Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bitter Medicine

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Just about a month into the new government in New Delhi, they had to increase the rail charges with the notification that the charges are needed to fix the balance of payments. The opposition and the general public immediately cried foul and want them reversed, and both the increase in fares and the outcry are absolutes in our society. The opposition outcry on the price increases and the demands to withdraw are almost certain in any democratic society as they attract voters sympathy to the parties demanding the repeal of the price increases, but here what good will it do as the party in power has almost five more years to present its case to the public next time they need to ask for votes. Five years of power in absolute majority is a life time, and the hard decisions to increase prices will be long forgotten if the public sees the benefit and utility of the pricing plans.

It is impossible to keep things static while we have exponential growth in population which demands huge increases in services and benefits. Everyone knows that they are demanding something that the population as a whole must bear the burden. There is no doubt in democratic countries looking at meeting the demands of the general public, and only way is to make sure that the balance of payments; revenues and costs are a match. In most of the global democracies, the revenues are typically falling short of the cost of managing the countries, and no one single country which has a large population is immune to the budget deficits. The gap between revenues and spending gets bigger and bigger in in the case of the good old USA, it is more than ten trillion dollars (just imagine how many zeros after one is a trillion dollars) and even in the USA, people constantly bitch about any talk of paying for the benefits, but constantly demand more and more services. Democracies at work, which argue about the management of the country, and rightfully so, but no one want to balance a budget.

India is a wild child with not yearly plans, but developing five year plans. I have a personal story which is from sometime in the 1990's when I attended a financial planning program conducted by Dr. Mike Kami, and he used the GAP analysis for budgeting in India in Nehru's government. GAP is simply the difference between revenues and expenditures, and in India's case each five year plan, would have a GAP, and the Indians never accounted for the old plan's GAP, but simply developed a new five year plan, without including the deficit for the past into developing the new five year plan. Just imagine if Nehruvian policies are constantly applied what could be the real GAP in Indian budgeting? I have no idea if India continues to do this in the current planning, and if they do we would have by far exceeded the costs by any revenues we might be generating in current day. After all these years I still remember Dr. Kami and the example of GAP analysis in Nehru's time.

Modi government definitely will have a good deal of time before they have to hit the road again and ask for votes. Modi has come out and already stated that some of the decisions that the government will have to take, and will take will be bitter medicine, which will turn out to be for the good of the country, and he will certainly bring his policies and positions back to the people in five years, and he is also certain that they will not only benefit from the decision being taken by the new government but people will appreciate these difficult decisions but will also appreciate them and will vote his party back into power. Probably wise political moves n early stages of the new government as these decisions are warranted to meet the demands of the ever increasing population, and if they are close to meeting the demands of the people, they would only remember the benefits of the infrastructure, rather than a five year old price increase.

Utilizing the public resources well, avoiding duplication and stagnancy in decision making, and avoiding looting of the public property will go a long way in handling the national budgets and demands, and also the value of good management will certainly show in the overall economic growth of the nation. Modi who is still quite new in the office is pushing hard to bring the work culture to work hard, and make decisions to positively impact the public needs; and if he continues to do what he says, we should see a better management of India budgets, and perhaps eliminate the age old GAP of Indian financial planning. The bitter medicine might be the cure of age old problem of Five Year Planning that never accounted for the history of poor financial planning of the country.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Did People Of India Forget Bharath Mata?

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

India can be a dangerous place to be a girl” screams a headline on the internet. What is going on with our people? Everyday we read and hear of atrocities committed by mobs against women; mass rapes and then killing them. The killings are beyond comprehension on small child girls, who were never given a chance of growing up to be women, and then brutally killed. The news headlines are full of these unbelievable atrocities committed by groups of hooligans and there seems to be no end to the rapes followed by murder against the youngest of the girls. There is simply outcry in the media and no one seem to follow through with the capital punishment to the rouges who are constantly indulging in satanic attitude towards our own children.

Mother, Sister, Daughter; no one seems to be spared in the eyes of the hooligans. Just find a women alone and then simply abuse them. Irrespective of the capital city or small town or village or wherever the women folks go they are being subjected to the inhuman behavior of the men of the country, and when the atrocities are inflicted on the women, they are either killed or subjected to life long harassment by the society. For a nation of more than a billion, and democratic we are a nation of imbeciles and idiots who continue to either engage in atrocious behavior or live with such idiotic attitude towards our own women. We claim a lot of things such as largest democracy, blah, blah, blah. We can't claim a safe place for our own women, some crappy society that tolerates rape and murder of women.

These atrocities have become common and everyday happenings in India. They are publicized more than any government programs or business accomplishments and sensationalized in every form of the media in India and latched on by the foreign press and receive a great deal of coverage for a couple of days and then people move on with life. No one knows what happened to the rapists and killers, we already know they killed helpless women, but no one knows what happened to the criminals. There is absolutely no follow-up for what has been done to those who committed the most heinous crimes, just that they are publicized as if they have done something of national importance. None of their crimes are followed-up until the punishment is meted out to them, and then how they were punished publicized, so people know that there are consequences for rape and murder. There is nothing that shows what has been done these criminals, and nothing done to either prohibit or dis-entice future harassment of women.

There are no immediate recommendations to the national evil and harassment of women. Just punish and hanging the rapists may simply not change the inbred attitude towards the women folks. The media coverage to the extreme on each of these reported incidents only stops at displaying the plight of the deceased, rather than what will happen to the rapist. Crime and punishment, should be a part and parcel of the largest democratic country. The country also must start with providing the dignity of women in every aspect of life, not just show case a few areas of importance and excellence. Each and every women must be accorded the safety and security that is demanded in a democratic society, along with the capital punishment to anyone intruding into their modesty. Life is quite simple when everyone is accorded same safety, security and respect, and the men of India need to accord the same to every women that they extend to their own mother, sister, daughter and wife, then only these atrocities will start to become back page material and stop being front page news. We can never have a perfect society, but we don't have to have our women live in fear of the society. There many are simple ways to stop and also deter the abuse, and the government and the public should start taking steps to stop the atrocities against women. We first start with according the same respect to all women that we do to our own, although this is a broad statement assuming all men are respectful to their own families. The government and civic organizations make efforts to provide sanitation and public facilities where women will not be subjected to exposure at anytime to unsavory characters in the society. Crime and punishment that it demands and making sure each incident is followed-up through its entirety, and not just publicize the rape and just sensationalize the incident and nothing after that. Government can certainly take the steps to better facilities, education, communications and infrastructure, along with legal remedies to handle atrocities against women. May be we should all begin with respect to our own first, and smile and appreciate every mother, sister and daughter, it will be a start to a better Bharath.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Master Stroke – Maa Ganga

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The new government in India is a couple of weeks old, and has been taking some bold decisions quickly, and intelligently. One has to wonder why the Indian politicians did not think of the issue before, and why was this issue ignored for so long on such an important part of Indian life which has been sacred form the beginning of life. Congress has represented the state of UP for generations and Nehru's have great affinity to Allahabad, but still they could not push for a free flowing, clean and prosperous Ganga, but here is Narendra Modi and his cabinet drawing a gigantic plan for not just a clean Ganga, but also a prosperous one. Master stroke number One for Modi's government and governance.

No river is as sacred and holy as Ganga for Hindus, and it is for ever been a pathway to salvation for the people of Hindustan. It has been abused and used but continues to flow and continues to provide the divine salvation for millions of people. One dip in the holy river washes away the mortal sins of people, as it continues to be the belief of Hindus. No matter how people look at the great river, it is majestic and magnanimous despite the constant dumping and pollution. It is probably the greatest river on earth in human devotion and holiness.

The river for centuries has been abused and has began to show the effects of human intolerance and human greed, although it still continues to be majestic and still a major source of life to hundreds of millions of Indians. From the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal for hundreds of miles and millions and millions of people it is truly a mother which gives with love. We have constantly abused the river (as we do with everything else) and irrespective of how majestic the Ganga is, it has started to show the impact of human waste and human greed.

Narendra Modi won the Varanasi MP seat along with Baroda, but has retained the Kasi platform as his choice of electorate. A wonderful and wise gesture to the heartland of Hindus and the great significance of Maa Ganga the river and also the city of Benares. He has always campaigned to the theme of Maa Ganga and his commitment to make it vibrant and virtuous as it has always been and bring the river back to its past glory. The announcement on making Ganga go back to its past glory, become clean and prosperous is a master stroke for the life of this government and his governance. There is no bigger joy for Hindustan to see Ganga preserved and revered for generations to come, so that the glory of the river and the glory of its banks and the importance of the great Indian cities that have been a part of the river banks can be forever be glorified and revered.

There is always a cost of managing massive enterprises and a clean Ganga will be as massive an enterprise as it comes. The cost of clean Ganga is never measured in money, as the river supports lives of hundreds of millions of people along its way from Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. If you place the human value on the top of the religious significance of the great river, no amount of money can be spent of keeping the river clean and full of life and flowing through the vast expanse of the nation. Here again Modi's government will use the national support and national importance to rebuild and bring back the glory of the past. Every Indian will be happy to help do a little bit or a lot in helping with the clean Ganga project. The companies both big and small will come forward to help develop and help improve the environment in and around the majestic river, and there will be no dearth of support for the rebuilding of the river in the country and in the world. Since the time the government has announced the plan to revitalize the river, there has been nothing but praise and support for the massive undertaking, and the spirit of the nation is already well behind the well being of the river.

Why has any other Indian government to date placed importance to the most scared of the Indian Rivers? We can only think that they must have thought of the issues, but they did not take it as a priority number one as this government did. Massive plans for religious platforms, and tourist development, and commercial planning, and power generation, all along with a clean river is a wonderful master stroke for the new government. There is nothing to stop the nation from doing this and anything else it aspires to do, and starting off with the Ganga project is nothing but an endearing plan for the nation. Jai Hind.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Five Year Plan

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The new BJP government has a five year tenure and should have the ability to set the agenda and also drive the agenda for India. It has the votes needed and power to plan and deliver to whatever plans that it can develop and already has developed. It is only the second week of the new government, but a lot of discussion on every available medium that covers India (including yours truly) has optimistic opinions on what Narendra Modi will drive in his tenure as the PM of India.

Just by judging from the reactions of the Pakistanis, it is apparent that Modi has started to drive home his agenda, and they don't like the developments and all of a sudden a democratically elected PM of Pakistan looks like a school boy. Modi must be doing something right to get the attention his is, and not just Pakistanis, but other international media seem to have very optimistic opinions on what he might do in his tenure as the head man of India. I do too, along with all my friends and colleagues who want a better managed India. He certainly has the people's backing and support to do something extraordinary for the massive democracy, and he keeps stating and restating the obvious; development.

India certainly needs development in every aspect. Not just with building infrastructure, and education and jobs and taking care of poor and providing sanitation facilities and cleaning the rivers, and attending to the diverse needs needs of the people and the vast variations in requirements of people and process. It is a massive undertaking, and Modi is the right man for the job. He has no interest in money and he has no worldly affiliations except a couple of suitcases, but has a lot of people believing in what he can do, and overall they are ready to receive the benefits of the mandate given to him. It is no small task to handle the varying interests and requirements, but the new PM seems to be taking them in stride and working on what he said while he was asking for the votes. The difficulty for him is not just the size of the population and their needs, but the entrenched attitude to scams, bribes, looting and dishonesty disparity in the society and with life in general. Indians want someone else to do it and will always want the other person to do things (specially good deeds) rather than they taking the initiative (This is critical of my own folks but it is just the way it is with most of the Indians).

Modi needs not just plans for India's development, but also plans for people development. He needs to impart on them that society as a whole needs to be appreciated, rather than individual gains. People needs to respect each other, and woman needs to be cherished. There are so many ills in the society that needs to be addressed outside of just development, but Modi can perhaps drive the social development along with economic development.

India and Indians need a much longer plan, rather than a five year plan. The life of a nation can be devoid of selfishness and divisiveness. The nation can be prosperous by respecting its own and embracing all of its people. We don't need a communist society, rather a true democracy which treats people well first and development comes with the societal equality. Modi certainly represents a life time of simplicity and a drive for development. While the word development is rather loosely used in the Indian context, he certainly represents a generation of simplicity and striving for societal improvement. Irrespective of how the opposition parties and foreign media presents him, he is different in approaching the people issues. First few days are a refreshing change from the years after congress government. Next five years will certainly be interesting for India and the world. Jai Hind.

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 ...