taken by the current leadership, even if we have a change of the parties that are in power at the center.  The amount of mismanagement at every level needs to addressed and cleaned-up bottom-up to top-down and every which way we can.  Irrespective of who comes into power and anointed as the nest chief needs no experience to run the country as the experienced lot we have had really unresponsive to the needs of the people.
The new chief needs motivation to do the right thing and not be self centered or just do the things that will help hold on to the seat.  There are many competent people who are available to help plan a great course for the nation, but need a leader who will think and work for the people’s agenda.  The experience to lead is not to follow the past or current leaders, but cater to the needs of current people.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Starting Fresh?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Every time you find someone from India to speak of politics, they immediately want that India hold new elections with all new elected officials, and if you are from Gujarat or some parts of North India or have some political affiliation with someone outside of congress party, you will immediately hear that Modi will be the best person to handle the needs of current day India.  Mr. Modi’s biggest qualifications are that he has no one to worry about so he will be immune to kickbacks or scams.  If you have none to worry about, perhaps is the biggest qualification you have for being in political office as you will be beholding to none.

However long ago you have left your motherland and been a NRI, India still is close to heart of first, second or third generation of Indians.  Irrespective of the citizenship they hold, they hold their land close to heart and although may not be in real touch with what is going on in India (except through the internet or hearsay), they all will behold to India.  It is true of most immigrants as all of them will be addressed as persons identified with their ancestral land.

Indian politics are almost 100% blaming something on the other rather than working on the people’s agenda.  All political parties simply try to blame, badger or abuse each other in the filthiest of words at every opportunity, and perhaps behave very nicely when they bump into each other.  Never once politicians are respectful of their opponents in India.  The irony of the country’s management there is absolutely no plan for people issues or economic issues that are country wide and future based; rather they seem to be totally opportunistic or stop gap measures to just handle the current situation.  Irrespective of the planning or unplanned development of the country, politicians and business leaders co-exist in the nation, and common man is not even remotely involved in the direction the country takes; short or long term.

There is almost a factional divide in following the political parties and people who follow them are involved emotionally in the parties and don’t see through the damage that the individual politicians are causing the nation.  It could very well be that they are simply oblivious to the deeds of their political affiliation.

Indian is no longer a newly independent country, and has been free of the British for more than three generations.  There is no need for feeling sorry or newness of an independent nation.  The country has internal and external problems that it keeps trying to deal with; though unsuccessfully.  There is a clear lack of vision or direction from the nation to what should be done to move the country forward; literally and figuratively.  If someone slaps you or try to slap you there is absolutely no reason for taking it lightly, but should react strongly so that the attempting party trying to intimidate will understand that aggression will be dealt with aggression.  India is a nation of more than a billion people with strong national security forces and does not need to bend over backwards in defending itself.

The country has developed so much intolerance for its own people; divisiveness with language, caste, color, religion and whatever way to become polarized and divided and it should start to be tolerant and caring for its entire people.  Often time politicians try to drive the wedge of religion or caste into the people for political gains; and people should start to look through these petty politics and embrace the country’s diversity rather than become divisive.

Once people start to look at the ideas of the politicians for what they represent for the future of the nation, not divisive and emotional politics we might start to pick leaders who not only speak for the elections but also for the deliverables of elected office.  The nation doesn’t have a history of performance form the elected officials, so the elections and the manifesto should be measured for deliverables, and if not the electorate must be replaced; and this might take time to elect leaders who deliver to the people’s agenda, but it time for India to start finding leaders that will make decisions for the good of the people.  If it means a fresh start with all the leadership and political parties, then we begin now.

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 ...