A few words about me
(Updated in November 2010)
Hi there, and thanks for checking out this blog, and the author! My full name is Vasudevan Srinivasan. Friends call me Vasu, and I am from India.
In this page, I would share some description of myself and my ideas in verse, a poem I wrote to describe my life and views, and a disclaimer that I would urge you to read before you react to any blog post.
By the time you are done with this, you would know I love talking / writing about myself. But once you browse through my blog posts, you would know that love extends beyond my life, and that I am very passionate about discovering new places, people, and sharing my views on them. Since I listen actively and patiently to my friends, I use this blog to share things that I may not have necessarily shared with anyone.
I have been fortunate to have a wonderful life. It has taken me to quite a few places, and given me terrific companions through this journey. It has also thrown many challenges at me, which have helped me learn and grow stronger. This blog is an attempt to capture whatever I experience in life, and share the stories and insights!
Since 2009, I live in a town called Basel, Switzerland.
I like to write about anything under the sun that catches my imagination, so you would find a variety of f topics I blog on. They could range from profound to silly. If you like reading my blogs, please use the RSS feed or “Sign me up” button to subscribe by email / RSS.
Please feel free to leave a comment & provide a rating for any post you liked. Bouquets, brickbats, or any random thoughts can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on http://twitter.com/Awittytwit.
Here is the only poem I have written, and it’s called “Wading through the streams of my life”:
A rainbow of colorful people with their silly smiling faces,
From faraway lands that scream”Lucky dog, you’ve been places”,
Caresses the heart, with memoirs sweet as tart;
When you know you can be adventurous and bold,
For in going for gold, you can fall down cold,
But the bruises heal, the pain you no longer feel;
The day starts as fresh as the morning sun,
With a desire to learn, yet have fun,
For we have one life, and it ought not to be full of strife;
Your fantasies engulf you in their flame,
In chasing them, you play a tantalizing game,
Life isn’t a gentle stream, but in living you go beyond your dream!
I am adding this section, with a touch of sadness. My understanding of the cultural attitudes prevalent in India, normal responses I have seen to blogs, and my knowledge that some blogs I write will address strong political / social issues that people don’t normally like to talk about, means that I have to tell you some aspects of my identity. I dream for the day when debates in my country move beyond who said what to what was said, and I would be very happy to take off this section if such a day arrives.
Where am I from?
For the record I am a Tamilian , from Chennai, and I have lived in different parts of Southern India, visited many parts of India, and have lived in different countries abroad.
I am a Hindu. My personal religious values are fluid and right now stand between borderline agnostic to having strong faith in a power beyond our comprehension without attaching a name tag. In any case, I do not believe too much in religious rituals, or dogmatic behavior. I think I have come to a stage in life where I do pray every once in a while, in a spontaneous manner, and leave it at that. I think attaching too much importance to your customs or religious diktats, or even your religious leaders, is ultimately detrimental to the society. In that aspect, I am quite happy to have been born into Hinduism, which is by nature extremely open minded and liberal, and leaves you enough freedom to experiment with and practice whatever aspect of your faith, you are comfortable, and perhaps the only religion in which atheism is not considered blasphemous!
I am very open minded and liberal. I believe strongly in free speech, freedom to what you like without having to explain to others, being very open minded, staying very modern and ready for any change in the society. I have friends from across the spectrum, and I am extremely proud of the fact that I can wake up listening to Suprabatham, have breakfast with a communist friend, have lunch with a Muslim friend, and hit the lounges in the evening and enjoy a drink with people who may not share any ethnic traits with me. The day I lose the ability to do so, or stop seeing every individual for his words / actions, and focus instead on his identity, I would be ashamed of myself. Yet, I do believe that we all should draw a line somewhere in showing public freedom, and my line is with doing anything that is deemed illegal, doing anything that is prosecutable by the law, doing anything harmful to the person around you, and doing anything that may incite violence. To give an example, if it’s illegal in the place you live to consume drugs, I would object to someone doing so in my vicinity, yet if its legal, I would have no problem with someone doing it. Also, I strongly believe that you’re ethnic, religious, sexual, or communal identity should be made irrelevant to the public place / forum. So, while I may personally be in the mood to pray to my God and willingly celebrate festivals with firm believers in my family and friends circle, I don’t think the state should have any official religion. These are private affairs and should stay so.
At present I do not vote for, or vouch for, any of the political parties in India. My ideology is broadly liberal centrist, though in India, liberalism is something that has been hijacked by the pseudo secular, left lib brigade.
In some issues I am right of center, and empathetic to BJP views, such as national security, uniform civil law ( I am really firm in my view that every one of our billions is an Indian citizens first, and Muslim / Hindu / dalit / atheist after), a certain amount of pride and patriotism for the country, free market based economy, and meritocracy ( Having friends from “under privileged / marginal / lower caste / minority” backgrounds, I understand the locus standi for reservations, but strongly believe it has to be implemented better, and it has to be phased out in the long run, and not a privilege to abuse for life)
On some topics such as economic liberalization, free markets, and being cognizant of India’s rural and poor, I support the congress, though I have extremely strong reservations with the attempt of all Nehru – Gandhi family members, post Nehru to think of the country as a monarchy they have a divine right to rule
The left liberals in congress as well as communist parties of India are caught in a warped socialist ideology. While socialism thrives in multiple forms in western democracies, the Indian understanding of the same is hopelessly shallow, and I wouldn’t trust any of this present lot to make India a welfare state. That’s sad, because the welfare state as such is not a bad idea, and the poor understanding of socialism has been the biggest contributor to left extremism and anarchy that it’s raising its ugly head in the Maoist belt.
Sensible leaders in both the Congress and the BJP are by and large right in forging good relations with U.S and western democracies, after decades of horrible foreign policy. To me, India should be at the vanguard of globalization and international co-operation. That has to be achieved by being a strong economy and a powerful military force, which is assured of its placed in the world, and does not seek to live in isolation.
The parties that focus on specific ethnic / caste / linguistics identity, at best serve a short term purpose of achieving social parity, but in the long run, unless they can reach out beyond their specific identity, they would not do any good for India
So, while this may appear confusing to some, I do believe that each of the national and regional political formulations have a long way to go before they can be accepted by me as a genuinely good party. My ideal part would be a centrist / right of centre party without extreme right wing nuisance leaders, or left extreme anarchist views that shake the foundations of democracy and free speech, that I strongly believe in. Globally I support parties and movements that have good clean leaders, and a clarity of vision, and I truly believe this is a constantly fluid state. I supported Obama in the U.S many years ago, but think his 2 terms have been a huge letdown. I am wary of the rising far right movements in Europe particularly across Nordics, France, Switzerland and UK, but as with India I hold the failure of liberal parties to improve the economy, address migration related issues in a pro-active manner for these far right movements. Broadly speaking if liberal leaders across the world are capable of performing well beyond espousing their values, there would be no place for far right or far left movements.
If, after patiently reading all this, you want to know more about me, please visit my introductory post, very unimaginatively titled “Hello world!” ; Or you could use the Navigate link to wade through a maze of my thoughts