On the eve of America’s Independence Day, let’s understand American politics

On the eve of American Independence Day (July 4), having lived in the USA for almost 20 years, here are my thoughts. Without sounding cynical, I still believe that the US can continue to be a beacon of hope, liberty, and freedom of speech, but for that to happen, the politicians and thought leaders have to do some soul searching and bring true democracy back on track.

1. DARK MONEY: The US is no more democracy at this point, It has steadily transformed into an oligarchy.  The common man has no actual say in politics and policy. 

That EVIL ruling by none other than the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) in the year 2010 (United Citizens Vs FEC case has legitimized and accentuated the role of black and Dark Money in politics. Now that money rules US politics, your ideas and activism are secondary.

This image was shot by me in Bloomington IL

2. Lobbying: The system of lobbying has essentially created a system where you keep corrupting the lawmakers and Congress. It has turned lawmakers into money-sucking parasites of the corporate world. Lawmakers essentially work for the interest groups and not for the welfare of the public.

3. Too Less the Players: The 2 party system is not working. They are so polarized that they refuse to work for the needs of the public. This duopoly has to be broken. We need at least a couple of more significant political parties to represent the aspirations and needs of the people.

4. Gerrymandering is a serious blot on the US democracy. How can Democrats and Republicans decide the voting maps according to their suitability? It is a clear conflict of interest as far as the public is concerned.

5. Many grassroots organizations are working hard to get the rights for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) – also called the Preferential voting system. They want RCV to replace the First Past the Post voting system. On a personal note, I fully endorse this.

6. Liberty and Freedom: The US needs to make conscious efforts to keep this as the plank because erosions seem to have started. 

7. Racism: The Americans are nice people, but I still do not understand why this issue keeps making headlines. Times are changing and we need to bury this. 

Happy July 4!

Nelson Mandela still relevant in this world


 Today’s edition of The Pioneer carried my piece on Nelson Mandela: Nelson Mandela still relevant in the world.

July 18 is observed as The Nelson Mandela Day. Though Mandela is often compared with other great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior, his approach widely differed from these two leaders.

Here is the link to full article: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/nelson-mandela-still-relevant-in-this-world.html

The Man Who Dreamt


Like Gandhi, King used his religious conviction and belief in non-violence to champion his cause. He transformed himself in to voice that appealed to the conscience of whites. He took a philosophical stand that “in the final analysis, the white man cannot ignore the Negro problem, because he is part of the Negro and the Negro is a part of him. The Negro’s agony diminishes the white man, and the Negro’s salvation enlarges the white man.”

On the occasion of Marti Luther King Day, my piece published in Bangladesh daily, ‘The Daily Star dated January 19, 2015 : The Man Who Dreamt


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To read the full article please click on the web link: http://epaper.thedailystar.net/index.php?opt=view&page=7&date=2015-01-19


Reality not rosy for US blacks


On the outside, the US has turned the page on its history of racial discrimination. The world’s oldest democracy currently has its first ever African American President in Barack Obama. But the ground reality is far from rosy.

As  USA celebrates February as African American History Month, my analysis published on February 20, 2015 in the Chandigarh and Delhi-based Newspaper “Daily Post”: Reality not rosy for US blacks


सपनों के देश में यह कैसा अंधेरा ?


पिछली दो शताब्दियों में अमेरिका ने सभी क्षेत्रों में अभूतपूर्व विकास किया है, पर अपने समाज में श्वेत-अश्वेत के बीच नस्ली भेदभाव की खाई पाटने में पूरी तरह कामयाब नहीं हो पाया है। आज जब वह खुद को विश्व नेता के रूप में स्थापित करना चाहता है, तब उसे अपने घर में फैली नस्ली असमानता मिटाने पर गंभीरता से ध्यान देना चाहिए। इन दिनों अमेरिका में ‘अफ्रीकन अमेरिकन हिस्ट्री मंथ’ मनाया जा रहा है।19 फरवरी, 2015 के नवभारत टाइम्स समाचारपत्र में प्रकाशित मेरा लेख – सपनों के देश में यह कैसा अंधेरा:


फर्गुसन में नस्लवाद के दंगे

फर्गुसन, अमेरिका में दंगो पर मेरा डिस्पैच आज के “नवोदय टाइम्स”, दिल्ली समाचार पत्र में.

Link: http://epaper.navodayatimes.in/382770/The-Navodaya-Times-Main/Navodaya-Times-Main?show=touch#page/11/1

Navodya Times Nov 26 2014 Ferguson