Sunday, January 25, 2015

Namaste Obama

Greetings and Welcome back!

Many things have changed since your last visit, and fortunately for you Americans are not expecting much, your media back home has already referred you as a lame duck President who is going to India to watch a Parade! Oh additionally you may be signing few papers and pose for photos with PM Modi, may be even a Selfie, you can also learn how to take a Selfie from PM Modi.

This time around instead of Mahatma Gandhi you may have to speak about Godse, so please read about Godse and be prepared to call him a patriot, yes your secret service staff can procure books on Godse from any RSS shakha, they will give it for free. If PM Modi is going with you to Raj Gath it’s more for PR, and be assured his respect is only for Godse and not Mahatma.  

PM Modi is all excited about your visit; America has always been his ultimate dream. Recently at Vibrant Gujarat PM Modi promised the world cheap Indian labour, and to prove it he paid Rs 300 per day each for 600 workers who cleaned all parts of Agra that you had planned to visit. Agra and Taj Mahal got a face lift just for you, and you decided to attend the Saudi King’s funeral, yes we understand, oil is indeed thicker!

Our media has changed too, last time they were all thrilled to talk about you for weeks, and this time around they will be finding ways to praise PM Modi from every word you utter. Last time around media was keen on what you wore and what you did not, this time around they will be raving about PM Modi designer wear and how he matches his attire to yours more than Michelle!

I am aware that you have a very high regards for our soft spoken, well educated and statesman Ex PM Dr Singh with 5x3.5 inch Heart and 1.5 kg Brain, but as I said many things have changed, we now have a 56 inch chest PM Modi whom you have to deal with and nothing more.

Was told that you will be giving a sermon called ‘Maan Ki Baat’ along with PM Modi on Radio, Maan Ki Baat is about speaking your mind, so be careful of what you speak! If you really end up speaking your mind PM Modi Bhakts will troll and abuse you, they can trend hash tag of abuses on Twitter within minutes! Beware that the Indian-Americans will spoil the Democrats changes next elections, and will stop funding your party if you even remotely speak your mind!

You are the 1st US President to be part of the Republic Day Parade only because PM Modi is obsessed with ‘1st time’ even if it makes no sense to our Nation. So don’t get carried away that you are the 1st American US at the Republic Day Parade, because it’s not about you it’s about PM Modi.

India’s Republic Day Parade is mostly about showcasing our defence strength and 60+ years of sheer growth and prosperity; don’t feel bad because most of it on display will be Russian! All our previous governments choose Russia over America, but don’t worry PM Modi is a America fan, most of his election funding and support came from NRI’s in America, so expect defence deals for America too.

PM Modi has launched ‘Clean India’ campaign and asking celebrities to send pictures holding a broom, many be you too should launch ‘Clean America’ to wipe and clean the bloodshed across the world you have spilled in the name of war and security for America!  

Our Ex PM Dr Singh must have spoken to you about his policies and how it will help most of India’s population, as I said many things have changed PM Modi policies are like Karan Johar movies made for Rich, Affluent and NRI audience with lot of Hoopla. PM Modi has already cut Medical, Healthcare, Land compensation, Rural Jobs, Food, Farmer budget, so do not talk about the common people with PM Modi he has left them to die a natural death or commit suicide as he has also proposed to de-criminalize suicide.  

Many things have changed; PM Modi has changed all the name of the programs implemented by Dr Singh lead Government. PM Modi likes ‘change’ he mostly changes names and cloths way too often!

But you just chill and have a good time, this visit is not about you it’s about PM Modi and even if you make few false promises or goofy statements it’s ok, we are now used to the lies PM Modi has told us before elections.

Don’t even try to feel at home, RSS-VHP will then perform a Gharwapsi ceremony for you! 

Warm Regards
Kavitha Reddy

Friday, January 16, 2015

Open Letter to Elected Representatives

Dear Elected Representatives,

I know all your birth dates by now and I surely do not want to wish you on your birthday’s ever!  I also know that you wish your voters on every possible occasion even though it makes no real difference to their lives nor you have made any sincere effort to make a difference to their lives!

Yes you and your party workers have successfully made Bengaluru Ugly with all those Banners, Hoardings and Posters, which to my guess are mostly unpaid and unauthorized

Since you have set the trend, millions have followed you, with posters that offer PAN Cards, Passports, PG Accommodation, Cars, Cabs, Houses, Training, Sex, Cook, Food, Yoga, DL, Movies etc are pasted on every single Wall, Flyover, Tree, Fence, Divider, Electric Poles, Gates and any other place that is still left!

What is more amusing and shameful is that most of the Bengaluru MLA’s and Corporators are from BJP, PM Modi who heads the BJP Govt in the centre passionately and eloquently speaks about Swacch Bharat. PM Modi has been asking people to clean the Roads, Locality, City, State, Country, and all you do is make the city of Bengaluru Ugly, Dirty and Filthy every day and disrespecting the PM who is from your own party!

Thanks to the BBMP, the city is infamously christened as ‘Garbage City’ and you people are busy adding and other tag of ‘Ugly City’. A rap on BBMP knuckles by Courts and Lokayukta has made no difference; BBMP has shown no will or spine and they continue to follow the diktats of you and your ever aggressive party workers. The city not just getting uglier by the hour but is losing revenue, as none of you pay for erecting up those horrendous Banners, Hoardings and Posters.

Even at a small fee of Rs1 per Banner/Hoarding/Poster per day would mean cores of revenue that BBMP is losing, additionally BBMP ends up using tax payers money to remove/clean/dispose them. Those ridiculous flex banners you proudly display your photos on cannot be recycled; and it ends up in the landfills creating few more Mandurs!

Spare a thought, the city is already suffering from air pollution, water pollution, garbage, noise pollution, traffic jams, pot holes. Think about it, if I am stuck in a traffic jam and all I get to see are faces of you and your 30 odd party workers almost mocking at my fate, and follow me all through the lane till I turn to the next road, sadly only to see one more of your kind.

Recently, I spotted a old lady who tearing one of your big poster from the frame, I asked her if she was angry with the politician, she smiled and replied ‘no, the only good thing is that I can use these poster to cover my toilet which is in open’, alas you have helped some one!

Stop making a mockery of the system using your political forces, you have wiped-off the revenues for BBMP and are using the tax payer’s money to clean up your mess. Buckle up the city is struggling to survive; spare the city from your Posters, Banners, Hoardings and the Public Nuisance you are indulging in. Also save self from future public humiliation, because days are not far when people have to pee and poo on your banners and posters!

City of Bengaluru needs a break, needs a break from your ‘Political Litter’!

- Kavitha Reddy

Friday, January 9, 2015

Not Mahatma Gandhi's India!

Disturbing trends are emerging in India over the last 10 months; fringe groups nationally have taken centre stage in the name of Hindutva post the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. 

It will not be an exaggeration to say that the very foundation of ‘Idea of India’ laid by our founding fathers is under threat. Slowing our nation is moving towards religious identity and fanatic mindset in the name of nationalism.

Marking 15th Nov, the day Bapu’s killer was hanged as Shaurya Divas, calling Godse a Patriot and initiating a sinister program to install statues of Godse all over the country only suggests that the fringes who have taken over the reins along with BJP want to erase the sacrifices, contribution and principles of Mahatma Gandhi.

It’s shocking and to hear/read news clip like this "@ANI_news: we want Gandhi photo taken off from currency notes, replace with Maharana Pratap or Godse: Hindu Mahasabha Karnataka".

The current PM who comes for the same state Bapu was born makes lengthy speeches in the name of Mahatma, but is unwilling to control the fringe elements in his Cabinet and in his Party; they are on a daily basis shaking the very foundation of ‘Idea of India’.

Mr PM uses Mahatma for PR and image makeover while he lets his MPs, Party people and parent organizations offer Prayers for Godse.

A day does not go by without a hate speech or a situation to create communal disharmony, making me cynical and crying loud it’s ‘Not Mahatma Gandhi's India’.

100 years ago on 9th Jan 1915 Bapu returned to India and 100 years later we are driving away the thoughts, principles, memories of Mahatma who struggled for freedom of this nation! 

- Kavitha Reddy

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bengaluru: Water Matters

Quenching Bengalureans thirst and supplying tap water to the city is the most expensive affair, and is dipping into the BWSSB finances on a daily basis. A hike in water rates by BWSSB is always condemned, followed by a massive outrage in media, and then it ends in political fireworks and a price roll back.

Everyday 900-1000 Million Litres of water is processed and pumped from a distance of 100 kms to Bengaluru which is at a higher altitude; it costs BWSSB not less than Rs80/KL of water that reaches Bengaluru, making it one of the most expensive water supply operations in the country. Even with such an expensive operation over 30-35% of Bengaluru do not get the water supplied by BWSSB or don’t get enough even for basic needs. Households in several revenue pockets, apartment blocks, slums, parts of newer BBMP wards are deprived of BWSSB connections/supply and have to pay 2-4 times more for the same quantity of water that the households who have BWSSB connections utilize.
Households without BWSSB connections or less of it are drawing underground water from the tube wells in their premises or dependent on private water tanker supply system (the infamous water mafia). On one hand it is an environmental disaster in the making, as excess drawing of ground water and less than 30% of it getting recharged, the ground water will dry up sooner or later. On the other hand is the huge disparity in the cost one pays to buy water.
A household in a slum pays Rs2-5 for a pot of water, a resident in an apartment block buys tanker supplied water (6000 litres) at Rs300-800 and a household with BWSSB connection pay Rs7/KL of metered water. The glaring disparity is not just unfair but undemocratic too, why should households of the same city have to pay different cost for water they consume?
On an average a person needs 80-120 litres of water per day to lead a hygienic and healthy life, and access to clean affordable water is indeed a right of every citizen. The lopsided supply of water does not address the minimum requirement of water to keep the citizens hygienic and healthy. It’s common knowledge that water tanker mafia aid the local politicians to control their vote banks in smaller colonies, and to make windfall profits by supplying water to affluent apartment blocks. Hence there has been no urgency or political will to make rational changes to the system and to improve the water supply situation in Bengaluru.
Honorable CM Shri Siddaramaiah who is also the Minister in-charge of BWSSB has to review the water supply situation and fix the unfair disparities. With increasing influx of people into the city there will be an excess strain on resources, it’s practically impossible to keep drawing water from 100-200 kms from different rivers and also draining out ground water.
Suggestions to BWSSB, and tough measures:

BWSSB should use the BBMP GIS mapping and connect all the properties in Bengaluru to its network, making it mandatory for every household to have a BWSSB water connection. When a property is linked to BBMP Taxes and BESCOM power supply there is no reason why the Sewage and Water connections are not made mandatory.

Supply 80-120 litres of water per person per day to every household, at an average of 5 people per household at a subsidized rate, and charge any additional usage at actual operating cost. Charging at actual operating cost above the basic necessity automatically forces reduction in usage; it promotes conservation and increases adoption of rainwater harvesting methods.   
Ban drilling of tube wells for at least next 10 years, register and meter all the existing tube wells in the city and charge the water drawn from tube wells, but also reward recharge and harvesting methods.
Shut-down private water tanker operations, as the menace of controlling water for votes or gains should end. In a civilised society and in a democratic set-up there should be no room for controlling of voices & votes via water. 
Yes, many concerned citizens have taken to water conservation and rainwater harvesting in a big way, hats off to them, but their efforts alone will not solve the water problems of the city. There has to be changes at the Legislative level, and the current Karnataka Government has a great opportunity to bring in the much needed changes to the way water is supplied and priced in Bengaluru. However unpopular and politically challenging the changes are, it should be done as its good for the city and its citizens.
Water for all can become a reality if the Government uses a carrot & stick approach, by rewarding conservation and punishing excess usage.
-Kavitha Reddy

Also published in Jagran City Plus HSR Layout Edition 03rd Jan 2015 Click