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 Timesofindia.com 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.

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