Sunday, April 26, 2015

Netaji’s Files
Vasu Reddy From Chicago

He has been reported to be in a plane crash and perished in 1945.  He might have decided to be under wraps since 1945 and wanted to live in peace and quiet and far from the politics of the world.  We really don’t know what happened to him.  Before he disappeared Netaji Subash Chandra Bose has left behind a legacy that is good for many life times to come.  With each passing year, his legacy gets bigger and bigger and more enigmatic.  India continues to be intrigued and continued to be interested about Netaji and what really happened to him.

The way the successive Indian governments have handled his files, which are under lock and key only adds more to the intrigue to Netaji’s life after his disappearance.  In 2015, with INC under a very minor opposition as a political party, and the new government of BJP, which came into power with the platform of reforms and openness; still hold Netaji’s files a secret, and still is holding them under lock and key.  The much over blown nonsense is constantly used as a reason; sensitive information is in the files and it can hurt international relations.

It’s the biggest “crock of shit” to say that a country of more than a billion wants to make public the files on its independence heroes after more than 70 some years, and the government in 2015 keeps using the term “hurting international relations” as an excuse to keep Netaji’s files a secret.  Indians must be living in a country run by biggest bunch of idiots or the files must have information on India’s most important people who did some really stupid stuff.  Indians have always wanted to know the truth to be told, however bitter it might be.  India today night be the only country using the nonsense excuse of “hurting international relations” as a reason to keep whatever files that exist in its possession on Netaji.

One possibility is that there are really no files of importance that exist, or these files might be simply some of the personal communications between leaders at that time expressing opinions or asking each other favors.  Whatever this information is, if it exists, was between people of an era where history has already recorded their deeds and experiences, and all most all of these folks are no longer with us.  Not only the people who are no longer with us, and many of the governments have also under gone major changes across the world.  We no longer live in a world of secrecy, although our mindset might not be any more open than it was in1945.  The only difference might be we can no longer hide anything in the world.

On almost daily basis we read about Netaji’s files, his policies and politics and many new tidbits on what he did and how he did.  Lately some published article stated that he wanted India to be under dictatorship for a couple of decades.  It is clearly illogical to think that any of India’s independence fighters would want to liberate the country and then turn the country to a dictator.  In 1945 the world had a lot of experience with dictators, and for sure Netaji would know the consequences of a dictatorial regime.  While something new is constantly appearing in print, it is hard to support any suppositions on what was being thought of in the time when India was under the British rule.  From whatever information and documentation that is already in public domain, outside of personal recollection of people who were a part of the era, rest of the new information is simply supposition unless it has documentation to authenticate the information.    

The only documents that are under lock and key of the Indian government and may be with the British government (if they really exist) are the only documents that might shed light on the so called national interest (whatever that might be) and tell us what might be the information that has been kept so secret about Netaji.

Whatever these files are, if they exist, the government should simply scan them and make them public.  Netaji or whosoever is in the files and whatever information that has been kept under wraps for so many years, will simply be news for a day and people will move on with their lives.  The truth is never going to hurt Netaji’s legacy or anyone else.

Monday, April 20, 2015

India’s Heroes

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

India has a lot of men and women who gave their entire life and sometimes life until their death to the cause of India’s independence.  Hundreds of thousands sacrificed their entire life to get the British out of Hindustan.  While Gandhi and Nehru represented India globally along with a few others who became the political mainstream of India post its independence.  The list of freedom fighters who gave their life fighting the oppression and occupation is so long and so distinguished that if is disrespectful to all of us and to their memory not to think of every one of them.  There is no better cause they fought for and no way to repay their contributions except we think well of them.  We pay our respect just remembering them.

Bhagat Singh, even today brings pride to all Indian hearts.  Sardar Patel the Iron Man even today remembered for his deft politics and policies.  Alluri Sita Rama Raju is still remembered for his fearlessness in facing the occupying forces.  Netaji continues to be a legend with his deeds to all Indians.  The list of each of our heroes is endless as the occupation was long suffering for a vast and greater India.

A fairly large volume of publishing are available from many renowned writers on our heroes and heroines of the modern India.  Many of our freedom fighters before and after 1947 wrote personal memoirs and some even went on to write a great deal about their life and times.  All these are great reminders for generations of people who followed the great souls and their sacrifice leading to the independence that we enjoy today.  These works remind us of the great sacrifices and will always be fresh in our minds of their service and sacrifice.

Many of our independence fighters wrote their own memories, biographies and a great many books imparting their wisdom to the rest of the world.  Also a great deal has been written and continued to be written about these martyrs.  We continue to write about them; eulogizing, analyzing, recreating, explaining and taking a look at their life and times again and again.  There is continued appreciation for the independence moment and the participants of the movement, and the stories of great sacrifice and great courage and conviction keep being told.  The time it was is continued to be told to the generations that have followed the nation after the independence.

For the citizens who are enjoying the independence (the largest functioning democracy in the world) today the stories of our heroes will always be alluring, intriguing and fascinating.  While we live in the age of instant news, TV, radio, internet and instant messaging; we take it for granted that we will know and find out about all that is happening around us and around the world.  We are literally force fed the information from around the world; the good, the bad and a lot of ugly stuff.  We probably forget almost all of it as quickly as we hear it.  We have access to information from across the globe on a 24/7/365 basis.  There is absolutely nothing secret anymore.  Someone is watching, recording and almost instantly publishing the information for everyone to see and read.  Most times it’s fleeting but it’s out there for everyone to see.

The generations of freedom fighters did not enjoy the instant reach we have today with communications.  Often they had to write and send messages, and in many instances hand written or typed that were sent to each other.  Some of them have survived the many years after the fact show us that the effort they put into communicate and transmit simple information.  For us to look at these messages today and imagine the thought process of each of these documents is to read into their mind of our heroes.  We probably are seeing only a fraction of these messages and correspondence that survived the ravages of war and time, and the time since their actual being.

To think of the revolution today, that was played out by the heroes of 1900’s would be unimaginable.  Today even a very simple message can be sent out to billions of people in an instant.  The responses are almost as instant.  We live in a different time and different place than in the 1900’s.  We let our hero’s life and times be as is and only try to reflect on their courage and sacrifice that lead us to where we are today.  They lived in a different time.  They endured occupation and hardships which we can only imagine.  Whatever they had to do, whatever action they had to take, whatever sacrifices they made, whatever actions they had to take; all of them were instrumental in August 15, 1947.  All of them are heroes; young and old, with or without names and where ever they were.  Jai Hind.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mandating Balanced Spending

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The governments must adopt balanced budgets as a part of electoral and governing process.  All democratic governments must make constitutional amendments to adopt balanced budgets and also eliminate the debt that is being carried on their books.

Countries, states, municipalities, cities and everyone that represents an electorate must be mandated to adopt balanced and debt free budget.

The United States despite its vast resources and great wealth has had very few presidents that delivered balanced budgets or surplus revenues since its formation.  Just about every president since George Washington has added to the budgets deficit of the nation, and the current president has not helped much to deflate the budgets.  As we elect a new president and the government adopts a new budget, the deficits are growing in trillions (only the super intelligent or super computers can keep track of zeros in trillions) and there is no end to borrowing and increasing the debt ceiling and the trillions keep multiplying on a regular basis.  The cost of servicing the borrowed money is the largest line item on the liabilities chart of the national budget.

Our homes, our cars, any possessions we acquire on debt and can’t make payments on time get repossessed by the lending institutions.  As individuals and businesses when we can’t repay the debt and interest, and especially when we can’t pay the tax man we get taken to task.  Just about every average citizen has once or more fallen into the debt trap.  Many face bankruptcy and debt and tax burden beyond their capabilities to just make ends meet, and pay for the consequences of living beyond their means.  What we can’t afford to pay for can’t be ours.

But we individuals elect governments and allow the governments to spend without discretion.  We allow the governments to rake-up as much debt as possible and add to the future burden for us and for generations to come.  Why should there be any difference in the ability to spend for an elected government that we don’t have as individuals?  We elect the government, but we allow them to blow the budgets year after year, that too at every level of government that represent us; the common man.

There is certainly complexity to running a government that has both macro and micro economic factors that gets into the mix that a family, individual or a business doesn’t have to worry about.  But the governments typically pander with promises that cost money outside of what resources it has to the voters to get elected again and again.  As we all know the leaders constantly pandering to vote banks by making promises beyond what the budgets can afford, and each successive elected government widens the deficits.  We can certainly learn from history that politics of pandering make commitments that create budget shortfalls.  Countries such as the USA also pander to other nations in the name of protecting the national interests.  This protection of nation interests create huge and unplanned expenditures resulting in military or aid spending, and these costs decimate any kind of planned spending.

Also in human nature is looking for unlimited social benefits and the government to provide them.  Along with schools, roads, medicine, power and resource management and protecting the nation and its global interests, we certainly want the best of everything in life, and typically don’t want to pay for it.  The states, cities, counties and local governments also would like to have the best of everything, all including pandering to the vote banks in their electorate.  With every election cycle the pandering to the electorate busts the budgets.  To satisfy the vote banks the governments borrow more and bust the promise of keeping the costs in check.  We don’t mind large cities going bankrupt, and some politicians might even fancy the thought of bankruptcy as appealing as it eliminates the liabilities, so the government can start again and start creating another massive hole in someone’s pocket.  While it might be a prudent for an individual or a business to reevaluate the balance sheets for survival, governments doing the same decimates the lives of its citizens and workers, including their retirements.

We have a history of mismanagement, electoral pandering, vote bank politics, ignorance and above everything wasting and mismanagement with public coffers.  We also witness the drama of public officials displaying little regard for managing public funds.  We, the people constantly watch this drama play out every time we look at our local, state and central governments trying to borrow more and more.  At the end of the day it is us, the people who will ultimately pay for the whole charade.

Just imagine; if the cost of interest is no longer a line item on the budgets.  That money can go towards taking care of us now, and saving for the future.  Just imagine the cost of money as interest verses interest earnings on savings.

Its time now and has been for a while to balance the budgets.  It is time to save for us now and for the future.  It is time to mandate balanced budgets and right to govern for future prosperity.  It is time to mandate for constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Civil Disobedience
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Our own Mahatma in the early 1900 thru India’s independence in 1947 and until his death in the hands of another Indian, and Dr. King in the middle of the last century until his death in the hands of another American and Nelson Mandela for the better part of the last century and then becoming the president of South Africa after the apartheid regime; all along with many other leaders practiced civil disobedience to make a point against the human atrocities or human failings.  When they marched against a social issue or agitated peacefully against atrocities of others on their fellow beings, they really were not elected leaders or politicians.  These great souls were leaders without office or elections, they were leaders of humanity simply looking for equality and justice to their fellow beings.  Each of them and many others along with them, and before and even after them who practice non-violence and civil disobedience were making a statement about the indifference of one community to the other while living and coexisting in the same space.  Their message and life was simple that treat all human beings equally.

All the great men we talk about and read about, and constantly refer to are souls of great determination and human strength that simply allowed them to be extremely patient in communicating their message; we are all equal and let us be treated equally.  There are many millions of interpretations to their life and work, but in essence their message of peace and coexistence was quite firm and quite direct.  Every other example they set to the rest of us was peace and equality to everyone.

Their life and times were in different political and geopolitical environment, and faced vastly different environmental and public challenges.  They did not have the www or 24/7/365 media covering their messages.  They were the messengers reaching out to one person at a time and practicing what they were preaching.  Everyone else who came in touch simply absorbed their words and their message and simply followed them to achieve their life’s ambitions; peace and equality.

The world also witnessed and witnesses a lot of agitations against just about everything, and just about every way.  We humans have a way of expression for any against everything.  On everything about half of us like and about half of us dislike and a few of us have no opinion.  It is not a democratic process but we humans simply like and dislike everything.  So, on just about everything about half of us don’t like while the rest of the half like.  Agreements and dissent are a standard and staple part of life.  As such when we take the public opinion they are typically divided on like and dislike of any word, product, process, place, man, woman and child or anything else on earth.  We simply don’t agree on everything; 100% of human agreeing on something is not possible.

As with today’s constant barrage of TV, radio and internet updates there is evidence of a great market and great global audience but most of us have already made up our minds on what we like or dislike, and little swaying will be done by anything negative or positive presented to us.  There is no question that we public continuing to want positive and progressive changes to life and society.  This hasn’t changed since the beginning of life; we want to be better and do better.   We don’t have to be too smart to want to do better, it’s simply the fact of everyone’s life to do better.  We want our elected politicians to make efforts to meet the demands of electorate, we public don’t hesitate the send the politicians home very quickly if they don’t perform.

We have moved away from leaders of humanity to politics of performance.  No amount of negative advertisements or comments will do any good to sway the public opinion if there is no performance.  The days when leaders too to civil disobedience to put forth the demands of the public have long since gone and the days for leaders to perform to the needs are here.

Past Perfect

Vasu Reddy from Chicago It has already happened. Past is already on the books, recorded, and can’t be changed.   It ...