Monday, February 24, 2014

New State

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The inevitability of accepting the separation of Andhra Pradesh in to two states is a reality that the people of the state and the country has to accept and move on. For whatever the reasons the INC decided at this stage to split the state and the circumstances leading to the separation are all well documented and it is for those who are interested should dissect into the information. For now the state will be split into two and barring a miracle there is no reason to believe that Andhra Pradesh as it stands will be the same.

Along with every other scribe who is remotely covering the situation in AP for weeks leading to the politicians voting to separate the state, me too was watching the unfolding of the events in Delhi. Everyone knew that INC will declare the two states, and there was little doubt in the separation. Politicians and political parties do things for a specific reason, and division of AP is no more than a political power play for a government that is certainly going to loose control in months, as the next general elections are just about 2 months away. The dialogues on we said we will separate the state in 2009 or before as just that, as the deliberations never did happen, as to the pros and cons in the many years since the INC says it has assured the separation.

Now that the inevitability has set in, its time to reflect on what next for the new state as there is no capital city identified, and no infrastructure that is defined for the newly created Andhra Pradesh. We only a bunch of congressmen who have no clout within their own party (definitely have no say so in functioning of the party no with resource allocations) and we are certainly going to get a party in power in the new state that is 100% anti INC. So, whatever will happen in the next couple of months will certainly not be in concert with the politicians of the new Andhra Pradesh as none is in the good books of the government in the center to represent the interests of the people of the new state. The plight of the people is really like Cinderella and her step mom. No matter how hard you work or how hard you try, you are still going to get the stick.

Considering that the central government will have to eventually provide the resources to build the new state with new infrastructure and new capital in years to come (they are saying at least 10) the opportunity for the new Andhra Pradesh is enormous to develop its own and world-class capital and state from scratch. This has to be paid for by the center as a part of the reorganization of the state, and either INC or anyone else in power the resources have to be allocated to the new state. The infrastructure and water and resource sharing are not a single state or party issue, and are national issues and irrespective of which party is in power in the center, they will have to be allocated and made available. Andhra Pradesh doesn't have to worry about the government in power at the center, rather it has to worry about the appropriation of resources to the proper channels and definitely use them to build the new state.

While there is no changing the attitude of INC towards the new state, the opportunity to build a first class capital and world class infrastructure is purely in the hands of the new state and its administrators. Far too much can be made on the divisive politics of INC, but now that it is done it time to focus on the generations of people who can look forward to a global posturing of the new state and the opportunity to build and develop a fantastic new state, along with a gleaming new capital. From the dry lands of Rayalaseema to the basins of coastal Andhra, the land and its resources and its people; all of them are afforded an opportunity to do something magical with the opportunity to build a new and gleaming state with opportunity and future.

If the people will elect and pick politicians who will work for a state that will use all available resources to betterment of the state, there will be no looking back for the new state. The future holds great promise to all that are associated as the development of infrastructure will lead to a massive employment and investment opportunity for all, and it will also avail the people to build something that will represent today and the future while we hold on to the heritage of the forefathers. After all the governments create separation, but we are all Telugu people who live in different places, states and countries, but after all we are telugus; brothers and sisters. As we are going to have two states, we move on and build each state to the best of our abilities and for the future generations. We have had house divided in just about every family and this is no more or no less difficult when it happens, but should not preclude the separation to be normal and eventually for the betterment of everyone. Opportunity to build and rebuild and looking forward to a fantastic two states for both my brothers and sister states; here is to the Telugu people all across the globe.

Monday, February 17, 2014

No State

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Andhra Pradesh has become a no state for its people and the Telugu speaking community. For several years the state (if it remains one state by tomorrow) has been so focused on separation, and has completely ignored the bond between the people of the state, and definitely the needs of the people of the state. Since the accidental death of YSR in 2009, the state has not been able to hold together and live together, and also do anything positive for all the people of Andhra Pradesh. If and whenever the separation of the state becomes a reality, there will be much to look back and wonder about the same people of the state and their life and history from the time Telugu people and their heritage can be traced back to. Telugu people simply don't even see anything with the same context and seem to detest each other. No brotherhood, no friendship, no kinship and no nothing seems to have been in place, except hatred.

Even people who have lived away from AP for a generation or more have the same feelings are the people who live in the state at this time, simply don't see anything in the same light. We don't agree on anything, just make us two states and let us be separated. There is no pride nor self respect that belongs to the Telugu people, just simple animosity between the regions. Let us be two states and that's it. We have to wonder if these are the same people who moved across the districts of the state for generations and married with in the state and have relatives all over the state. For some reason or the other the division has become more important part of life rather than kinship and development.

Politicians and political parties have not been helping the cause of either an united state nor two separate states. They constantly fuel the flames of division and for several years have kept the people fuming at each other; just brother against brother. The differences of people and their history is real to some extent, and much of the rhetoric is made up by the politicians, while ignoring the real needs of the people of all of the Andhra Pradesh as it stands. In the years of agitation students, workers and families have lost life, property and more than anything else dignity of the state and their well being.

We have had no functional state and we are pushing for two states from here. Years of agitation and inaction have cost the state its premier status as an IT hub and an entertainment center, along with Hyderabad as a great tourist attraction. While keeping the ideology and aspirations of all of the Andhra people, it is also sad that the few choice politicians have been able to destroy the growth and infrastructure of the state. Outside of the destruction of the systems and progress, the destruction of brotherhood and friendship has added a great deal of stress to the people of the entire state.

The center has little to gain by the actions it has taken and is about to take, as politicians who represent the ruling government are no longer inside the house to even participate in the separation debate. They are either fighting with each other or the latest events show that they are still capable of fist fights and gassing each other, outside of uncomplimentary language which is in abundance when it they see any kind of media coverage. The people's representatives have really lost it in representing the people, they simply cannot tolerate each other, nor conduct their business without abusing others. In the case of INC the latest is that most of the abuse if directed at their own party and their own leadership.

At the end of all these commotion and hoopla we might end up splitting Andhra Pradesh, and more so splitting the people of the state and their wonderful integration of language and traditions and drawing lines to further political causes, but we may end up with no state. We have to look forward to more uncertainty and unplanned future for the states, and more loss of opportunity for all of its people. All is simply because the center never really is in understanding or appreciation of the needs of the people. India is full of historical blunders in reference to mapping of its states and its initiatives on how to deal with its own people and its neighbors. The state of Andhra Pradesh and its future is one more page in the Indian book of blunders.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Curious Case of Kejriwal

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

By the time this column is written AAP in Delhi has already lost one of its own MLA who was expelled from the party for disciplinary reasons and another independent MLA who was supporting AAP from outside was ready to quit. The AAP government in Delhi is not even two months old, and has had its daily share of downgrades from other political parties and the press and itself continuing to step in deep dog doodle. For a party that was handed the reins of the national capital, AAP continues to fumble on a daily basis, and continues to make inexperienced mistakes in managing the most complex city in the country.

It was fascinating to watch the new party come into power despite not having absolute majority in Delhi, and that too with the support of Congress party, which was the main cause of the birth of AAP to start with. The objective of Kejriwal was to fight corruption and create ombudsman to curb and perhaps eliminate corruption. As ironic as it appears Congress allowed Kejriwal to become the chief minister of Delhi, and AAP the ruling party in the capital city.

While the listed priorities of AAP have been sidestepped by the opposition and its own elected officials, the party continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. To start they cant seem to get to grips with the power they have been given to run the government, rather seem to fumble at every thing that is thrown at them. The animated speeches and activity that lead to the elections and getting elected are no longer appropriate to manage the bureaucracy of a large administration and managing a maze of vendors and suppliers. It is no excuse that experience is required to run a political organization as AAP itself harped on the fact that the current set of politicians before was elected AAP were entrenched and did not have the best interests of the public at heart to do anything good or even attempt at addressing the common man's interests.

To start with AAP was allowed to from the government with the help on INC which is the party that has controlled most of the national politics since 1947, and AAP targeted as corruption plagued enterprise which should not be in power. AAP was able to get in power only with the help of INC because it neither had the support of the other opposition nor absolute majority to form the government on its own. While it made sense to avoid the cost of reelection and forming the government to move the city forward, the basis of the support to form an AAP government itself was against the very fact that the INC was the corruption plagued party that needs to be sent to the pavilion, but was the only support structure to form a government. To begin with the formation of government itself was a flawed arrangement. As surprising it was to see AAP accept INC supporting its government, INC might have had a plan to support and then destabilize and topple the government in quick order; all of which is an SOP of INC. For whatever it is worth AAP taking the help of its arch rival (INC was in power for several terms in Delhi before losing in this election) was it self a self defeating arrangement, and has caused constant grief to the newly formed government.   

The loose conference of newly elected MLA is not a simple task to manage and be cohesive. Internal bickering and conflict among the agendas and total lack of discipline in adhering to the party's agenda is already in full force with AAP. Everyday the news flashes the inexperience or incompetence of one of the AAP MLA, and the party simply issues an apology or disowns the statements and actions. This is a nothing but a sign of a group of MLA that have been thrown into an administration that is already under a microscope. AAP was supposed to work for the common man and deliver to its poll promises, not have infighting with its own elected officials.

What stared out as an exciting opportunity for a group of enthusiastic folks to have the opportunity to run a major city government and deliver to simple promises that were made prior to the elections, have been tuning out to be a farce. The inexperienced individual politicians with little coordination with the party's agenda and the power bestowed up on them by the people. They are constantly making mistakes with both the communications and delivery. They simply are unable to handle the power bestowed up on them.

Kejriwal himself had waffled several time son what he said and what he does, and his entire team is undisciplined to the tee to help with a defined agenda that can be delivered to, and that is inline with their poll promises. The media and the opposition parties don't have to worry about AAP in a self-destruct mode, as AAP seem to doing a pretty good job of doing the damage on it's own. AAP and its leadership although the heroes who won against INC in the heart of the country, have not been able to ride the public support and establish an alternative to the incumbent government. The enthusiastic crowds and supporting public, and a lot of promise to deliver simple things to the common man; all the expectations from Indians world over; all of these are in limbo because of the ineptitude of Kejriwal and his team. While AAP is still its infancy in running a government, it simply is unable to convert the power and public support into achievements. It would be a shame for AAP to simply fold in a few weeks and become an experiment in politics.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Hit Movie Material

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

India makes great movies with the hero fighting the corruption and bad guys (probably in about 99%) in just about every story. The fight against the bad guys and corruption in the society is glorified with gory and great detail in just about every movie in every language we have in India. We are celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, and also we celebrate the bashing of the bad guys along with the celebration 100 years of Indian cinema. Not just Indians but world over there undeniable connection to cinema and fighting the bad guys, and in almost 100% of the movies the good guy comes out clean (unless you are picking off-beat movies or someone who is making them for other than masses).

It is not just the movies, but our literature and folk lore to our history and philosophy; all of them typically uphold good verses evil, and the good guys although, might suffer temporarily, always come out well at the end of the story. The irony of today's life in the great nation is that these good guys are continuing to remain in fiction and celluloid and have not been appearing in real life. While we love to compare someone to Rama for displaying virtues which are uncommon to the society, and constantly name children with names of great souls, we simply don't live or let other live in virtues we expect from others. It is simple to say no one else is following the rules and why we should follow the? The virtue of truth and applying rules of truth to life is difficult when the whole society is simply not paying attention to being truthful.

We read about Rama and Gandhi and many thousands of our mythological and also contemporary leaders who have lived on our great land. Whenever we get a chance we will use their names generously, but when the time comes to application of their life and times and ideology; we will simply leave it to the others to follow them and not us. Just that everyone in the country think the same and no one wants to follow the path to a successful and principle driven life. The life and times of our past (great souls) is simply relegated to discussion and prayer and is never applied to real life.

One of the greatest example of the 20th century outside of Mahatma Gandhi life and times is of Shridi Sai, his life and times. Sai has millions of followers who sing and pray multiple times a day and hear his life stories of simplicity and sacrifice with great reverence. Just that once they come out of the place of worship the simplicity and sacrifice are quickly forgotten. Mahatma Gandhi has his name on a road in just about every city, town and dwelling all across India, but none seem too bothered about his examples of sacrifice and simplicity. Great nation with great examples of leaders and gurus, and people showing great reverence to their life and times, but none following the footsteps of the great souls.

We definitely make great movies and television series on the life and times of our ancestors and men of great deeds and just about all of us watch them with great devotion and excitement and anticipation, and definitely take the celluloid to heart. But the 100 years of Indian cinema has not brought positive changes to our hearts nor to our society, rather the systems, politicians, bureaucrats, managers and just about everyone who has the power to just do their job have only become more and more insensitive to their responsibilities and encourage corruption. Each year the instances and value of the corruption becomes greater and great, while the common man suffers from the stolen prosperity and also the accountability of those who are in positions of power. Unfortunately our saviors are relegated to the silver screen or the small screen, and our prayers remain in the place of worship.

In a culture that has history of the glory of peace and prosperity, the rationale of a society without prejudice and a place for communal harmony and life of tolerance has been relegated to celluloid. We pray and reminisce and we take the name of the great souls as if we believe in their life and time, but we simply leave it at that and for the silver screen, but seldom attempt to practice their preaching's in real life. It is too easy to watch the tales of virtue and elimination of evil on screen, so very difficult to follow in reality.