Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Will Chiranjeevi Jump Into Politics ??

This is the question that is ringing in the minds of everyone in Andhra Pradesh and also in the head quarters of some of the national parties in New Delhi.
Everybody, starting from Politicians to actors to common public is talking about this issue except one person - Chiranjeevi himself !!
He is maintaining a strict silence on this issue and saying that he would talk at a right time.

His younger brother, Naga Babu (who has acted in couple of movies) is busy talking to Chiranjeevi Fans Associations across the state.
I think he also talk to the common public and conduct a secret poll in the state to ascertain the mood of the public.

Will Chiranjeevi Succeed as a politician ?? Will public support him ?? Can he gain a majority in the assembly if he jumps into politics ??
Does Chiranjeevi have command and charisma of attracting voters ??
Can he convert his fans into voters ??
Will he join an existing political party or launch his own party ??
Questions ! Questions ! More Questions !
Answer - Fingers crossed !!

It is a world wide phenomenon of actors becoming politicians and ruling state assemblies and at many places, the country itself.
The legendary Telugu actor, N.T. Rama Rao successfully contested and won a thumping majority in the state assembly and he had left a very important mark in the state politics and also in the Central Government by stressing about Telugu Pride and how the Hindi speaking states and politicians are looking down on the South.
He could able to successfully convert his charisma into votes thus forming first non-congress Government in Andhra Pradesh when his Telugu Desam Party won a comfortable majority in the state assembly.

Can Chiranjeevi re-enact the same scene ?? Quite possible in movies but very very difficult in politics where you already have lot of players and the competition is quite high among the existing political parties.
There is not much scope for a new party - but not sure if Chiranjeevi wants to test the waters.

Personally, Iam a great fan of Chiranjeevi with his exceptional acting and dance skills.
He worked hard up the ladder by acting first as a villain in his initial years of acting career and slowly developing his dance and acting skills, became a Hero.
He is a very down to earth person like Tamilnadu's Rajanikanth, Karnataka's Raj Kumar and Kerala's Mamooty.

Yesterday, when Chiranjeevi's fans (??) attacked another actor Rajsekhar for his remarks against Chiranjeevi, Chiru (as he is famously called as) went to Rajsekhar's house, waited for the actor for 45 minutes at his house and personally apologized to him before the media.
That shows how humble and concerned he is !

Rajsekhar, who is a supporter of Congress Party said that he would not support Chiranjeevi in politics as he is not having experience.
The media had blown it out of proportions fuelling passions among Chiranjeevi fans who attacked Rajsekhar in Hyderabad.

Personally Iam against Chiranjeevi coming into politics.
Politics is pretty messy and it would unnecessarily bring down his image.
Instead, he can concentrate on the good work he already started through Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust.

Iam a regular blood donor at CCT !!

Along with Blood Bank, he can open Non-Profit based Schools, Colleges and many more.
His name would be remembered through the generations for his good work.
It should be noted that some politicians from his caste have indicated to come out of the party they are representing of Chiranjeevi comes into politics.
Chiranjeevi is liked, loved and respected by millions irrespective of caste or religion.
Before jumping into politics, Chiranjeevi has to take this into consideration.
If not, he would become another caste leader.

Looks like everyone, along with me is talking - it's high time Chiranjeevi takes a decision now !!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Childhood Friends Get Together

This post is to get out of the monotony of my other posts on Politics and current affairs.

Yesterday night (24th January 2008), some of my childhood friends planned for a get together. Ravi Kiran is leaving back to US on Sunday. So, we all met at Chutneys Hotel at Himayath Nagar at 9PM.

Others who attended along with me are Ravi Kiran (working at Portland), Vinod (ICICI), Mani (IBM), Dinakar (GE), Madhu (Shanmukha Caterers) and Vijay (Reliance).

Had gala time discussing wide range of issues from Cricket to rising in prices of land in and around Hyderabad, childhood memories, behavior of Indian Born America settled Desis, cracked jokes on politicians and last but not the least separate Telengana issue. Since some of us share radically opposing views like I supporting a separate Telengana NOW with Hyderabad as its capital and Ravi Kiran opposing a separate state altogether and Mani supporting a separate state but Hyderabad would be made a Union Territory. We thought it prudent to stop the conversation and somehow the topic got diverted.

While Ravi Kiran gave his views on the future of Indian Cricket (while we are talking, it was coming in the news that Indian Cricket is turning the way of English Counties with Industrialists and Bollywood Actors buying the rights for different teams - Mumbai was sold to Anil Ambani for a whopping 447 Crores while Bangalore was sold to Vijay Mallya for 446 Crores and Hyderabad to Deccan Chronicle News Paper for around 380 Crores), Mani was more concerned about "Parsi Hills" (guys, I hope you know that he has a house at the Parsi Gutta slum and his sole aim is to make it Parsi Hills - like the famous Banjara and Jubilee Hills). Vijay, the right hand man of Reliance Head, Anil Ambani is concerned about the rates of apartments that Lanco guys are selling. If you dont know, the Lanco Group of Companies is owned by Vijayawada Member of Parliament, Lagadapati Rajgopal who is fighting against Telengana. Vinod pitched in saying that Telugu actress Ileana bought a flat worth a whopping 1.5 Crore Rupees !! Dinakar cracked jokes and Madhu is furious with the Indian Born America settled Indians behavior and the way they talk.

End of the day, it was all fun we had after a very longtime. We left the place at around 11.15PM taking back our cherished memories.

Clink on the link for the snaps

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Collective Punishment by Israel

Since Sunday, entire Gaza Strip in the Palestinian State went out of power as the only power plant owned by the Hamas-led Government is suffering from fuel shortage. The Gaza City plunged into darkness as the turbines were shut off.

As of now, the Hospitals, Offices, Schools and everything is running on generators and once the diesel used for generators also get finished, then the lives of hundreds of people in the hospitals would be in jeopardy. While the emergency machines are running, it seems it is very cold inside the hospitals.

A local health official, said hospitals faced a catastrophic choice between cutting "electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients" or stopping operating theaters.

Israel supplies around 60% of Fuel to Palestine while 8% of fuel is supplied by Egypt and the rest is developed by Palestinians. Israel is insisting the Hamas-led Government to stop shooting Qassam Rockets into the Occupied Areas and into Israel. Once that is done, they would immediately re-start fuel transportation.

Palestinians have very few weapons to fight the modern technology Israeli Army uses and one of them is the highly unstable and ineffective Qassam Rockets. These rockets could able to cause very limited damage and very very rare death. Whenever a rocket lands in Israel, Israel is responding with its modern weaponry and blasting out buildings without caring for the civilians inside it.

The 2006 skirmishes with Hamas led to death of more than 1200 Palestinians (majority of them are civilians) and around 169 Israelis dead (majority of them are from the Army). Instead of stopping Israel of its barbaric acts, the West is happily co-operating with it.

India is also not far behind. We are buying latest technology and arms from Israel and today, Indian Space Research Organization put one of the most sophisticated spy satellite belonging to Israel into Polar Orbit so that Israel can better spy on Iran.

Due to these acts, Israel is only encouraging Hamas and pushing public support to it. Israel has to come out with Confidence Building Measures (CBM's) if it really wants peace with Palestine. How many more years can Palestinians live Occupied ? There should always be a "give-and-take" policy. It is time Israel understands that before it is too late.

Both sides should give peace a chance and Israel being stronger country, needs to be more accommodating and magnanimous.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Problems with Private Banks

I had my first brush with the problems related to Private Banks here in India. They are hardcore marketers when coming to aggressively pushing for new accounts or credit cards or loans but when coming to followup and service, they lack behind.

First time in my life, I approached ICICI Bank for a Personal Loan and a person working on "behalf" of the Bank approaches me and does all the clerical work and come to my house and office for checking whether I gave the address correct and then he checks the references I put up and then sends me an SMS that my loan has been approved and then VANISHES !!

After a week, I approach the Bank directly and they say they dont know about the guy who is roaming around carrying ICICI Bank Forms. I had to apply again but it gets rejected on the fact that I had earlier applied for a loan. This was ridiculous and I tried to reason with the guys there but no one was hearing.

So, I did the best I could do in my hands - block my phone number so that no bank can contact me for loans.

If you also want to do it, just go to the following URL:

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Second SRC ?? No Way !!

With the recent media reports, looks like the wily politicians are really not interested in the feelings and aspirations of 40 Million people from the region of Telangana.

The ruling Congress Party made a deal with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (Party established solely to fight for a separate Telangana State) regarding the formation of Telangana State. While politicians from Congress Party say the deal states that Telangana would be formed only after the recommendations of Second State Reorganization Commission (SRC) while the politicians from TRS say that the deal states Telangana would be formed before the next state assemble elections, slated in 2009. But, till now none of the parties have made the copies of the deal public. Deal or No Deal, politicians are fooling people.

The people of Telangana are taken for a ride by the Congress and TRS parties. It is to be noted that TRS is the only party which has brought the issue of separate Telangana out into the public domain after a gap of 30 full years but oflate, the leaders of the party are not keeping up their words. If they want to show their real commitment for Telangana, all the MLA' and MP's from TRS should resign their positions immediately to show unity and also to exert pressure on the Central Government.

At the same time, all the other parties which have committed for a separate state, like the BJP and CPI have to do the same. The main opposition party, TDP is still in a make belief world of their own thinking that the separate Telangana movement would fizzle out as happened 30 years back. But this time, the sentiments of the people are high. Leaders have to understand the sentiments of the people and act accordingly. Ignoring the sentiments would only help the extremists.

It has to be noted that when Potti Sriramulu died during a hunger strike in Chennai for the formation of a separate Andhra State, he did that only to enable Telugu speaking areas of Madras State to be carved out to form Andhra State. Later, Hyderabad State was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh. This was done against the wishes and aspirations of the people of Telangana as they are culturally different from Andhras. Even the first SRC mentions that Hyderabad State has to be separate but the politicians from Andhra who are dreaming of a Visalandhra forced the decisions.

It is time for the parties to think broadly and take a decision before they commit for second SRC. This time round, the people of Telangana are not going to sit idle as they lost full faith in the promises of the politicians !! They are demanding for Telangana - NOW !

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Telangana - Now Is The Right Time

Looking at the sudden increase in the interest of the political parties, I was wondering when are we going to get a separate Telangana State carved out of Andhra Pradesh State, which is as big as England.
I kept wondering the reason for a state as big as England and all the three parts (Andhra, Raayalaseema and Telangana) claiming to be backward.
We have stayed together almost 60 years and all the three parts of the state are poor. So, what is the need to be together when everyone is not happy.
Best way is to separate - peacefully.

Why are the politicians from the other parts of the state not ready for a split ?? They are afraid that their area of importance is going to decrease and their bargaining power would take a beating with the central government regarding the Central Government funds.

Some Facts regarding Telangana:

The area of Telengana is 1,14,800 Sq Kms.
Telangana represents 42% of the total area of the state and is home to 40% of its total population.

Telangana comprises 10 districts of AP:
Ranga Reddy

History of Telangana:

Telangana region has been ruled by many great dynasties like Sathavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Mughals, and the Qutubshahis. As the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate in the early 18th century, the Muslim Asafjahi dynasty established a separate state known as Hyderabad. Later Hyderabad entered into a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the British Empire, and was the largest and most populous princely state in India. Telangana never under direct British rule, unlike Coastal Andhra and Raayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, which were part of British India's Madras Presidency.

Andhra Pradesh consists of three distinct regions, namely, Andhra, Raayalaseema and Telangana. Andhra and Raayalaseema were part of Madras province of the British empire. For approximately 400 years, Telangana was part of Hyderabad State, an independent kingdom ruled by Muslim Qutub Shahi and Asafjahi (Nizam) dynasties.

Hyderabad state has parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra in it - until they are merged with those states.
Remaining part of Hyderabad state is merged with Andhra State, thus forming Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
The slang of Telugu spoken in Telangana is very different from the rest of the state.
Telangana Telugu is a mixture of Telugu and Urdu.
The culture and traditions of Telangana are quite different from that of the rest of the state.

The Nizam was the world's wealthiest person during the time of independence.
Lot of Hindus are forcefully converted into Islam with a sword at their neck and Urdu was made official language.
During the time of Independence from British, thousands of Hindus were massacred by their Muslim rulers, thus forcing the Indian Army to perform a "Police Action" on the Nizam forces and liberate Hyderabad.

Merger of Andhra and Telangana Regions:

The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) set up by the government of India in early 50s to examine the question of reorganization of states of the country was, in fact, not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 of States Reorganization Commission (SRC) said "..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself". The concerns of Telanganas were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education. Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission (SRC) said "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana area is to constitute into a separate State, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification."

The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a "Gentlemen's agreement" provided reassurances to the Telangana people.

Grudges of Telanganas:

* Telangana is less developed compared to Andhra.
* Rivers like Krishna and Godavari flow through Telangana, but the water from the dams are sent to Andhra.
* Because of less literacy and backwardness of Telangana people, most of the new jobs, postings in government and education are given to people from Andhra.
* Except for common language, the people of Andhra and Telangana have different dialects, histories, cultural systems, different food habits

Separate Telangana Movement:

In the following years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, however, the Telangana people had a number of complaints about how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentlemen's agreement intensified in January 1969 when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse. Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly swiftly threatened "direct action" in support of the students. This movement also know as Jai Telangana movement led to widespread violence and deaths of hundreds of people and students of this Telangana region. Approx. 360 students gave their lives in this movement.

Although the Congress faced dissension within its ranks, its leadership stood against additional linguistic states, which were regarded as "anti-national." As a result, defectors from the Congress, led by M.Chenna Reddy, founded the Telangana People's Association (Telangana Praja Samithi). Despite electoral successes, however, some of the new party leaders gave up their agitation in September 1971 and, much to the disgust of many separatists, rejoined the safer political haven of the Congress ranks.

The emotions and forces generated by the movement were not strong enough, however, for a continuing drive for a separate state until 1990s when Bharatiya Janata Party, promised separate Telangana state if they come to power. But BJP could not create separate Telangana state because of the opposition from its coalition partner, Telugu Desam Party. These developments brought new life into separate Telangana movement by year 2000. Congress party MLA's from Telangana region, supported the separate Telangana state and formed a Telangana Congress Legislators Forum. In another development, a new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (or TRS) is formed with single agenda of separate Telangana state, with Hyderabad as its capital.

Present Talk of SRC:

Most of the political parties are now pitching for a separate state but in different ways.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India want outright separate state, other parties like the governing Congress Party wants a State Reorganization Commission (SRC) to be established by the Central Government and then decide on the future of Telangana.
The opposition Telugu Desam Party is not ready for Telangana and they say that they will take a decision at "right time".
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) are also against Telangana for their own reasons.

It is high time politicians respect the aspirations of the people of Telangana. The demand of Telangana was made in 1952 but was considered not feasible and then shelved. In the late 60's, a huge political agitation took place but it was successfully put down by the state government.

Even though the agitation started off with economic problems in the background, now it has become more sentimental in nature.

It would be of everyone's good if we separate peacefully !!

Role Of Andhras in Hyderabad:

The people who are most worried with the formation of Telangana are the Andhras who have migrated to Hyderabad City after it is made capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Taking advantage of the Capital City, they established industries, started educational institutions and were imposing their style of language.
One way, they paved for the development of the city and the other way, they are trying to enforce their traditions on the region.
People who have migrated from Andhra and settled in Telangana are called as "Mulkis".

Benefits Due To Separation:

* Right now the coal is mined and electricity is produced in Telangana but most of it is supplied to Andhra region, while districts of Medak and Adilabad have four hours of electricity during the day during summer. In the new state, these districts will be fed with electricity.
* The rivers of Krishna and Godavari flow through Telangana, and the dams are in Telangana, but the canals carrying the water go to Andhra. In the new state, there would be new canals bringing water to the arid regions of Telangana bringing in prosperity to the farmers and local population.
* Most of the jobs, in government and education, are filled up by people from Andhra. In the new state, these jobs will go the local population.

With the above benefits in mind, it is for the welfare of the country that a separate Telangana state is formed - NOW !

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Media Role

Of late, it has become common for the Media to highlight something that needs a passing mention.

Two girls were molested on New Year's Day in Mumbai outside the Marriott Hotel as they were proceeding towards Juhu Beach at around 1.45AM Tuesday. It is reported that two girls who were with their male compatriots were targeted by around 60-70 people. The two girls were molested while their male compatriots were watching helplessly as they were pinned down by the mob.

Mumbai Police said no complaint has been filed yet in this connection, but the local edition of a leading English daily published a series of photographs on the incident. While the faces of the girls are blurred in the photographs, their male compatriots are easily recognizable.

I've wrote a post on Media Role in August 2007 and I see that things haven't changed and I expect that they will go further down the drain unless the Central Government comes out with rules and regulations on such issues.

Even though there are such rules existing, the Government is turning a blind eye as it cannot take on the powerful media.

While some in the media are playing a positive role in bringing out issues related to national importance, some among them are creating such problems. Just to earn Ratings, it is not healthy for the media to aggressively meddle in such sensitive areas.

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