Thursday, February 20, 2014

To my fellow Andhraites

The biggest state of South India breaks into two. The local media and the national channels have made amply sure that this news is not missed. While the international media got a chance to see the new lows of the biggest democracy in terms of the disruptions, national media did not miss a chance to expose the rowdyism of the Andhra MPs. For the 17 seat stake the Congress bought from TRS at a price of forking out a new CM seat, whatever happened is the party. Irony it is - while the people of Telengana have no reason to celebrate in this political ploy, Chidambaram who must be doing Lungi Dance in his Madras Cafe, is shying away from partying!

Most of these are just pass time politics. But what concerns me (and probably many others) is the fate and fortune of Andhra Pradesh and the dignity of Andhraites. For the Telugus who fought hard to establish their identity in 1953, things seem to be at square one again after 60 long years. While it appears now that the Andraites are parasites claiming unlawful stake on the beautiful Nizam city, everyone conveniently ignores the fact that Andhra never wanted Telangana to be merged into Andhra State, in 1953. It was the other way round.

So they were never meant to be together. And the division is just - right? Yes, but there are only 3 problems.

While Hyderabad gave the poor country a few buildings to run the state government, in 1956, a lot was paid back. 13 governments, of 175 MLAs from the Andhra region (along with 119 MLAs from Telengana) built the state centered around the capital city of Hyderabad for 60 years. [Don't give me that argument that Hyderabad is developed by people for all places. No MLA from a different state passed any resolution towards development(or otherwise) of Hyderabad].
"When Money is lost, Nothing is lost"
Gandhi already said. (but who can take that high moral ground!) But then he also said, 
"If Health is lost, something is lost". 
How much is something? Hyderabad will the common capital for both the states for 10 years. Really?? Its like having your bedroom in your neighbors house. A hostile neighbor I should say. I am not even talking about the bigger problems of water, electricity, the government/bank jobs etc.
Well, this can also be a temporary thing. Turbulence is expected when great things happen and some of these could be induced fears.
But the perception that was created by the Telangana movement, supported by the paid media (when Congress choose to support it), hits me the hardest
"If character is lost, everything is lost"
"Its a tale of one city, not a tale of two states" one of the prominent Congress men was spotted saying. It does appear so from what I've said so far - isn't it? Hell, no! It much bigger.
Did KTR (another Raj Thackeray) forget the rampage they created (including breaking the statues on Tankbund) while he is giving these austere speeches on national media debates these days?

The real problem is, Andhra strategically victimized, orphaned and ignored. To all those Sharukh Khans of Chennai Express, Arnab Goswamis, Kumar Viswas-es, and all those who think South Indians are all Madarasis, how would you explain the costal culture of telugu speaking, intelligent and industrious people that has its own identity, different from the Pepper Spraying, spicy foodie, disruption-ists fighting to steal someone else's city. (since I have taken pain to write such a big sentence, you better read it one more time ;) )
But why even blame them, as if own house is in order. We have elected leaders who would do anything to grab Hyderabad (even for a short period), but couldn't ask for a tax holiday for the Andhra after the division. But they have given free money- right? Caste based politics are still more important. Its a shame to see the congress men fighting for the CM post (in the present situation) with election in 3 months. What you pay is what you get!

This post however, is not to just vent my frustration out, even though that is what I have done for the most part. Is it not time that we wake up, and realize that we need to awake the pride and dignity of Andhraites? Like 3 things that were wrong, lets talk about 3 things that can make things right.

May be asking of people to choose the right political leader is too much. But should we not begin there? I don't vote in Andhra, but if you do think about it. Or if have someone who does, can you not ask them if not persuade them to consider this. Should our MP at-lest not talk fluent english/hindi when they represent us, Andhraites in the parliament? Do we not need MLAs who want to grow with the state instead of growing in the state?

Then comes my second point. I have friends who have started small businesses (like Dairy, poultry etc) in Andhra. Please encourage them. Invest with them/in them, if you can. Most of us have very short term goals. Have you ever decided where and how you want to spend your life after retirement? If you are an Andhraite, you should consider returning back- that is the only way you can keep your stakes alive in the building of the new state. My personal stand is, I will move to Guntur, whenever I have something substantial to do (at this point, it looks like its either when that region gets IT opportunities or when I get to a point where I rise enough capital to start my own firm)

The most important thing though is, keep talking about it. For long, we have been told that all talk is not good. But not talking is worse! If you talk, may be 5 others will. If 100 people talk, may be 1 person will do (something about it). If 100 people do, 1 might succeed. We need at-least a few 100 success stories, to get the dignity back! You start by talking about it.. Share this post if you think it makes sense, comment on this to let me know your thoughts. And one day, we will deliver!

If an Andhraite can become the 'next Bill Gates', how practical is it (not) for Andhra to become the next Silicon Valley? Wanted to leave you with this positive thought!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blogging till Elections 2014

2014 is here! India is going to elections, this very year. And I want to get back to blogging. The amount of time I spend on news channels these days, I definitely need a channel to vent my views out. And this blog has, for so many times in past been a good friend to my mine, listening to all that I had to say. Frankly, Facebook hasn't been the best place, at least without making me feeling guilty of polluting my friends' timelines! And of-course I can feel like Arnab Goswami, in this own little blog of mine!

For as back as my memories go, I always did have an active interest in politics. My grandfather is a graduate (hons.) from BHU, Varanasi, 1948. If there is a reason I can think beyond what the mainstream education/media constantly prescribed me into, he probably has the largest contribution. As much as it is true that social media has given me a voice for promotion of my views, of late, it felt cluttered and unstructured. And that probably is the main reason I want to construct my view in a series of blogs that go till the general elections at a minimum. And after that, lets see where it takes us to! (Long story short, I am trying to prove my credibility to even write something as tiny as this, and you better be convinced)

And whatever I write in this blog, I completely understand that, it is 'a' point of view and there can be other points of view that are equally valid. And I encourage you to read my writing as a argument towards that point of view I am representing and give it a fair hearing.

Now that I have beaten enough around the bush, let me come to the political views I represent/support:

I am a believer of BJP. This is not so much because of Modi (exclusively). Nor is it because of the fact that Congress Govt. sucked big time. I will hopefully be able to explain, in enough detail as to why BJP stands closest to the ideologies I believe in- but that is for another time. All that I wanted to say at this time is, I am pro BJP and not anti-congress.

As many of you might have known, one of my very good friends, Rakesh, has joined BJP  recently Here is the 'yourstory' article, for more details. Having seen him closely in BITS, Pilani as Gen Sec and otherwise, I can see the value he can bring on to the Indian politics. For me, promoting him, is the closest I can get to, in claiming my contribution to the greater good of the Indian governance and politics.

The cultural identity that we are happy to let go of, is actually alarming. It is true that the urbanization has its own impact in terms of making us culture neutral. But if you keep that aside, as Indians, we are programmed to disown our cultural roots. So much so that following our traditions is considered ethnic in our own land (Dictionary meaning of Ethnic: Associated with or belonging to a particular race or group of people who have a culture that is different from the main culture of a country)

India, as of now, is growing despite government. Its high time that we have a government that can help the growth and development. Loosing the smartest of the people as brain drain or to unemployment has to stop. And that can only happen through a strong stable government and a political will.

There are many more, but these are the primary ones, and the reasons for me to start putting my political thoughts on this glass pane of yours! Trust me, politics can be more interesting than many other things that you do not probably know (like- lets say ice skating) and is as rewarding as the plant that Ashoka planted in our history books. Looking forward for your comments.