Monday, October 26, 2015

Orphan State

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Modi’s election slogan of “Development for Everyone”, for some reason seems to be not applicable for the residual (“my”) state of Andhra Pradesh. After the bifurcation of AP (now Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) in Modi’s watch, any kind of commitment for funding for development is missing from Modi’s vocabulary, especially considering his election rhetoric, and the state government aligned with his ruling government in the center.  The bifurcation of the state, the current government support for the bifurcation, the previous government’s assurance and passing the decree on special status, Modi and his election promises and the tie-up with TDP to form a government in the newly formed Andhra Pradesh, all that lead people’s belief that the new state will be treated with a special status thru India’s constitution to help establish itself after bifurcation, and govern itself at par with other states.

Watching and following Modi before and after his elevation as PM of India, he certainly is a great campaigner, good manager, good communicator, good traveler, and also a very good showman.  He is constantly talks in election rallies on allocating billions and billions he and his government will help fund the state (he is canvassing for votes), except when he in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  For a fact Modi is quite dramatic in making pronouncements on what he will do to every state he is looking for votes or visits, except in Andhra Pradesh.

In last week’s foundation laying ceremony for the new capital of AP, Modi’s name was inscribed in the largest letters on the stone.  He talks a good game of they will follow-up on all commitments made to the state, but never speaks of any specifics on what he will do (as he does everywhere else) to help the state.  He has nothing to offer the people of AP in reference to the special status (which was approved at the center), nor any material help to build the capital nor the infrastructure of the state.

Modi is really puzzling with his actions and attitude towards the people of Andhra Pradesh.  These are the people of a state in India without a capital (only his name is on a big slab of stone with huge letters), no infrastructure for running a government, deficit in revenues, and above all a loss of status as a full-fledged state without all the necessary infrastructure.  With the second year running of the current government neither Modi nor the state government have any commitments that make the people believe that the government really cares and they will make good on the promises to the new state.

Does Modi really care about what people really need?  Is his rhetoric simply that? Is the current central government in a great economic space that Modi’s government looks only good on paper? What makes Modi promise the moon everywhere he goes except to AP?  Actually the only question of relevance to the people of AP is the last one.  For sure there is not even talk of the current government at the center making good on any of the election promises made to the state.

One has to wonder why the AP government is silent on the resource allocation from the center.  The show and tell between Modi and the state government so far has been just show, and nothing to tell.

The south Indian states in India (now all five of them) greatly contribute monetarily and intellectually to India and its success story.  For some reason they constantly get the short end of any commitments from the center.

The current look and feel for AP is certain.  It is an orphan and no one in center is willing to tend to it.  All the commitments made to the state are simply election humbug.  Modi and his men are quite efficient in talking a great game of promise.  In case of Andhra Pradesh, Modi is not even willing to talk a good game, forget a grand scheme.  Time and again just one more politician making good on who he is, just another politician with a motor mouth.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Viewer’s Challenge

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

I had written (had is the key here as I no longer write about them) about movies for many years.  I have always enjoyed watching movies and as I learnt more languages, I have enjoyed watching them with more choices.  As I got older I enjoyed the movies more and also the multiple languages, sometimes even when I did not know the language just the celluloid was entertaining.  Despite my being away from home most of my life, I still like Telugu movies the most.  Every chance I get I watch the newer movies, and for the past few years I seem to be watching the same Telugu movie with different title and different actors.  The heroes glorified, the women in skimpy clothes and a bunch of guys get beat up and killed in the unimaginable way, and much of the movie shot in most outrageous locations that people really don’t care much about, with the ending of every movie gruesome to unimaginable violence.  The movies are no longer representing the age old good versus evil. They have become glorified tributes to really short guys who somehow have become super heroes, mainly because of their father or relatives or families belong to the film business.  Not just Telugu movies but all the south Indian film industry has been turned into some sort of a family business.  Father, son, grandson, uncle, brother, nephew and any other relative in the family is pushed up on the movie going public just because of the filmy background.  While there is nothing wrong with traditionally following the footsteps of a father in business, the south Indian movie industry has really become a cesspool of families forcing themselves on the movie going public.

Yes.  The father might have been a glorious actor for many decades.  That doesn’t automatically mean that his son or someone related from the family will be an automatic hero or a cinematic choice.  But we keep having one family after the other forcing themselves on us, the poor moviegoers.  The obvious monotony and monopoly of these families on movie making, distribution, exhibition and control on the movies is impenetrable for the new comers.  The public has little choice but to watch these folks forcing themselves on the moviegoers.

I just saw a movie and was really sad that I keep watching them.  Every frame I already knew what was going to happen next and what the words would be and actions would be, and when they would land up in foreign locations.  The movie is 100% predictable and ends with the dialogues on the selection of a girl simply based on the looks.  The entire movie was nothing but a glorified tribute to nothing, that ends up with an ending we knew before the titles.

There are millions of me, just like me.  We don’t have to live in India for these movies to be shown, they are everywhere.  There are everywhere to depress the hell out of people.

It’s the moviegoer that needs to be held accountable for such crap being thrown at us on screen.  We keep giving family titles to these guys and make a big deal out of them simply showing up on screen.  The movie functions have become such big fiascos with typically some woman who anchors the function glorifies these guys and praise them to the moon.  The glory of prayer we typically reserve for god is put to shame in these functions when these guys are praised in front of crowds and they have absolutely no shame in sitting and listening to the crappy accolades.

Sadly we are left with very little choice but to throng to the theaters to see these guys every week, while they do the same thing.  They stifle anyone from doing what they do, and allow little room for anyone else to entertain.

The age of entertaining cinema is long gone and it really doesn’t look promising for anything that can be called good cinema, where we wanted to go back to theater again and again.  May be I should just stop watching anything new in my language/s and stick to you tube watching old movies.  That certainly will save me the aggravation of glorified guys who really are not hero material and also save money.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Quota Systems

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

World over the democracies foster quota systems.  It simply is that the politics drive establishing quota from a portion of available opportunities and funding from colleges, schools, jobs, money, housing, land, and any other resources of the nation/s.  Politicians continuously believe and use the quota system while in power, or posturing for power.  Politicians and the power of quota systems constantly play to the polls and politics.  Quota systems pander to vote banks, and continues to be popular with all countries, especially when it is time for reaching out for votes, and as an election promise and also reaching out to interest group, quotas still touch a nerve with people.

For some reason we believe that somehow or someone has at some point of time taken advantage of our people, and we want the so called old wrong to be done right today.  It’s a long statement, but everyone has a grouse about something, and we want today’s society so something about the past.  No one is interested in the context, just some new benefit, and if the overall human race is to believe that the history of mankind has some issues with their particular sect of people at some point of time, then we all need to be in a quota system, not just a few people at a time.

What drives the quota systems and politics which primarily drive quotas is the communities constantly vying for such classification to stake claims to allocations.  With a single stroke of a pen, politicians have been penning legislation that forces quotas on the societies (without an expiration date) and so far in some cases more than 50% of the available resources, jobs, seats, opportunities are reserved.  There is little room for any more classifications into the quota system.  We have actually over extended the quotas, and never remove the groups from quotas.  We constantly have groups vying for quotas, and we constantly identify people as downtrodden or deprived to demand quotas.  The over used and overburdened quota system is still very popular for agitations and attracting popular voice.

The quota system is perpetuated and doesn’t have an end time line.  There is only a start to the quota and never an end.  The political system keeps pandering to the groups of people (who are all down trodden), and both the politicians and quota holders have perfected the act of paying the poor house, and they will constantly refer to a person, at one time who belonged to the community to keep milking the words of the old time, which might not even be relevant to today, and will drive in the comments as thing to remember and uphold today.  What is forgotten here is that the world has always had inequalities and also self corrects itself.  The evolution applies to people and communities.  We are very smart to find solutions, if we want to find solutions.

The global democracies always had the rich and poor, and the have’s and have not’s.  Transfer of opportunity and wealth is basic evolution.  Wealth and opportunity does get circulated just like the wheels.  The global markets constantly self-correct and reinvent.  Change is constant.  Only thing that gets perpetuated is the quota system, and despite the changes to societies and markets, the politicians keep the quotas in play simply to keep playing to the vote banks. 

The constant waste of money and resources, the incompetence of seat selection in professional and educational institutions, the allocation of jobs without competence and qualifications, the wasted money and resources that bring no positive change to the communities, above all unaccounted and unplanned development that is forced on any community or its people because of quota systems, have shown no impact to uplift the groups as a whole.  Despite all this, we continue to have demands for more and more quotas.  No one really cares that a brilliant student can’t get into school because of quota system, someone very well qualified can’t get a job, someone can’t further in career because of a last name; the atrocious politics of quota systems continue, and keep pushing people to desperate measures.

From the United States to India and just about every nation in between, the quota systems keep the politicians busy, and keep their speeches in high voltage.  Instead of fostering positive change they constantly fuel distrust and despair.  There are definitely pockets of success, but by and large they continue to drive despair and don’t push communities to the main stream.  The quota systems constantly raise communal tensions, and public dissent, political opportunism, and above all abuse of the system.

There is no end to the quota system, once it is implemented.  It is for infinite amount of time, and by trying to change or modify or remove the quotas cause only more upheaval and unrest.  We best implement quota for everyone so there is global coverage for every type of people, and it is for sure the best way to eliminate the grouses and inequalities that are contributing to the society today.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Eternal Optimism

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

For Chicagoans and Cubs fans, the words eternal optimism are synonymous.  For those of us who are Cubs fans, our team win or lose, it is an exciting game every time Cubs play a game, and each and every year we want to believe that we are going to the world-series. For the record the last time the Cubs won the world-series was in 1908, and I don’t believe that anyone in Chicago was around at that time.  The last time the cubs made it to the world-series was in 1945 (LOL.. it was before the Indian Independence in 1947 from the British).  So, the optimism of cubs fan is nothing less than eternal.  I have been a Cubs fan (I am sure as is much of Chicago) for most of my adult life and simply love to follow them.  Win or lose they are a team with potential, every time they play a game.  The late Harry Carry, the long-time broadcaster was one of those who made every game he broadcasted a treat for the Cubs fans, by simply calling the paly-by-play.  There is no doubt that the broadcasters for decades, the players all great ones who played for the club, the managers and staff, the owners and everyone else associated with the ball club are all equally optimistic as the fans are; all of us have been waiting for the Cubs to get to the world series, and even win one, every year since the last time they one in 1908.  The Cubs fans; those who pray and those who don’t even pray have been seeking divine intervention on behalf their beloved Cubs, and for them to get to the world-series first and then win.

2015 season has come to a close, and Cubs did really well in the regular season and are in a playoff situation this season.  They have had great performances all thru the year, and look really good on the field.  This could be the year say all of us (again) the eternal optimists.  Isn’t that all of us Cubs fans wishing from since 1908?

What drives millions of Cubs fans to go see a team that has been a champion more than a 100 years ago, as none of the current day fans have ever experienced the world-series.  We have not experienced the win yet, but we know it will happen. Optimism.

Often the media refers to Cubs fans as “long suffering”.  On the contrary, the fans are not really optimists, not sufferers.  They don’t have any experience of winning, so how will they experience any suffering?  As all human being look forward to and believe in something better, Cubs fans are those good, god fearing and forward looking people, who simply are believers.  The hope of getting to the world-series and winning is what keeps the city, its people, and the team and its management, and all the Cubs fans wherever they are, to keep looking forward to the day that has not come in more than a hundred years.  As we all (me included) think the time has come this year, and the team is ever so close to getting there (I wanted to get this column out before they really do something that is out of the ordinary), may be this is our year.

We really don’t know how we will react if they really win the world-series?  We are going to be realistic than optimistic then, and start to expect them to do this again and again every year?