Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Can God Do?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The flash floods and devastation caused by the melting snow and continuous rain in the holy places in India has been long time coming.  Human greed, human neglect and encroachment, and unplanned development, careless attitude towards nature and every imaginable use of natural resources is the cause for devastation that is unprecedented.  God has always chosen to reside at faraway places which are pristine in nature and hard to reach for thousands of years, but man who with his greed and animosity and utter disregard for the environment and nature is the cause of devastation which is becoming a common occurrence not just in holy places, but the world over.

Far off and pristine places where god chose to reside have become places of worship for everyone, and have become commercial enterprises with roads and buildings, shops and restaurants and hotels and motels; and whatever needed to have humans visit these once faraway and remote places with relative ease.  Everything around the holy shrines once protected by nature and trees and hills and wildlife has been converted to tourist spots with total disregard for the ecosystem and environment.  The holy shrines have survived for hundreds of years without floods or avalanches and natural destruction, but have always welcomed the devotees who were willing to trek to the holy places in faith and devotion, and also taking the most difficult path to see the lord.  Sometimes it took days or weeks by foot, and through the forests and only at a certain time of the year to visit these holy places, but devoted pilgrims made the effort needed to pay their respects to the almighty despite the difficulty of the way to see the good lord.

The last generation or so have made a tourist trade of visiting the holy shrines, and even the remotest of places are being bombarded by tourists who want to be quick pilgrims.  As much as the human indifference to the almighty and the nature surrounding the lord, the encroachment of the surrounding areas of the shrines and deforestation and unplanned building has continued to contribute to the demise of the natural habitat that protected the shrines in the remotest parts of the country.  Everywhere you go, and every place you visit the sea of humanity over powers the feeling of devotion.  People push and shove and shout and spit and have very little regard for people around them.  If you have a little bit of money you use the holiest of the shrines as pleasure trips and bribe your way through the line to see the lord.  The concept of religion and devotion has been taking a real beating by human greed and disregard.

Whatever is happening with Kedarnath, Badrinath and other holy places is truly the causing of the humans.  God cannot help with stopping the human greed and human disregard for fellow humans and nature, god can only point humans to do the right thing.  We; humans are solely responsible for the destruction and devastation of the resources on earth and now we are even targeting the solar system.  We only think of ourselves; just me and me and me, and no one and nothing else.  The greatest gift god gives us is our life, and we choose to destroy and abuse our surroundings and environment, and have no remorse in causing destruction.  We have in a span of four or five generations have destroyed the natural wealth of the earth to extinction, and now are looking for far away planets for occupation and further destruction.

God can’t help us with thinking and planning, as when we are given life we are given the reasoning to do the right things and live the right way.  We seldom adhere to the human reasoning and human nature, but only to use and utilize the surroundings around us.  The man upstairs made us smart but we choose to be too smart for our own good and others around us.  God can’t save us, we have already abused every aspect of life and nature and we really don’t care about what happens to others or even ourselves.  The common phrase “only god can save us” is a thing of the past, as no one can save us from us.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Limitations of Being an Indian Politician

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Although there are opposition parties in India that are simply opposing the Indian National Congress “INC”, the main opposition party that has come to force has been Bharatiya Janata Party “BJP” that has come into existence as a political party of national stature in the 1970’s.  There are many regional parties that align with a language and or a particular caste or sometimes even a leader or a family.  The main political parties typically rely on a leader and typically try to follow the personal philosophy of the individual.  The biggest asset for the party and its followers is the philosophical and ideological inspiration that comes from the leader, and during the lifetime of the leader he/she influences inordinate influence on the working of the party and its cadre.  The utmost respect that is bestowed on the party leaders is unparalleled anywhere among the free societies of the world.

India although continues to embrace western economic theories and open markets for wealth creation and somewhat of a modernization of its infrastructure, still lives in age old habits of living and following traditional attitudes.  Albeit the country has its share of hooligans and wasted individuals who rob and rape, kill and do all things that are anti-social and anti-people, by and large the country which wants to be very modern in life still continues to live in the olden days of traditional and religious structured society.  Repressed people who live in constant stresses of daily life where culture does not meet development, where people who want to progress verses people who want to intimidate, so much clash of all types of life styles and attitudes; all of them account for news worthy items of 27/7/365 badgering on viewers and readers.

There is no dearth of material for scribes in India, and in all languages.  With all the news worthy stories, politics and politicians remain constant front page news to keep the channels occupied.  Politicians have such a narrow outlook on their views of the world, their constituents and the nation, and often have no comprehension of the needs of the people they represent.  The whole nation is so parochial, to the extent it simply has no ability to look beyond the political bosses of the party they represent.  The special parochial attitude is no engraved in the INC, they leaders have absolutely no individual style, substance nor thought process.  They get into the party because of their background or money, and then pledge undying sub-severance to the leaders of the party.  For the third generation of politicians and their followers for generations simply follow the leader, and don’t have a people agenda.  The leaders only want to be in power, and run the nation irrespective of what is happening to the day to day needs of the people of the country.

It is well documented that a few people/families have been highly successful in building vast business enterprises in infrastructure, and some in information technology and telecommunications, but the majority of the Indians still have the greatest parochial attitude that has existed on the earth.  For some reason we as a society continue to look at the same leaders again and again for direction and leadership to bring better days and better living standards.  The world itself has constantly evolved with one revolution or the other, one development or the other, one technology or the other, and something that keeps making advances for a better society.  For some time during the information technology boom, India seem to have caught on the global economic boom, which was also fueled by the telecommunications industry boom, which seem to have fizzled as quickly as it took off.  The world constantly evolves with ideas that impact the life of the global population, and often when deployed and effectively adopted; it benefits enormously in reaping the benefits of the technological or philosophical changes.

We as Indians always are looking for either adopting technologies that are already extensively in use, or try to copy other economies, sometimes follow them at the end of the adaptation cycle where the benefits are not as typical as of early adaptors.  The country keeps boasting of individual brilliance, but will seldom push for a nation-wide plan of education, planning and successful indigenous processes and technology.  The parochial attitude of our leaders seldom allows for the nation to look for opportunities beyond normal.

The love for the nation and its wellbeing is seldom put in front of the national agenda, due to the blind and often narrow outlook of the politicians.  The difficulty of thinking beyond the political leaders and their interests will not allow the politicians to do anything beyond self-interest and keeping their leaders entertained.  In a democratic society, parochial attitude will not allow for forward thinking to help build plans and executing them to the good of the people.  Indian politicians have 100% limitations in just being what they are, and until we move away from the parochial attitude, we will never be able to focus on the needs of the people.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Someone Is Watching You

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

All over the world people are doing something that is good, bad or ugly every second.  There is no escaping whatever you are doing or whatever place you are, and with whomsoever you are in any situation you might be in.  Some is watching you, every second of your life.  As I write every time, the emails or text messages, and probably every call that is made, even a missed call or an unanswered call; every one of them has a track and someone has a way of monitoring the communications.

For those who like music, the song “Eye in the Sky” from Alan Parson’s Project from1982 is a wonderful recollection and reminder of someone is watching you.  Perhaps the wonderful song captured what was to come with the communications revolution of the last 30 years with mobile and internet, and telephony and video and any which way we have developed the ability to communicate with each other.  The ability to reach each other by voice or video, or find someone immediately or instantly is an opportunity for people who want to be in touch, and need to communicate.  Much of the communications between people personal and most times frivolous and are done in media that is inexpensive, and people simply want to talk and talk and even see one another constantly.  With unlimited calling plans and cheap and fast internet available to everyone, face time and Skype and the messengers and many other communications media has become as common as drinking water or eating a snack.  There is constant use of the mobile phone and internet based chat systems is as common as watching TV these days.

The airwaves and internet pipes are full of chatter both voice and video, along with words being sent across without abandon.  In the olden days when communism was prevalent there was a constant watch on the people who lived under the communist regimes, and there was governments looking into groups or individuals for antinational activities in democratic societies.  While the communists monitored their populations openly and aggressively, the democratic societies were not so open in admitting to the snooping of its people.  Many years, sometimes decades after the actual incidents things were out in the open, and only when people who participated in the activity were no longer living and or the statute of limitations were expired.

It should be no surprise that the governments are watching just about every call you make or every message you write.  The reason might be to look at extremism or terrorism; which might lead to destruction.  It is also likely that they have specific target groups of people that might instigate anti-national activities or international disturbance which will impact the overall well being of societies.  Sometimes the governments have been in successful in preventing incidents that would have caused major damages to both property and life.  In face governments probably prevent thousands of such activities unknown to the public or will never make them public in the best interest of the society in general.  Snooping is a part of counter-intelligence and has been since the beginning of time, and has been helpful in preventing anti-social elements from destabilizing the societies.

There is no secret to what the governments are doing in trying to track unsavory elements and preventing the loss of life and property.  Also, if some act of terror or espionage is forced on the countries they use the eyes watching to catch the perpetrators.  The last few global incidents that have caused harm have been quickly and successfully been traced to the perpetrators, and governments being successful in catching the bad guys.
If the utility of the man watching from above is for the purpose of benefitting the society and catching the bad guys, it is commendable.  There are thousands of incidents that have been prevented because of the eye in the sky.  For someone who is simply communicating and has no intention of wrongdoing there should be no worry on the eye in the sky, and also assuming that the governments and the intelligence agencies are tracking communications to stop the bad guys.  We as a society has always known that someone is watching what we do, and now with the continued evolution of communications, we should have no doubt that someone is watching us.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Time to Work and Govern

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

If the elected politicians spend all their time with traveling to meet the party bosses, throwing allegations and challenges to their own colleagues and opponents, and raising money to contest the next election or fatten their bank accounts; when will they have time to do people’s work and manage their responsibilities in the government?

All the elected officials and the ones appointed by them have a schedule by season to attend the appropriate sessions to debate, discuss, argue and also participate in the democratic process of governing the people’s business.  Of late much of this time is spent on accusations and arguments on everything but the people’s business.  Parties in power and parties in opposition make it a point to do everything but hurl accusations and insults in the very chambers they are representing people, and where they are supposed to discuss, debate and make policies to manage the people’s daily business.

The country which has meager resources, but vast population needs every bit of attention by the politicians and bureaucrats to manage their resources with great care to maximize the value of the country’s holdings.  But we see no inclination from anyone in the elected office to show any inclination of helping with resources management or people issues.  Before and after elections the focus of the politicians is constantly on making more money and defaming opponents.  The assembly sessions have often turned into shouting matches and sometimes fist cuffs; often turning into confrontations between old men and women, neither beholding the office they hold nor the people they represent.

The politicians have been hurling accusations against every person who they oppose in choice language and every imaginable crime that they can think of.  No one is being spared of the abuses, even the highest office holders in the nation.  Men and women are abused equally disregarding their age, office, qualifications and their experience.  At the end of each day we have the same set of politicians, who are either in power of in opposition over decades of life in politics, but none have learned the art of governance after getting elected, rather they seem to be perfecting the art of abusing and accusing.

We have rarely seen a politician making a policy speech which is of importance to their countrymen.  We have seldom encountered an elected official represent the best of the country to the world.  We have yet to see a short or long term plan to address the many evils of the society, and its failings in decency and common sense.  We don’t see the desire to make India what it should be leading into one more century, rather simply thrive on blurting out what the other person did wrong.  If our politicians only invested the negative energy to delve into the many issues the country faces, and even for a short amount of time invest into people’s issues, we certainly will see a greater India.

There are so many common issues we have as a nation we can address and fix, and so many common sense matters that can be constantly addressed by people in power to better influence the people of the nation.  The entitlement people have in being an elected representative of the people, should enlighten them to work hard in representing the people’s issues and spend time in governing their office.  So much can be done in simple communications to the people on a daily basis on civic responsibility and education and tolerance.  If all the unwanted publicity towards accusations and anger if pointed at the people issues and advocating democratic principles there will be a pointer towards issues management that are of concern to the citizens.

Our politicians must learn from the principals of the three monkeys; see no evil, speak no evil and do no evil.  The massive media and communications channels available to public officials can be directed at areas of civil obedience, respect for fellow citizens, education, tourism and entertainment; rather than public display of anger and abuse.  Even if we grant that media wants to sensationalize the events and is only interested in arguments and fights, we can still start to instill working and governance as main objectives of the politicians, rather than fist cuffs and abuses.

We are a country which in a matter of less than 20 years went from a few minutes of television and no mobile or internet communications to a country which is saturated with media and internet, we can also become a nation of appreciation and proper planning to cater to the needs of the people.  In a country which has such diversity of needs, there is no need to think of the negatives, rather project the future that is full of promise and work towards the bright future which is something all citizens look forward to.

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 ...