Monday, September 28, 2015

Narendra Modi


Only In India 2 0f 10
Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Narendra Modi is the current prime minister of India, and the 15th person to hold that position after the 1947 Indian independence from the British.  Modi is a lifelong follower of RSS and also a lifelong politician.  His humble beginnings and his much touted childhood as a tea seller is well documented.  Outside of a young marriage and a life of separation from his wife (who is also equally commendable as she remained loyal to the wedding and continues to remain married to Modi despite living an entire life married but without a spouse) who has lived a full life of anonymity, rest of Modi’s life is well documented since his entry into politics.

From an early age Modi (reported that when he was 8 years old) was influenced by the RSS and his entire life before and after his entry into politics and his election to the highest office of the nation, RSS and its role is well documented. Modi reflects a fairly long and committed association with his principles and practices.

Modi also retains lifelong relationships with schoolmates and fiends and colleagues, and has a great record of life full of commitment to his ideals and convictions.  For a man with such strong convictions he is surprisingly aloof from his own siblings and his once child bride.  He holds his mother very dear to him, and it is his only family relationship that he constantly acknowledges.  He is very fond of his mother, and at every opportunity he has cherished the relationship with his mother, her sacrifices to tend to him and his siblings, and her continued blessings.  Modi keeps himself away from any personal or family related issues, and keeps his siblings far away from his politics.  He does constantly acknowledge the influences of his mentors and the value of his friendships at every opportunity he gets.

India does repeatedly present great contradictions and opportunities for its citizens.  Modi is a great example of humble beginnings, hard work, dedication and persistence will allow anyone to achieve their ultimate goal.  Modi humble beginnings to where he is today, from a tea seller to the prime minister, from a RSS disciple to a global leader; all of which are incredible achievements.  India despite its issues, difficulties and limitations, always has it’s only in India opportunities, and Modi is one of the great examples of this.

Modi in his second year in the PM office continues to hold the Indian and the global public in awe of his ability to communicate and present India as a destination for work, investment and growth.  His constant interest in the global development and reaching out to everyone to work with him to develop India and help Indian public facilities and opportunities is unparalleled.  He is really a great representative for the nation and its needs.  No one matches his energy in presenting India to the world.

The anomalies with his governance is certainly highlighted with his indecisiveness in reference to his cabinet members, who are involved with irregularities in governance, and also state level office bearers who have been accused of scams.  This is very different side of Modi's personality, who is quite vocal about good governance.  He has not said a word about his cabinet members and senior state level leaders of his party, even when the whole parliament has been stalled due to the reported mismanagement and scams.  Strangely, he continues to remain silent on his own party’s scams or mismanagement.  Despite his tainted colleagues, Modi remains quite strong in representing India and himself.  Each of his foreign visits, and any dignitaries and business leaders visiting with him, definitely leave a fantastic impression for India and also bring new commitments to India’s development.

Modi is a vegetarian and practices his religion, yoga and Hindu customs that are to be cherished by all, and he also has a great respect for elders, other religions leaders and greatest rapport with world leaders, business leaders and just about everyone he reaches out to.  He is also quite tech savvy and makes great use of technology to communicate just about everything he does.  Above all he has very little possessions or attachments.

While writing his history as a great PM for India is still in its infancy, his assent to be the leader of the largest democracy in the world is a matter of legend.  He continues to makes the best case for India and its people.  With each of his trips his legend grows, and his curiosity to bring things into the common man of India continues to draw the best of the world.  The economic indicators and the inflow of investment into India continue to be positive, and with a little bit of better governance and better politicking, India for sure has a chance to get better connected, educated and a little bit cleaner.  For sure Modi can make his governance be 100% open and make it public and online, it will only help his politics and governance.  He certainly has the energy and inclination, along with the public support.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Completion

vasureddy@aol.com
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

There is a great importance to making progress on an announced project.  If you are a business then you just don’t announce or start something and just let it sit, you finish the project on budget and on time.  The key to successful and profitable business or life is not announcing or starting something, it is the process of effectively working to achieve the stated objectives of what was planned.

Our politicians announce many major projects and initiatives, and also assign huge values to them as budgets and potential employment.  India has a legacy of major announcements by the party in power, along with massive investments and really massive employment opportunities.  It has become a common practice for politicians in power to say “I will do this in five years”, and then there is nothing that comes back to say “I have done this in 12 months”.

In recent news there was coverage of linking the rivers in Andhra Pradesh which was more than a 50 years plan.  It is hard to imagine what was thought of as a need 50 years ago applied to today, while politicians claim credit for something that really took 50 years?  We have multiple fold increase in population, pollution, encroachment and all kids of social and people issues today that could not have been envisioned 50 years ago.  Still the concept of planning and development that is many decades old which still is in work-in progress today, and we still refer to as progress, as if India has infinite amount of time to take care of its own. On the one hand completion of any infrastructure project is a boon for the people, while the time and opportunity lost in decades of delays and indifference is immeasurable in losses.  The project costs balloon into double, triple and more in the delays and India also adds scam value to any infrastructure.

When a project does get completed, people rejoice.  Politicians inaugurate and place their name in stone as if they really had something to contribute to the eventual completion and ignore the decades old plaque that identifies the politician who laid the foundation stone.  There is pomp and circumstance and a lot of talk of what the project will do to the future of the citizens.  No one on the stage will admit to the huge delays, huge cost overruns, huge loss of opportunity, and huge cost to the lives of people.  No one will ever admit to the delays and lost opportunity.  Indians are optimists, they feel that let’s be happy that it is finally done and we can see the benefits of the future.

The reality of the government promises and their deliverables are so far apart, they are like fact and fiction.  There is no realistic plan of action, development, budget, expenditure or anything that is really real.  Huge numbers are thrown in billions and billions and no plausible explanation of where the money comes from and how it is spent.  Everyone throws around massive numbers as if they are really giving their own money to the public projects (you hear the words so often when politicians claim “I am giving thousands of crores to the project or for development” as if it’s coming from ones pocket).  There is no logic to where the money is coming from, how it will be spent, who will manage and account for it, when and how the money will be made available, who will manage the funds and who will be accountable for the funds, when the project gets started and god knows when it will be finished.  All freely given and freely managed, and nothing gets done ever on time.  India really has projects that are a half a decade or more in the works, some still unfinished.

The current government as did all the older ones, constantly throws billions in pronouncements to projects and programs as commitments to the states and the development of national projects.  The government and the PM are quite computer and internet savvy.  Why not put the projects and their planning and development online.  Why not let the public have access to whole deal and details, people, money, plans, time, deliverables and budgets; put them all online as soon as the PM or the government commits to the project and funding.  The PMO and PM now take the time to post details of its daily routine.  Posting a project plan online and updating daily should be no more than one person’s work on a regular basis, and the public can really know what is being said and what really is being done.  If we are demanding the public to be accountable the government can demand the same from the government.  Especially when the leader of the nation constantly speaks of open government and accountability; then let us see it online.  It is great to hear that he has thousands of crores at public, we constantly hear from the PM “let me give you thousands of crores” sure we need the development and projects, but we want to see if it really is budgeted, from where, when and how it will be delivered and money spent towards the project.  We are all computer savvy and with more than a phone per adult in the great nation.  If we are getting your twitter feed and Facebook posts and Instagram updates on a minute by minute basis, it will be great to have an online and regular minute by minute update of the government's commitments and deliverables.

For a change we the people would certainly like to see the same level of commitment from the government and our leader on completion of what the government keeps throwing at us a “I plan to do this”.  Let us see the accounts and responsibilities online, and up-to-date.  The only measurement to the government’s performance is completion of the promises made, on time and on budget and nothing else. “I completed this” should be the words we should hear and nothing else.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Remakes

vasureddy@aol.com
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

I really love movies.  Always have.  Even as a kid I loved to watch a movie every chance I got.  We have been making movies for over a century now.  We make them in just about every language and just about every part of the world.  From simple movements on film without voice on celluloid to the mega budget movies of today, the business of movie making continues to evolve and also continues to get more sophisticated and continues to keep up with technological advances and user preferences.  All this except when we try to remake popular movies of the past.

India makes more movies than any other country, all in multiple languages.  It makes more movies than Hollywood, in fact a combination of all other markets don’t even come close to the number of movies made in India.  India also has a variety of audiences; regional markets with their own languages, dubbed movies from one region to the other, movies simultaneously made in multiple languages, English and other language films that fill the void for the audience to lap up anything shown on a Friday night, and any other language film, even if it is not something the audience understands, all of them have a great audience in India.  India and Indians love movies and whatever is screened there is an audience for it.

One of the more recent phenomenon in the movie making business is dubbing regional movies into Hindi and releasing them thru the internet.  We have a billion plus viewers and most of them not just with television but with smart phones and internet, the market is obvious for the content, and what better content than dubbed movies to keep the audiences glued to the small screen in the weekdays.

The movie makers have already become adept to various audience segments, and have been making movies to cater to them; romance, action, rom-com, and western, comedy, serious, historical. Mythological and whatever term that existing the movies can be categorized for even urban and rural audience.  Whatever name the makers can give a movie to bring the audience to the theater.  In reality the makers are depicting a writer’s vision to the audience for a couple of hours.  The audiences have many options every Friday, and catchy marketing is the name of the game to get people into the theater.  Marketing and promotions are a major part of the movie business these days.  At least until the first show and then the critics take the stick to the movie.

Our movies have evolved with times, technology, travel, style and adaptation all have been updated as to today’s viewer preferences, and continues to be updated, while the writers and directors try to keep up with the audience aptitudes.  Stars remain a fixture, most of them aging in front of eyes and remaining to pretend to be young and supreme beings.  The media remains the same, always finding fanny.  Our story telling remains true to Indian mythologies, although given a contemporary twist every 20 years or so.  It is difficult to imagine new material for movies, as we make so many of them in so many languages.  The writer’s continue to exploit the well told and well accepted lines, and keep repeating them with alarming success.

One of the things that also is happening is remaking movies.  Remakes are not being limited to popular and classic movies.  Even main stream movies are being remade.  When a movie was made 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago, the story telling, action and screen play would be typical to that time and treatment.  If it was a huge hit or continues to be appreciated by the current generation of moviegoers, the acceptance of the continued mastery of film making after the years is simply the creative inputs that remain in the mind of the audience, irrespective of time.  Indian audience also have a great respect for movies that become a part of their life, and when a something is considered a classic; movie, music, drama, literature and person all of which remain in the hearts of the people, irrespective of the generations past.  Movie remakes typically attempt to retell the story that was successfully told, and try to make a contemporary celluloid of the past.  This new version of an old classic will be constantly judged based on the original.  It doesn’t matter how much time has elapsed, but the original version will remain as a benchmark.  There is little question that some of the new versions of old classics such as Devdas, made in multiple languages multiple times, have not only retained the originality of the classic, but also integrate the nuances of today’s audiences, with great care.  But majority of the remakes are simply a cut and paste of the originals and neither retain the essence or time of what the movie goers see as a classic.  Simply spending money and marketing can’t deliver a classic remake.  The sensibilities of the context and today’s movie goer’s preferences along with capturing the imagination of a mindset that was set in a different era, all of which along with the nuances of every role, all of which and probably more will make a remake work.  Some of our recent remakes cost a huge amount of money to make and equally huge amount of money to market, and all we see is a reference to the past; a remake of “MOVIE”.

Monday, September 07, 2015

One World?

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Continuously looking at the young and old, men and women and children; all of them trying to find a safe place to stay, to just get a drink of water and a meal, staring simply at the cameras that are trying to make news of their misery, driven away from their home, and now simply without any destination.  It is not their fault to live where they were born and be who they are.  They did not commit any crime or do anything to deserve the forced relocation to nowhere.  With communications getting more and more constant the human suffering is getting is also being played out constantly for the rest of the world to become a part of the destitute.  We think we are looking at someone out there being forced to run away from their home, but we are one world, and it can happen to us, wherever we live.  We are watching human suffering played out on television, and that’s exactly what we are doing, just watching our race being decimated, for what?  There is so much written about race and religion, and the national boundaries and individual beliefs, but what have these people done to deserve such suffering?  The image of a small child washing ashore, dead on a beach could have happened to anyone and any place in the world.  It is really tragic, not dramatic for the world to react to.  What have we done to ourselves?  Why do we simply spend so much time and money on defending ourselves, but let the world become a place of carnage?  Does religion promote creating hell on earth so that the people creating the hell here can go to enjoy heaven?  Who has an answer to the killing in the name of religion?

Is the image of the little child lying face down dead on a beach the trigger this time for the world to become one world?  How many more hundreds of thousands have to be killed, and how many more million need to be thrown out of their homes before the world takes interest in helping?  We keep watch television and constantly monitor the news; hundreds of thousands continued to be displaced from their homes for simply being there.  They have been there thousands of years.  Still all of a sudden they are refugees.  Homeless.  Landless. Penniless.  Simply with nothing.  All of their fate simply tied to the whims of religion and other humans, and nothing else.

We humans are older than any religion.  Every religion and its founders have only preached love and tolerance and peace and coexistence.  There is no religious scripture that depicts hatred and killing.  But we interpret otherwise, and along with religion we have never stopped killing in the name of it.  Killing in the name of religion has been as long as what we call religion existed, and with growing time and populations, the killings have become a way of religious life.  We invoke the name of god and religion as a primary reason for inhumanity, which ends us it is towards our friends and neighbors.

From the world wars, the 1947 India’s partition and separation, the east-west war between Pakistan, the Afghanistan crisis, the continued strife Russian federation, the middle east and African crisis, the carnage in Syria and Iraq, the Palestinian battles, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and African unrest, somewhere in the world we can’t live as one people, and in the name of religion.  There is no end to killing and destruction.  The world continues to experience the misery live.  For some reason the media and coverage seem to encourage the carnage.  All of a sudden the carnage has a worldwide audience, and the behavior getting more and more violent.  We are not just killing each other, we are also destroying civilizations; old and new, without regard to heritage or humanity.  The utter disregard to women and justifying the atrocious behavior in the name of religion has become a common practice.  For some reason or cause, we forget all of us humans have a mother, and she is a woman.  God himself had a mother, and there is no scripture that asks to ill treat your own mother.

The killer’s get no glory for their deeds.  They have no state.  They have no home.  They have no family.  They just have hatred and in most cases all they end up with violent death.  The typical fate for hatred is the same fate they inflict on innocents in the name of religion.  There is no glory in death, especially when god doesn’t prescribe it.

The destruction of nations and communities and their natural and physical resources, along with generations of humanity and history, makes one wonder; is this one world?

There is no cause, however great and important to be used as an excuse to kill innocents.  Nothing more is important to the world than its history, civilization and humanity.  We are supposed to be the most evolved living beings with superior intellect.  Our superior intellect continues to be overshadowed by barbarian within.  We are not just getting smarted, we are also getting more intolerant.  While the world becomes more and more interconnected, it is also promoting the graphic and barbaric acts of the few, making them more exploitative in using the medium to promote horror.

We really are not one world.  We keep turning a blind eye on destruction and intolerance.  We don’t like to help or comfort.  We spend more money on weapons than education.  We love to watch TV and listen to commentary, but have nothing to offer to our fellow beings.  We really are not one world.  Simply live here in indifference and nothing else.  Oh yes; we certainly use religion to justify what we do.