Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Ever You Say

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

If you are a public figure for a long time, it must be really difficult to keep track of what you say and what you really do. The advent of communications and 24/7/365 media makes it difficult to retract the words you say, and even retracting has become difficult these days for blabber mouths. A combination of inexperience in dealing with issues and also with the multimedia has become a standard operating procedure for politicians, and we can see the constant foot-in-mouth demonstration by politicians, irrespective of who they represent. Media itself is on the prowl for any kind of tidbits to keep the channel space occupied and even the slightest response to the most innocuous query gets its space for at least a brief period time, and it is stored for perpetuity.

The early leaders for the 2014 national agenda are already going at each other, along with their respective parties helping in fueling the war of words. Mr. Modi is very articulate and very net and media savvy politician and can always come-up with great retorts and zingers to any negative comments thrown at him. He is also quite good at touting his agenda and accomplishments, along with his humble beginnings. When you speak to just about every NRI who is from Gujarat, they have high praise for him, and they all speak of the infrastructure and educational development, along with water and power management, and various issues that they all feel are of importance to everyone in the state, and also people who are Gujarati NRI. No denying the fact that the development of the state over the decade under Mr. Modi has been aggressive and progressive for the state and the opportunity for NRI in the state is far greater than that is offered in rest of India.

While the projected candidate for INC Rahul Gandhi is younger to Mr. Modi, he is no stranger to politics or political power. His family has pretty much had the monopoly on India's INC and power since India's Independence in 1947. He does keep claiming that he is not a career politician, and his family background and pedigree is not important, and whatever claims that are easy to make and sounds good to himself, but doesn't represent the fact that he is there because of who he is, and nothing else. The fact is the Nehru/Gandhi family has just about monopolized Indian administration, except for a few years of other surnames. It is not only unheard of in a democracy to have such continued power vested with one single family, but there is little evidence in the history of democratically elected governments having such long lasting seat at the power by the same family. For whatever it is worth, they continue to represent and and dictate the INC and their allies agenda, and henceforth the agenda of the Indian nation.

With the new elections of 2014 coming in a few months the early poll predictions are not favorable for congress, and also doesn't give absolute majority to the opposition. It can once again be a fractured and coalition based government where the parties that help form the government will look for favors beyond the means of the party that is going into power. If this happens and there is no absolute majority to a single party, Indians will once gain see similar horse trading and lack of administration that has paralyzed the last two terms of the national elections. A government not only unable to deliver to its poll agenda, but also full of grandstanding and mismanagement. India has a lot of experience in simply having a government put together with outside support, but unable to have a definitive agenda to meet the needs of the people.

The 2014 elections once again might deliver a coalition government, and once gain leave the country with unpredictable agenda that can never be achieved. Also, the politicians who are simply speaking into a mike and voicing whatever they want to say to whosoever is listening to them, will once gain have an escape route due to the coalition, rather than administration. There is nothing to say that absolute majority to a single party will guarantee a economic blockbuster and scam free and taint free government, but it will certainly enable the philosophy of the politicians and their party to govern without constant buttering of the affiliates.

We are hearing rhetoric and words beyond comprehension and the speeches being delivered to the voters with a lot of promises along with slime being thrown at the opponents. Majority of the slime is directed at the projected leaders of each of the parties, and often negative. In a life of public service, there must be some good done by the politicians and specially if they are projected as national leaders. We hear nothing good coming from the political parties about the opposition, and almost no agreement on policy matters, while we hear nothing about a balanced budget, economic upturn, employment, education and other useful things that might appeal to the voters.

It is no longer an interesting debate on who might come into power and what might be expected from the party and its leadership. The sound bites are now limited to whatever you say and how much more harsh words you will use against the opposition. For better or worse, here is to wishing that a single party get back into power, and will at least have five years to deliver what might be the best possible solutions for the country. Until then we the public will have to hear whatever the politicians say, be it real or fictional.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Chief Minister And His Men&Women

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The power of office is seldom mistaken for lack of confidence or opportunity to do good, specially if you are the chief minister of the nation's capital. You as the head of the government and your ministers (men and women) are bestowed the power to represent the people and their interests as long as you hold the office. When you represent the nation's capital and depending on who is in control at the center, the power that comes with the office also directly goes either hand-in-glove or head-butting with the government.

The young party and government of AAP in New Delhi although in power because of support from INC (who was its main target to form the AAP and contest and defeat in Delhi), the party quickly tried to make good work on its promises in its election manifesto. The cut in the electricity bill, the free water supply (to a limit) and fighting corruption, holding public audiences, hotline for complaints and generally populist ideology that is near to people's issues and problems.

From the stunning defeat of the incumbent party and its long standing CM, the AAP started off with a bang and a promise of addressing its self described manifesto, and in the first few days did act quickly on the popular and ever in demand items of water and power, and also start its main agenda to stop (at least try to) corruption. In its best judgment, taking the steps to deal with public issues (AAP stands for common man's party) AAP demonstrated the better judgment in not ignoring how and why it got into power. As commendable as it is to follow-up on election promises, the party started off with a bang in making good on its bread and butter issues.

Along with its aggression on implementation of its core promises and also ideals, the party also immediately has faced a few problems;

  • The other parties including its support base INC immediately started to criticize the actions, and specially every single action taken by the AAP are in great difference to the old practices of the political parties of the nation.
  • The part it self displaying conflict and lack of discipline and coordination in its responsibility to and public/private actions.
  • Probable lack of vision, planning and foresight into doing simple things that public expects to be coordinated.
AAP deserves high praise for its actions after the elections, specially all of a sudden a party without national presence and lack of seasoned politicians and experienced leaders; but simply a bunch of do-good folks with education and sincerity to addressing and implementing to the needs of general public are given power to deal with and solve the problems of the nations capital.

The criticism from the old and entrenched politicians and parties are expected, as they would like AAP to fail and fail quickly so they can claim the “I TOLD YOU SO” and focus back to the age old politics of INC or even BJP and all others who have had the time and resources to implement to the needs of the people. Generations and generations of time has passed and still the national theme of “GARIBI HATAO” remove poverty has never been seriously dealt with. The leaders keep drumming up the themes of caste and religion and benchmarks for underprivileged, and programs of women and children and whatever they can think of, with utter disregard for the amount of time India has been independent from foreign rule.

We have forgotten the election promises made by every government since 1947, or rather the politicians would like the people of the country to forget them and make them again and again with each election cycle. We are presented with same people, language and posturing every election cycle, and utter disregard for human issues. There is no place that is more democratic or patient as India and its population, still we get the same old spiel on what the politicians will do when they come back into power.

While AAP continues to make mistakes with its speeches and disagreements in public, it also is forcing the nation to look at politicians as people who should perform to what they say when getting elected, rather visitors who come every 5 years. If nothing is done by AAP, it is forcing the public to look at politicians in a light that India has long since ignored. They are accountable for their promises and actions, and the politicians of the old do not like this. Even if AAP fails to succeed in Delhi in its management and politics, it has put the people first and it is a process long due in India. The criticism that stems from the old politicians is rather comforting to the public as it is exactly what the public will be doing when a party in power doesn't keep up to its election promises. If nothing AAP has delivered to the people the ability to listen, vote and demand that the election promises are not just that, and they are real issues that are to be addressed and handled by the elected.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pressuring The Elected

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Before the elections the vote seekers promise the moon and anything else that might attract a few votes, along with greasing the palms of everyone who might help get the people to vote. Its not limited to just Indian politics but it is a universal phenomenon. The delivery by a single politician or a political party will start to set the wheels in motion for public expectations on the poll promises. AAP and its poll promises and the party starting to make good on the promises made prior to the elections will set the entire national political process into a me too syndrome (not just eating public's money but making good on the poll promises) and should at least temporarily start addressing the public's issues.

AAP is beginning to work through the list of promises it made, and also listed out in writing to the other parties to form a government. This list has been not only written but published and is on the internet for everyone to see and read. It has been well documented and publicized, and there is no question that the public will forget it. It is on everyone's memory banks, and while it may not solve all the issues public probably feels that are necessary it is a list that AAP put in writing and published, and should be held accountable for.

The party first should make every effort to keep delivering to the published poll promises. If that falter in delivery trying to get them done, people will notice the effort and will also see why it might not have happened. First and foremost for a political party is to show people that you are serious in making every effort to make your administration demonstrate its spine in doing what it said before the elections. It is not a novel concept to do what you said as it simply installs a level of trust between people and its administration. By promising and planning and also executing those plans is a hall mark of a party that is serious about what it says and what it does; which in turn will endear people to embrace its administration. Development doesn't happen overnight but it is continuous and requires constant monitoring, management and investment. Picking any field to work with; education, infrastructure, technology, telecommunications, agriculture, trade, human resources and anything else that is the realm of administration and management will certainly require constant reinforcements and funding. The needs of each and every aspect of a nation's population will constantly require planning and future thinking, outside of financial resources. By attempting and actually applying the administration to work diligently about these issues or any other issues that are of importance to the people, and keeping the people aware and informed of what is being done and how each of these issues are handled is the true hall mark of democracy.

If a single party in one single city starts to deliver to its election promises, it will immediately start pressuring the future of politics and politicians. The public at large will want to hear from the people who want to lead them for next election cycle, and then they want to measure the performance based on what AAP is doing in Delhi. All of a sudden the country is looking for people to do what they have said in getting elected, and if they don't say sayanora. The AAP also is going to start the national interest in making public needs as a priority.

Common mans issues and addressing them to specifics will become a SOP for next general elections. Whatever the history of the INC, BJP or whatever other parties will also be coupled with what is the politician saying to get elected, and what will be done after getting elected will become a yard stick for politicians. Granted India cannot be modeled after one big city electorate, and the changing of hands of money and material in wooing the public to polling booths is not going to disappear overnight, but the changes to the political system has already been pushed into motion and the public has embraced the changes. This is good for the democracy which has been hurt and stagnant for decades and really needed a kick start to end the bureaucracy and bigotry.

All this adding to the pressuring the future elections and candidates running for office. AAP is doing a good job of at least attempting to meet the challenges of its election manifesto. If the party in Delhi keeps up to meeting the deliverable of its election promises, it will be great beginning for the Indian electorate. The politicians who have made a life of promises and never considering the need to deliver to them, the wannabe politicians who will face the new or future electorate, and the AAP itself who will be monitored for what it does compared to what it said prior to taking the challenges of administration in probably most corrupt place in India. Judging by the reactions of the INC and BJP and others being critical of AAP infancy and its attempts to make good on poll promises, it looks like people are getting what they have been told when the elections happened. Its a great time for people and observers alike to see what unfolds in this 2014 election cycle. Power to the people and power to the democracy and power to INDIANS and INDIA.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Polar Vortex

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

It is only January 6th of 2014 and we have already had enough snow to beat the annual snow fall averages. By looking outside the window Monday early morning, there is more than 3 feet of snow that you can look at, may be more because the snow is really packed due to the constant fall through the last few days. Its white and white and white everywhere you look at and all frozen. Its frozen solid, and beautiful to just look out, as its hazy and snow is coming down in batches. For those who live in Chicago it has been a few years since they saw so much snow so early in the season, and the clod it self is absolutely cold.

We have a constant barrage of news and radio and internet reports on what is coming to through the weather by the minute and nothing changes it except people just looking out the window and going about what they have to do, albeit very very slowly. Believe me it is slow, as there is no way to zip down the road for too long without hitting someone or something.

The deep freeze has come at a good time as the kinds are home for the holidays and most working people are also on Christmas and new year holidays, so there is not a whole lot of traffic or anxiety on the road because of the holidays. By the way the movie Frozen is in the theaters at a great time to enjoy the wonder of snow, cold, ice and deep freeze. The movie in great detail displays the wonder of winter and cold weather along with ice castles and great snow covered landscape. Although I no longer write movie reviews, this movie is a great one for family viewing and wonderful entertainment.

Next couple of days will be really cold as predicted, and outside of more snow and more snow which is followed by deep freeze, there will be much else that will be reported. It is assured that the bad guys will be holed in and not out on the streets, and only the guys with odd jobs will be heading to work as they will have to show up to get paid by the hour. Schools are closed and the kids are going “yes” and “yes” although they have been home since before Christmas. I guess they are just happy staying home and watch TV or playing video games, and bunking school. The no school message is as welcome as the Santa showing for the children, and it makes them quite happy with faces showing the absolute delight of bunking school.

It is quite interesting to worry about the weather as there is absolutely nothing humans can do about the weather, and we simply have to live with it. Where ever we live; be it hot or cold, rain or shine, snow or sleet, and whatever combination of the weather gods, it is simply inevitable. The folks who live in the mid west experience the seasons to the full every year, and it is given we will get sun, cold, rain and snow and in between weather every year. It does make you appreciate each and every season and the wonders of the nature just staying put in the old neighborhood. For the love of god each season is wonderful by it self, and every season has its own appeal, color and character.

The deep freeze is probably good for the next season. The rivers will be flowing full, the vegetables and crops will be wonderful, and the grass and trees will be green and flowers when arriving will be in full bloom. It is given that we will have a wonderful spring coming up after the deep freeze. The employment for winter workers is in full bloom, along with the wonderful after Christmas demand for salt and snow equipment and the workers who help with snowploughs and cleaning the snow. It will be a season for great sales (after Christmas) and great winter weather employment. Also great business for emergency workers and equipment and tow trucks and salt trucks. It will be a great winter literally and figuratively; all around the winter weather will make full use of the resources and employment for the season.

Its a great start to the year, and a great winter in full force. The rest of year looks very promising as the water, irrigation, agriculture and many of the naturally driven sources of commerce and industry are well resourced in just the first few days of the year, allowing for the rest of the year to catch-up to the demands of people and process (may be politicians). Here is to a great winter and moving forward in a great year.

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 ...