Indian Elections and the Change – Not so fast

They say, time changes everything. Now, how fast or how slow? – It depends on the time or the force of change!

The Indian elections bring one of the biggest change in the political scenery. The Congress Party – the ruling party for decades, has been voted out. The Gandhi dynasty is gone, for now. The Indian public have spoken, They wanted a change, and the change they got; at least that’s what they think!

However, lets be clear; BJP is the winner by default not by merit. People wanted congress gone, no matter who the opposition is. The change is more driven by the fact that Congress was dissed by the masses, not because BJP is embraced by everyone. In other words, the common man on the street was more interest in ousting the Congress party. As a result, BJP came out a winner in big way.

This is a major change in Indian politics after a long time. The majority of Indians are happy about the results. But, are they more hopeful for a better future, for a better India? Not necessarily, not if you look around. Nothing is changing in a hurry; there is nothing new on the horizon!

For example, take the case of common corruption. The corruption runs deep in India, it is an accepted way of life. When it comes to corruption and the common ailments of Indian society, the boundaries of political parties don’t matter. No matter who sits in the high office, the middle management is still the same. An honest police chief will be always honest no matter if congress ruled or BJP. A corrupt office will still be corrupt, even if there is s change in the political party. So, the things have hardly changed for the common man even though there is a major political change.

So what gives! The BJP promise of better days ahead – is it false? It may not be false, but it is not so true either. There is not going to a change overnight, let us be realistic. The web of Indian corruption and other political evils has deep roots, it cannot be eliminated by taking out the current ruling party. It is not so simple. It is not the color of a party’s flag but the color of money that drives India and the Indian infrastructure. And lots of that money is still black, no matter which party rules the high offices.

For an average man, there is hardly any change – nothing, nada, zero!!

So, are the better days ahead? Not in the near future, not for a common man. Continue reading “Indian Elections and the Change – Not so fast”

2012 US Elections – Romnesia and Obamaloney

The US Presidential Elections are less than 10 days away. And, I can hardly wait for the whole thing to be over!!

The attack ads, the twisted truths and repeated slogans bombarding the airwaves day and night – the election campaign is a bit put-off, and quite often down right distasteful. I don’t think anyone look forward to watching these political ads anymore. I cannot see anybody enjoying the propaganda unless you are a fanatic follower of the candidates or you have nothing better to do!

Throughout these campaigns and bitterly contested debates, both parties are promising a lot for the next 4 years if you elect their guy – the economic prosperity, the financial reforms and how well they understand the average American’s woes…

I wonder if politicians believe that the voters are too dumb to see through the thin veil that separates the reality from the promise-land. It is sad and disheartening that American politics is down right dirty and is driven by so much negativity. You have to think – there is something fundamentally wrong they way the system operates!

I am not a democrat nor republican. Like many of you, I am turned off by the while political system. Moreover, I don’t think the American president has as much power as they advertise during the election days. Remember, any new law has to go through the both houses of US congress; and we all know how inefficient and how divided the US congress is.
So, no matter how many promises either of the candidate makes, keeping those promises is a whole different thing. May I advise, a grain of salt, or a spoonful! Continue reading “2012 US Elections – Romnesia and Obamaloney”

An interview with Anna Hazare

An Exclusive interview of ANNAJI – ‘Father of the Modern India’

This post is a guest contribution from Shweta Nagpurkar Saxena, based on her recent interview with Anna Hazare.

The video is an excellent glimpse into the mind of Anna Hazare. This is an unbiased interview with no strings; straight forward questions with straight forward answers including a vital message for every Indian – home or abroad. As always, Annaji’s message carry a sincere appeal for everybody – to love and support your Motherland no matter where you live.

Here is the Youtube link to Shweta’s interview with Anna Hazare! Continue reading “An interview with Anna Hazare”

How well you Know Anna Hazare? – A Quiz!

Anna Hazare has become a very popular Indian figure – home and abroad. Until recently, very few people had heard of him.
How well do you know this man! Well, know it for yourself. Here is the quiz on this mysterious man:
Quiz 10:

Commonly known as Anna Hazare, his real name is:

Anna Hazare is:

Anna Hazare became famous for leading:

To exert pressure on the Indian government, main tool or method used by Anna Hazare is:

Anna Hazare received Padma Bhushan award for transforming this village to one of the model examples in the country:

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was:

Anti-corruption social activists and Anna Hazare are proposing this Bill to deter corruption at all levels of government.

In Mid August 2011, Hazare planned indefinite hunger strike. To avoid public gatherings and protests, the government went into action and:

To show their support for Hazare and anti-corruption movement, thousands gathered at:

Anna Hazare is:

There are many more quiz on this site including the ones on Bollywood; here are some of the links:

Other Quizzes:

Continue reading “How well you Know Anna Hazare? – A Quiz!”

Floods, neighbors, media and the morons

The Pakistan Flooding and the Indian offer to help

In the name of the religion, out of fear, out of greed…. – the mankind has shown its ugly side for centuries. Time over time, we have proved that we can be idiots, stupids and morons – all combined in one. Before the partition of 1947, the Indian Continent had a seamless and peaceful coexistence of multi-cultures and multi-religions. What followed during the 1940s decade was something that would have been incomprehensible for anyone with commonsense – hundreds of thousands dead, rape and loot in the open, a lawless society attacking their own neighbors with vengeance, the same neighbors they had treated like their own before the religious and political propaganda.

Fast forward to 2010. Pakistan is suffering one of the worst crisis since partition – the mother nature has shown its ugly side this time. Beginning in July 2010 following heavy monsoon rains, a vast spread flooding has surprised Pakistan in the worst possible way. Thousands dead, over a million homes destroyed, more than twenty million people injured or homeless….. At one point, one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater. Continue reading “Floods, neighbors, media and the morons”

Independence Day has become just a Feel Good Day

Happy Independence Day!

There is nothing new to say, nothing different than what we said last year on this day of August 15, the Indian Independence Day!

The Independence Day celebration has become just that – a day of mere celebration. There is nothing more to it. Every year on this sacred day, the politicians brag about our country; we memorialize and praise the sacrifices of all those who fought for freedom. Patriotic songs fill the air with a spirit of inspiration and bravery.

Home or abroad, August 15 is a day of pride for India and Indians, no doubt. It is a good day to remember our past, our history, our roots. It is one of biggest milestone in our nation’s history. However, year after year, with same repeat celebrations and ceremonies, we are actually undermining the importance of this day.

Many national and regional leaders use this day to make new promises, adding to the long list of useless and unfulfilled political assurances. The Indians living around the globe find another excuse for a parade, or a party or any other social event – whatever tickles your fancy. Continue reading “Independence Day has become just a Feel Good Day”

Sikh Kirpan bill vetoed, now Chai time!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes ‘Sikh Kirpan Bill’!
So, a suggestion for Governor to host a ‘Chai Summit’ 🙂

The California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the ‘Sikh Kirpan Bill’, a bill that was intended to educate law enforcement officers about the religious significance of ‘kirpans’. The Governor found the bill “unnecessary”, and therefore rejected it.
The Sikh community has been celebrating the earlier success of the same bill, when it was passed unanimously by the state lawmakers. This veto was particularly surprising given the bipartisan votes in favor of the bill in both houses of legislature earlier this year.
“This loss for the Sikh community is a reminder of our serious lack of political clout in this state. After months of hard work and 100 per cent support from our lawmakers, the Sikh voice was still not strong enough to overcome the whim of one man,” said Sikh Coalition Board chairman Prabhjot Singh.
To be clear, the Kirpan bill is not intended to allow or permit to carry the kirpan. The bill was focused only on educating the law enforcement departments about the Sikh tradition, and avoiding legal battles resulting from any meaningless arrests where police mistakes kirpan as a weapon.
The reason for the Governor’s veto seems to be that it is not necessary to pass a bill just for the sake of raising awareness.

Chia Time -Tea or Coffee anyone? Continue reading “Sikh Kirpan bill vetoed, now Chai time!”

Barack Obama’s Nobel ‘Hope’ Prize!

President Obama is honored with 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. ~Barack Obama

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded Barack Obama with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The committee said it is honoring Obama for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Everyone is caught by surprise by this announcement; no one was expecting the President to receive this honor. Mind you, the President had been in the office for a very short period of time when the Prize nomination period ended.

The prize, it seems, is not for what he has done, but what he aspires to do. The decision is based on the direction and vision that Obama promised during (and after) his election- the ‘change’ and future he advocates.

According to the committee announcement, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.” Continue reading “Barack Obama’s Nobel ‘Hope’ Prize!”

SRK, “My Name is Khan”…umm… too bad!

Shahrukh Khan goes through additional questioning at USA Customs and Immigration

SRK and Kajol to star together in 'My Name is Khan'
SRK and Kajol to star together in ‘My Name is Khan’

Shahrukh Khan (SRK), the iconic Indian Movie Star and the king of Bollywood, was subject of additional inspection and questioning by the immigration officers at the Newark airport, New Jersey. He was en route to Chicago to attend an event related to Indian Independence day celebrations.

SRK claims that he was singled out due to his Muslim last name – Khan. He added that the immigration officer was not convinced with any of his explanation about the trip.

The US Immigration and Customs office denies that his last name had anything to do with the additional questioning; he was stopped due to missing baggage. As per the statement from the Customs, everything was done professionally and by the book. It is common for a customs officer to ask someone to step aside for additional inspection if they are not satisfied with the interview.

It is ironic that SRK was in USA earlier this year shooting a Hindi movie titled ‘ My name is Khan’. The film is about the experiences of a Muslim in America.

Another remote possibility is that it was all planned by SRK; a thought that I could not resist.Considering how good an actor he is, he may have staged the whole drama. This incident turned out to be a very good publicity for him and his upcoming movie. Everybody is now talking about ‘My Name is Khan’ all of a sudden, which will be released worldwide soon. Continue reading “SRK, “My Name is Khan”…umm… too bad!”

Need more ugly stories!

Finding ways to expose corruption and power abuse in India

Indian politics is often considered synonym for corruption and misuse of power. Most of the politicians in India consider themselves to be beyond and above any law of the land.
A recent incident involving a congress MP Jagannatham slapping a bank manager in broad daylight was luckily captured on a video camera. The recorded footage has been repeatedly played all over the internet and is heavily reported by the media. The publicity of all this made the congress high command to look into the incident seriously, forcing the MP to tender an unconditional apology. The police is also investigating the case.
If there is anything positive in this ugly story, is the story itself – the power of the internet and media coverage to expose the behavior of a politician. Unfortunately, there are many more daily incidents like this all over India that go unreported. The reason for so many untold ugly stories is quite simple. There is no camera to capture them, or no brave witness to narrate them. The daily corruption and power abuse is in full swing mainly because of the lack of exposure of the wrongdoers, and the fear of retaliation against those who dare to report them.
While there are some brave souls who have made it their mission to clean up India’s future by exposing these incidents, an average person is hesitant to do much about it. For the fear of retaliation, an average family man or woman does not want to take the risk of whistleblowing under normal circumstances.
The life goes on, with corruption and power-abuse hidden in the plain sight. Nobody wants to touch it, no one wants to talk about it.
Oscar Wilde said, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
So, the best alternate could be to use a mask; report this unethical behaviors anonymously. It is a today’s need to find a mask for an average person, so he or she can tell the truth about corruption and power abuse without any fear. Continue reading “Need more ugly stories!”

Hitler and India – A history divided!

“The world needs heroes and it’s better they be harmless men like me than villains like Hitler.” ~ Albert Einstein

Hitler, the evil dictator was responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted and evil vision of so called ‘pure race’. Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf (in English: My Struggle), is selling like hot cakes in India as reported by London Telegraph. The book commonly branded as ‘Nazi Bible’ is banned in many countries. However, students in India are using it as a self-guide for business studies.

1947: 100's of miles long caravans of uprooted Indians leaving behind everything and moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo: wanabehuman.blogspot
1947:100s of miles long caravans of Indians leaving behind everything & moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo:wanabehuman.blogspot

There are all kinds of global opinion for and against this subject – should we be using this book as a guide for business studies?
The simple answer is: it depends. It depends where you live in the world; how much you know about Hitler; and how you feel about it. Hitler is not a commonly discussed figure in India or Indian society. Growing up, we did not know much about him. Hitler and Stalin were often mentioned in the same sentence. In the the schools’ history books, Hitler is mentioned mainly as a apart of the World War II studies. It is quite possible that many Indians, who don’t know as much about Hitler, are just in awe of his atrocities; they might be reading the book just out of curiosity. And lately, many more may be reading because of the media coverage and the story being reported all over the globe. Many may read Hitler’s biography because they  just want to know more about him and what made him the monster and evil that he is known to be. Continue reading “Hitler and India – A history divided!”

Iran: Humanity, freedom and the choice of right over wrong!

India has had its fair share of problems originating from religions and races. The politics combined with religion has been very troublesome for India for decades.
However, what is going on in Iran is much bigger than day-to-day politics. It is not a simple case of disputed election, even though the election results and suspected voter frauds were the trigger. What people of Iran are dealing with is something greater than politics, something much more important. An average human being is fighting for his or her rights; the basic rights that a country owes to its citizens; the basic freedom that you and me are so used to. They are demanding a change. Continue reading “Iran: Humanity, freedom and the choice of right over wrong!”