Monday, May 26, 2014

Modified

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The 15th Prime Minister of India was sworn in today in front of 4000 plus invited politicians and other dignitaries. India witnessed first of it's kind swearing in ceremony that is typically fashioned by the western countries. It was quite well revived by the public and the politicians, both and conducted quite well. To start with inviting the leaders of neighboring countries, along with the elected politicians of India was a wonderful gesture of seeking their brotherhood in dealing with national security.

Prior to and between and after the swearing in ceremony, Narendra Modi continues to reach out the public via his favorite medium; the social media, and the message is the same; this is our country and we will have to look forward to making it better and better, and I can only do this with your help, support and blessings. The public continues to hear the same line constantly, and it has not changed after the successfully completed elections. It is like music to the ears to hear this constantly, as the powerful seldom will want to include the common man in their plans after getting to the powerful post they aspire with the help of the voters. Although it is his first day in office, the tome has not changed in communicating with the common man.

Looks promising on day one with things to come quickly and what can be expected by the Modi Sarkar. It is wonderful to see the trimmed size of the ministries to start with, along with the people who he has chosen to lead the different ministries. The just sworn in ministry is about half the size of the last one, with a whole bunch of consolidation in the new batch of ministries. It is a great start in the sense of two major issues that have plagued Indian politics. The size of the ministries avoids duplication of efforts and also management of resources. The immediate need of the country is good governance and proper planning and execution. By slimming the ministries, you automatically downsize the hands reaching into the funds available, and by placing people who are with limited need for new money in charge of the ministries, you will see the flow of funds going into the projects rather than pockets.

There is no guarantee that smaller number of power centers will directly equate to scam free environment, but it certainly will help the PM to manage them a bit better, and also appointing people who have no interest in money (similar to the PM himself) will make way for better management of resources, and PM himself will be held accountable for promising a scam free government, and it is for certain that he will be held accountable for keeping clean governance.

While anticipating that there will be no pocketing by the new team of ministers, it is also highly unlikely that the system will change overnight and tomorrow morning we will wake up to the Indian government running with 100% money free management. It is impossible in any society to have a 100% compliance to not having hands out for crumbs. The action of Narendra Modi in trimming the size of his cabinet, and his choice of people in the decision making roles certainly adds credence to a cabinet that will see more money going into projects rather than pockets.

An interesting part of the life of politicians and bureaucrats as that they drink a lot and eat a lot just about everyday, and many of them include their family and friends at the expense of someone who comes to them for getting approvals for projects and plans. The new PM is a vegetarian and also a teetotaler. It will definitely impact the social scenario where wining and dining is a norm. What will all the guys do now if they are not drinking and eating most of the evening and night? Perhaps they will work a bit more and get a bit more quality time with what they do? It is an interesting phenomenon with a leader who works 16 or more hours a day, and want a business like discipline in managing the country. Whatever might be the outcome the cost of booze and food for sure is bound to come down and the tired faces of drunk bureaucrats and politicians will start to appear far more relaxed and focused.

The idea of using social media and involving the public is a fantastic opportunity for politicians. Much of India is young and the young ones use a smart phone or a computer. They are easy to reach and easy to mobilize and easy to influence, and the new PM is a master at utilizing the social media. This is inexpensive and quick and also very effective to communicate with just about everyone with a few key strokes. Once again this also saves a lot of time and effort and definitely resources of the government and PM himself.

Things are quickly modified in Delhi and India and the rest of the world is watching, and definitely anticipating good things to come from the new government. Narendra Modi is definitely demonstrating the will to implement what he promised in his stomp speeches in getting elected as the leader of India. With the best of intentions and best of ideas that are for the best of Indians, he is certainly started well and quickly off the gate to tackle the billion people's aspirations. Jai Hind.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

NaMo

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The largest democracy has chosen a new leader in a democratically conducted election, and with little or no tension for the country, and the country has given his party the majority the BJP needs without the help of any affiliated parties. The ruling party was decimated with less than 10% of electoral votes as the electorate across the country was not willing to listen to the SOS of the ruling party. If we forget the constant bickering and name calling before and during the elections, the people of the country clearly wanted a new leader, leading the nation to a better tomorrow, and we have Narendra Modi ready and willing and able for the action.

The outgoing party did not lack the intellect and experience to lead the nation, but it simply did not function as a government. The family controls kept the actions needed at bay, or on hold and at most times and became detrimental to the nations well being. The scams and looting of public wealth was unabated and did nothing but just enrich just a few, and most of them are fighting the courts and justice system while their party was still in office. Irrespective of who the party was the last ten years of Indian elected leadership was the worst representation of the national interests, and irrespective of who was against them in the 2014 elections, they would have trashed them.

Narendra Modi was and is a gifted communicator, and a great hand at using the electronic media. His twitter feeds are almost instant and keeps his followers around the globe instantly connected to him, and his thought process and also his agenda. He is also quite gifted at keeping to his agenda, and never hesitates to speak it out. His tireless campaign in the 2014 elections agave a great opportunity for him to get out to most parts of the country, and also reach out the Indians all across the world. The results of the elections are a reflection of not just people wanting change, but also his ability to reach out to all people of India. Intellectuals and farmers and workers and young and old and everyone followed him quickly and with enthusiasm, and the results clearly reflect that public's interest in making a change in the government. He was able to articulate the ideas of what is needed to Indians vocally and in believable language, while the ruling party was constantly using the same name and constantly attacking the man.

Irrespective of what Narendra Modi does in the next five years, the two things that are in universal agreement.
  1. He is not interested in money. This will be the most dramatic and most important step in governing India. Narendra Modi has no need to money and he is not interested in making billions by scamming and looting the public coffers. This is reflected in his actions as a public figure and is constantly documented by every news outlet. The vast resources that have been pocketed by people in power would have greatly helped in nation's continued development in both human and infrastructure. He will certainly not get his hands dirty, and will also make sure that the people who are working under him will remain controlled. While eliminating graft 100% is difficult in a society that has its hands out at every nook and corner, Narendra Modi will definitely make a huge mark in placing controls to limit the graft business.
  2. He is humble and respectful to his Mother, and also to the elders. You never see him forget to acknowledge and respect the elders, and the few visits with his elderly mother is the same as most Indians visiting their elderly parents; just love and respect. Now that he is about to lead India, he still has the same demeanor and still sits in a plastic chair and looks happy seeing his mother, and she certainly shows equal happiness just holding the man.

Here is a common man, who worked hard and worked diligently to reach the highest elected office of the largest democracy on earth, and is constantly articulating the vast and untapped future of India. We can look forward to abetter government and a better future for the nation. Just to see someone like Narendra Modi reach the pinnacle of a successful political career and still maintain his roots and be grounded, should be a great story for all Indians to tell and learn from.

Commenting on the name “NaMo” chosen as a tag, probably was without insight by Narendra Modi himself or whosoever came up with the acronym, but for south Indians, specially the followers of Lord Balaji, “NAMO VENKATESA” is the devotional and heartfelt addressing to the Lord Venkateswara. My sincere hope is that Lord Balaji is looking down on Narendra Modi with kindness and blessings. Here is to wishing the new Prime Minister the very best of the time in Office and wish all he will aspire to do for the good of all Indians to come true. Jai Hind.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exit Polls

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

As of this evening on 12th of May 2014, the Indian general election were still in full swing and going into the final phase of polls, with results just about four days away. It is almost certain that the largest democracy will have a new leadership at the center, and also in several state and local governments. More than 60% of the Indian voters exercised their voting rights, which is a record for India.

Indian exit polls at this time and during the elections have gone through some changes, but by and large have reflected similar outcome that the government in Delhi will be a new one with a new prime minister. As much discounting you can do with the Indian polls as possible, they have been projecting the Modi wave all along, and specially in the BJP states, and Modi himself has shown how to campaign and how to present himself as a national leader, and how to respond to whatever is thrown at him. While Modi conducted himself with great finesse of a seasoned politician on the national stage, the other national leaders simply keep abusing him and whatever little personal life Narendra Modi has, which itself is very little to complain about.

The elections have been by and large free of violence, except the incumbent party throwing a lot of baggage at Modi, and claiming that they need a few more years to implement development programs. While the programs are very much needed in every part of the country with every aspect of life of the common man, INC never really believed that it needed to do anything constructive across the country to help the needy, and purely relies of the name Gandhi. It is probable that the time has run out on the name recognition except for the real Gandhi, the Mahatma.

The exit polls during and after elections should have noticed the Americans demeanor to the announcement of Modi as the prime minister candidate earlier in the year. USA is run pretty much my pollsters and polls. When you saw the US ambassador to India (Nancy Powell) visit with Modi at his home right after he was declared the PM candidate of BJP lead alliance, it should have been a great indicator of things to come in the just concluded elections. Americans are quite good at conducting formal and informal polls, and they are also quite good at political predictions. When Nancy Powell met Modi, who in fact has been on the crap list of the USA for more than a dozen years, that too days after his being declared as the PM candidate, Indians watching should have guessed that his chances of becoming the PM are bright. Right after that Nancy Powell announced her resignation from her long term diplomatic role, and this should have been another indicator that the Americans were fairly certain that Modi will become the PM of the largest democracy on earth, and there will be no way other than reach out to him. With removing the old team of diplomats, and having them reach out the prospective PM just before they declare their resignation from diplomacy, it should have been a good indicator for things to come with the elections about to come in India. My though process is not far fetched looking at historical behavior of the Americans. They always poll and poll and also rely on polls for making decisions to manage public and international policy.

By no means my thought process is scientific, and it is to make only observations after the elections, and also continuously looking at the Indian polls. The Indian polls are 100% with issues as politicians and pollsters both make wide accusations and wildest guesses, which are far from reality. India is also a country where money flows when elections come, but most of the public is smart enough to accept whatever money or gifts they are given (some times negotiated based on votes) but vote what they feel like in the booths. So, listening to exit polling results is really a crap shoot.

But the actions of the Americans should have been a great indicator for things to come in the elections, and the bet's should have been placed on Modi, rather than throwing money at people and wasting billions on trying to make people listen to never ending promises which get repeated every five years. The guess is that the polls will be right this time with Modi's Sarkar in Delhi for next five years, and if he keeps up with what he did in Gujarat, perhaps more five year terms. Here is wishing all Indians a very best of government and governance. Jai Hind.




Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Not Enough Money

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com.

Elections of 2014 are almost over in India, and in about a week we will have counted towards a new government to lead the massive democracy for next five years. This elections have a bit more sizzle than the last one, although till date the directed attacks have been limited to verbal duels, and apparently there has been no loss of life in the long and drawn out elections. Each of the contesting parties and candidates have been promising everything on earth to people, just as they did in the previous election and the one before and so forth, and pretty much everyone promises all things for free and everything for everyone.

With absolute authority and hundred percent straight face they will swear on everything and anything that they will do the impossible for their constituents. From freebies to loan waivers, interest free loans to outright abolishing of past loans, all things that are imaginable are absolutely free and immediately done, once voted into power. As usual politicians both the incumbents and the wannabees both are making promises to no end, and tall claims of transparent and frugal management of the future. Each candidate and each party are spending money that is beyond a reasonable comprehension. For all the money that is going into the elections and all the candidates that are spending the fortunes in getting elected, the final call from the voters is almost done, and in about a week the winners will be planning for what they do for next five years and the losers will be licking their wounds and planning on what they will have to do in five years to get back into the action.

No matter how we look at the elections, the cost of them is massive for the country which is always clamoring for resources. There is a limit to how much each candidate can spend, but the restrictions certainly doesn't stop the candidates from spending as much as possible to attract the voters to the polling booth, and casting the vote for the right candidate. The money although is flowing all around, the influence of money is limited in the final votes leading to the election of candidates. The money could have been well spent on social-economic programs that could well lead to attracting voters in the long run, but the candidates seldom think of long term, but just what they need to do at elections time.

The value of elections is enormous to the retail and other businesses, outside of the liquor and food businesses, the travel, clothing, advertisements, posters and news, and whatever other means of transportation and advertisements, all of them become a very active at elections time. The money flow also allows the people to spend the free money they get from candidates back into the purchasing things that are basic necessities. So, the flow of money is a good thing in helping the retail businesses.

What happens after the elections is the real issue for both the candidates and electorate. What will the elected candidates do and how will they fulfill the promises made to the electorate? There is not enough revenues to meet the current demands of the public, and all the freebies announced during the elections will cost much more than what is available. The cost of elections and money spent by the candidates will be paramount in the minds of both the winning candidates and those who lost. Their primary concern will be how to recoup the money they spent and some more, which will precede any people related programs. Where will all the money come from? And how will the money be recouped? Where will the money come for any people programs and development of the nation? What will we do to handle the immediate and future needs of ever growing population? So many questions, all leading to the where will the resources come from and how will the nation handle the ever increasing demands?

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 ...