My America Tour
Avula Gopala Krishna Murty (AGK)
In this book
Avula Gopalakrishna Murthy (AGK) a Humanist, an orator, a famous lawyer and a writer gives us a critical appreciation of America and its people.
AGK`s tour is significantly different and praiseworthy when compared to other people was visited that country and returned home.
AGK saw America from various angles. He tells us the similarities and differences between us and the Americans in various fields of life.
Each chapter in itself is the highlight of his observations, each one an essay in content with his erudite comments about what he saw and felt.
Hence this book is content oriented where from the poets find inspiration, the socialists get social matters and the democrats derive thoughtful incentives.
This book is a source of knowledge to the scholars, local administrators as well as the farmers. READ AND ENJOY.
(Translated by : Komala Venigalla)
Journey through nature
On the way
People, Attitudes, Lifestyle
Government and People
Within two months
Children are Children Anywhere
Newspapers and Journalism
The Problem of Blacks
Few more salient features
The first of June 1963 happened to be very significant in my life . Our daughter Jayasree was getting married that day. It was our (Hemalatha and myself) 25th wedding anniversary. A third surprising and happy event, took place the same day. I got a letter through B.S.R. Krishna from the American government inviting me to tour their country for two months.
I set out on my tour on 13th August and left India on 15th .I came back on 3rd Nov winding up my American tour. Many friends were apprehensive about 13th date, 8th month and 3rd, for them they were not auspicious dates. But they were sure that I did not share their fears. But they were all happy and relieved when I returned home safely.
I spent sixty days in America, eleven in England and four each in Holland, Germany and France.In each of the countries I met people of varied culture while observing the differences, feeling the new experience.
Knowing about my trip several friends and various organizations invited me to their places and felicitated me. They came out with some suggestions, advice and aspirations. They asked me to take full advantage of my trip. I realized their expectations.
I had new experiences everywhere I went without changing myself in any way.
After I returned from tour I had to travel to various places in several districts sharing my experiences, observations and their influences on me while in America with people who gathered enthusiastically to listen to me. They were delighted to hear about the people I met, places I visited and the organizations I was invited to. They posed some questions and my answers cleared their doubts. The people`s response in these meetings and their enthusiasm prompted me later to bring out this small book regarding my experiences, feelings and ideas- the outcome of my tour.
I was still in America when a rumor was circulated in Andhra that I made some untoward remarks in a meeting organized by the lawyers` association. It was spread like wildfire and some went even to the extent of demanding that I should be called back. Their ignorant remarks ignited many favorable responses towards me from various sources and even newspapers stood by me. All that became my strength.
The people of Andhra whether they knew me or not followed my tour closely and I am thankful to each and every individual for their indirect support to me.
I thank all my friends who invited me and honored me whole heartedly before and after my tour
I cannot mention all their names here individually though.
My tour was an eye-opener to me. Prior to that I read about those countries and the people of the outside world. But seeing all that personally was altogether a different experience.
I saw the difference between gathering, knowledge through books and seeing those wonderful places and meeting people personally. Mine was an enriching experience which I could bring out in a book form .I hope that readers will surely appreciate and enjoy it. Encouragement of my friends is behind my effort though late.
1-4-66 Gopalakrishna Murthy
Journey through Nature
`Take a sixty days tour in our country, observe newspapers, journalistic trends, law courts and all other things of your interest, visit places you like and meet with people you prefer to` That was the invitation to me from the American Government which I accepted and set out on my journey. though the trip was to a country a very long distance away, my preparations were on a small scale.
It was our independence day 15th August. In the early hours at 4.45 am my journey started in T.W.A Jet Boeing aircraft. Bombay was still in slumber in the midst of bright lights. there would be many events that day celebrating the independence day- all that I left behind. But I was delighted that I would, be reaching New York on 15th August itself.
I was flying in an expensive plane which flew six or seven hundred miles an hour . It was moving faster than wind and speedier than the thoughts of some of us. It was flying over 25,000 feet from land and water levels . From Paris to New York it was 35,000 feet.
I landed in New York at 7.10 pm the same day. I started from Bombay . We might count the time as 14.25 hours but it was much more than that.
The question would arise how could it be more hours than 14.25 hours. Did the aircraft move slowly or was there any other reason ?
The answers for that question - if the earth, is square there is no answer. There is no answer if we think like our ancestors that the Sun is revolving around the earth. But earth is round and it revolves around the Sun.
My journey took more than 14.25 hrs .It took 27 hours by the time I reached New York.
In this journey in nature there was a big war being waged ,not between our ancient ideas and modern ideas, but between nature and man`s effort.
The Sun who is part of nature appears to rise at different areas in different times each moment. Because the earth is round and revolves around the Sun we get that impression. For us it looks amazing. Everyday in 24 hours it looks that somewhere it is the sunrise and sunset, somewhere else at the same time. In fact it is neither sunrise nor sunset. It looks like that because earth is revolving. It looks though for some, especially for the religious fanatics a wonder but for nature it is the daily routine act. For those who accept scientific knowledge it is a natural routine.
Our plane at first stopped at the oil city Derham in Saudi Arabia. Then at Cairo-capital of Egypt, at Athens, in Greece. at Rome in Italy and in Paris capital of France. Straight from Paris we flew to New York and by 10 pm we reached Washington DC, the capital of America. That was 15th August, our independence day still.
We reached Washington at 10pm. But it was neither 10pm in India nor was it 15th August. It was 8am on 16th August there . We stayed four hours in all in those cities where we halted . We traveled for 27 and odd hours. When we reached New York at 7.10 pm the Sun was just set in. Then after three hours we were in Washington-thus we had a very long day time!
One wonders how it is possible to have a very lengthy day time as there are only 12 hours in a day.
This wonder is the result of man`s war against nature. He is able to extend 12 hours of a day time into 27 hours. If he continues his travel from New York to San Francisco via Japan, Burma and reach Bombay the day time can be extended to 44 hours instead of 27 hours. If man challenges nature that he would refuse to see the night he can win. By taking backward journey he can but that he would not see the daytime he can win the bet. With the help of scientific technology man could show the effect of his effort on nature.This is the story of factual matter or fact. If religious fanatics refuse to accept this fact we have nothing to say.
In this journey there is neither expostulation against nor submission to nature. The significance of this journey is to observe the factual happening and understanding it.
I enjoyed 27 hours of day time which gave me a feeling of elation, and satisfaction. Though I read about this Sunrise in the books earlier I experienced the thrill by watching it after sixteen years of our independence. I could see the difference between reading and seeing it personally. It was a surprising knowledge. This is an experience everyone should have and enjoy the effect of it.
While flying high I could see the borders of earth and its shape. I could witness myriads of colors more than seven believed to be there by us , may be they acted an illusion. But it was the wonderful sunrise and the day time.
Because of the layers of the clouds between us, the earth and water I could see the distance between us and the earth but could not grasp the distance between us and the clouds, or between them and the earth. The nature was going through the birth pangs, the sun was not yet born. In this effort both nature and the sun were struggling giving an enthralling chance to man to feel the inexplicable joy. The colors were changing moment by moment yet the Sun could not free itself from nature`s womb, the birth throbs reddening the scene.
The poets who described the sunrise and did not experienced this. Those of us who did experience it are not poets. Hence beauty of that scene did not find a place in our poetry.
We could not estimate the thickness of the clouds. They were moving in various shapes- hills, threads , bunches, rings, laces, horses, elephants, lions ,goats, cows bulls and also the shapes of animals which we have never seen before.The beautiful movement of the clouds excelled the poetic imagery of them by Krishnasastri in his lyric and also superior rendering of the ssme by Bhanumati in the movie Malliswari.
We could see the areas breaking through the clouds while the plane was rising up or descending down. For a while we felt the sea nearer and we watched the golden sun beautifying the clouds with blue, green, yellow and various shades of gems. Then the golden hue of Sun turned into white robes.All this metamorphosis took more than 2 and half hours
We saw the shape of earth and indescribable beauty of the light illuminating the space where the land and the sea meet.It inspires the poets to pen great poem. The clouds near those borders broke into the shapes of towns, cities and disintegrated. The white foam exuded by the waves appeared have to become clouds. The clouds appeared to have covered the sea with the white cloak. Then the clouds themselves looked like forming the sea. When the plane was descending through the clouds we felt that the clouds themselves formed into steps bidding farewell. It is very difficult to assimilate the magnitude of Solar riches.
The beauty of the clouds started disappearing after 10 am on 15 th. We could witness the white golden colors of sand particles.
That was how we took nature into our hands giving life to daytime extending it to 27 hours. When we reached New York night embraced us with a feeling of triumph that it could catch us.
That was my first journey in nature.
From Andhrajyothi, 1-9-63
After watching the beauties of nature while flying high in the skies we had our first halt at Derham, an oil rich sandy city in Saudi Arabia. The airport was not specially attractive and there was not much activity going around . Next we landed in Cairo thinking of the Egyptian rulers, pyramids and the knowledge of their ancient generations. The airport was bigger compared to that of Derham. It looked strictly disciplined place with big built people in lengthy dresses. Arabic architecture was found everywhere.
Our third stop was at Athens. It is small but the home of ancient civilizations. the mental pictures of great Greek philosophers- Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Protagoras, Democretus, Thucydides, Thales and historic events like Trojan horse made me emotional in that city. The small buildings with Mangalore tile roofs, painted pots, baskets made of leaves and reeds and their musical instruments made me feel that we are closer to the Greeks in our culture. They are our older brothers in our ancient civilization .
Then we stopped in Rome- famous for their kingly dynasties. There is a similarity between Athens and Rome in the sense, that the Renaissance movement flourished in both those cities. It is the home for art, architecture, paintings which preached by the world renowned artists and personalities like Leonardo da vinci, Michelangelo , and Medici. Rome`s leanings are towards the west. We dont see here neither the French sophistication nor the Egyptian strength.It is a mixture of many things.
Our last stop was in Paris-the airport is illuminated with delicate fanciful scenes.The people were active and yet it is peaceful. It was spectacular. The people revel in their fashionable and passionate life. They seem to be proud of themselves, their literature and their western culture. From there we took a long jump, crossed the Atlantic ocean and reached New York-the city of cities.
People, Attitudes, Life Style
We may sit in our country and wish well for the world but it does not help us to know the outside world. We remain ignorant.If we tour various countries, meet people, observe their nature and their culture it may not give us a chance to know much about them but it surely enables us to know ourselves.
America is a big country though not population-wise. It helps backward countries and also interfere in their matters.Thus it is a powerful nation. Their population was up to 18 crores and 20 lakhs ( in 1963).It is less than half of our population -ours was 45 crores ( in 1963). In 1812 their population was 72 lakhs and 50 thousand.In 1852 it was 2 crores and 20 lakhs. Meanwhile 20 lakhs Europeans migrated to America. According to Homestead rule of 1862 migrant could buy 160 acres of land paying Rs 20 or 50 per acre. That helped land distribution mightily and large number of people migrated and settled in America.
People from almost all European countries we find in America. It looks like a small size Europe. Not only Europeans many people from Russia, Arab countries, Africa, Asia, Japan and China went there and formed settlements. America is a merger of various nationals into one country- a mixture of many minorities. The greatness of America is that internationalism is an inherent part of their nationalism.
The feeling of individual right is dominant here in America. They dont` differentiate between a master and a servant - that feeling is predominant in rest of the world.The way they address each one as mister is to be appreciated.
All the settlers consider themselves as Americans and English as their language. Because of this we find unity in diversity in this country.
People here are conscious and instead of expanding their families they expanded their wealth in the past 20 years keeping limiting their population between 18 and 20 crores (1963) They dont` have to struggle with family planning projects like us. They consciously limited the families while enjoying the comforts of life.
A peculiar tendency of the Americans is noteworthy. When they work they are meticulously immersed in it undisturbed When they sit to eat they do full justice to eating. They enjoy the free time with their families visiting different places. They know how to work, how to eat and how to enjoy life. That is their specialty .
Their weekend is like a festival to them.Rarely people abstain from weekend travel and enjoyment.They rush out in their cars. For me that looked like more strain than relaxation. When I pointed it to some friends they too shared my opinion. We can make them rethink and see the point.
They are fully conscious of their rights as well as their duties.
We see humane brotherly feeling towards blacks and their colored people here. But in the southerners we see the pride of their color though their number is on the decline. Their special status is taking a downward trend.
America is a country of distances-place to place, state to state thousands of miles apart. Though all speak English there is variation in style between the people of north, south and east. They are not different in eating and dressing. There are differences in industrial areas and agricultural areas. Though we see differences in some ways unity is predominantly felt there.
We can quote small examples of how humans behave similarly worldwide. We see people caring for pigeons feeding them and flying them . In India we see humane services people feeding ants with sugar.In this beef eating nations we find all such people-the humane services society.
I had witnessed a painful scene at Kaufman cafe in Belmont Plaza of New York. In India dogs, pigs and beggars fight with each other to collect food half eaten, thrown out of hotels and homes. Such scenes dissolve our independence into a zero, humanness melts into nothingness. A different scene , not that intense, I came across here. Some food was served in small cups. One gentleman just tasted a bit and pushed the dish away. A cleaner there removed top portion from that cup and reserved it for himself. It really pained me.
The scene in the restaurant was a painful reminder of India. I had not seen many such things in America. Yet I could feel the sadness thinking of them.
I did not see beggars in America. I saw an odd looking man with a card board plate around his neck asking for alms. That is their way of begging for such people here. There are shelters yet I saw one begging in in New York.
One drunkard approached me in San Francisco and asked me to help him to buy a ticket to next city. I moved away saying sorry! I saw him leaving the place , he might have asked some others for help.
America hospitality is a special feature found everywhere.In ancient days India was well known for its hospitality.But these days that spirit is changing in our own country. Americans are very good hosts. I was a house-guest at Albert Kaufman`s house, for three and half days. The family left the whole house at my disposal when they had to go to work. they made meticulous arrangements for my food and other needs. Daily they took me out to visit places driving two three hundred miles giving me an opportunity to observe their system of agriculture.
One day they threw a party inviting 23 families. The guests brought their own crockery and cutlery along with an item of food-a potluck party. I , as a special guest, had to taste all their dishes, if I did not do it they would feel disrespected. After that heavy dinner all of us sat for discussion -that is their tradition. Poets, singers, teachers, film personalities, lawyers, doctors and agriculturalists comprised the group gathered there. All of them posed innumerable questions to me which showed their knowledge and also their ignorance about India. They all heard me with interest and some even took notes.
In Milwaukee the Malinger family invited me for dinner. I asked them what they were interested in about India.
Mary Malinger said that they invited me specially because they came to know that I have six children. I remarked-`may be you have more children`!
`How do you know?` She asked. I started saying -`otherwise`-she interrupted me saying that they have nine daughters and one son. She laughed pointing to herself. She was pregnant with her eleventh child.
`Are you Roman Catholic`? My question to her. The couple wondered how I knew it. The Catholics are against family planning.
The dinner with them created a festival atmosphere. The kids actively participated.I was reminded of Tenali Ramakrishna`s story-Nigam Sarma`s sister.Their uncle joined us at the table.
It was the birthday of the one of the girls, they brought the big birthday cake, which I cut being the guest of honor.
The youngest girl was three years old. All children giggled, chirped and laughed around me. Their mother reminded them that they should respect the guest, Children are children-anywhere, anytime, they bring cheer and pleasure to the grown ups. After meals they asked whether my mother tongue was English.
I said `No`.One of them asked me how then could I speak English. I told them that I had learnt it. The third and fourth girls wondered who could teach me that good English. My answer was - like your country my country was in slavery ruled by the British . One of them remarked that they never had slavery . Their mother corrected her saying that they had slavery once upon a time. I continued- `you got freedom in 1776 and we got in 1947 Your mother tongue is English. We have learnt it and so it is our adopted language.` -They looked at each other assimilating what I said. The eldest girl- a college student expressed the desire to know how mother tongue sounds.
I got a cassette out-Athota Ratna kavi, and lawyer Johnson sang and recorded them.The children`s father relayed them on the tape recorder. They all jumped up and down appreciating the song. I told them that Telugu is called Italian of the east.They requested me to sing. I recited two poems. They gaped at my mouth in surprise.
After sending the children away Mary came and sat with me with a notebook in her hand.
She was looking at me intently as she asked me-what is the status of women in your country? My answer-`You call her better half. We call her Gruhalakshmi- Arthangi. To tell you frankly they are given secondary status. Of late that situation is changing slowly, treating them equal to men`.
She tightened her lips. Her husband looked at her smiling. Her next question was `how long, would it take women to be treated equals`. I coolly and calmly said- A few generations- changes in our country take place slowly. We are very slow in social change.
She asked me-Do you still observe untouchability in your country?
My response-`yes.Our constitution abolished untouchability , laws have been passed saying that it is crime to practice untouchability in restaurants and other public places.`
She-`Has is it gone?`
Me -`No it did not. It will not go this soon. It has not come up all of a sudden. No single person is responsible for it. The responsibility lies on the past history of India. All of us are accountable to it. All of us have to work seriously to abolish it. Even then it will take a very long time. Inter caste and inter racial marriages and other such changes will help to abolish it.`
While she took notes she asked me why should it take that long.
I said- Social problems do not crop up in a single day,Such social evils take real long time to die down.`
She ---` but------/`Me--` There is no but in social problems.They have to go in course of time. These people should be given special preference and place in education, professions, marriages and technical fields and in state legislatures. Such encouragement will slowly help the needed result- abolition of the evil.
She could not say anything further. Her husband retired to the next room. The older gentleman was just listening to our conversation. The children were busy playing.
Let us turn to the discussions in Kaufman`s house. I was asked everywhere why our women are treated unequally. I had to explain to them clearly and patiently.
One poetess wondered why men are so selfish and narrow minded.
My response--some such men you will find even in your country-.The men gathered there laughed at my remark.
I continued--Apart from men`s selfish narrow thinking- we see that they are tradition bound.Without trying to change their thought process to come out of the old evils thinking that old is gold. This type of social behaviorism we can see in all the countries. If we look back to history and social revolutions we know that men are slaves to old ways. But there are some social activists who opposed the existing social set up. Such people we meet in all countries. We are closer to 16 th century in our social norms. This is 20th century. You are measuring our old social system with your 20th century yard scale. `
They looked at me, at each other hesitating to question further.
Me--`You find similar conditions in all backward countries.
Kaufman asked me whether the deep rooted untouchability and caste system had been abolished.
Me---Though our constitution abolished untouchability , the society did not do it yet. Caste system is strong in our society. Some are trying to do away with it. In our country Nationalism was fully supported by our freedom fighters. It was basic hatred towards Britishers. After the Britishers left in our country hatred against muslims flourished during the partition of the country.Then it turned into the evil caste system.The inherent hate spirit in Nationalism helped the caste system to become deep rooted . Even elections reflect caste system.People marry within their own caste thus strengthening the system further .
They were shocked to know that marriages do not cross the caste barriers-expected me to suggest alternative.
Me--We are trying to bring a change. We are hoping that the educated will encourage inter caste marriages. But it will have to go a long way, even generations to take place for the change.
They sighed and looked at me sympathetically. I am a representative of the unfortunate lot.
Kaufman told me that some of our own people denied that those two evils are no more in our country. I emphatically told him that it was a lie.
I asked them about the problem of blacks in their own country, and if they tell lies the problem will not go away. Same is true with our problem even if some tell lies.—
We should bravely face the problems`--I said.
Similar questions were raised everywhere I met people. I answered them clearly and truthfully just as I talked about them in India. I referred to the historical events, foreign invasions and our traditional social background.
In those meetings I could see their enthusiasm to know about our country. They even expressed their readiness to help to redress our problems .
They depend more on machines than on manual labor because the later is more expensive. They believe in buying a new machine instead of getting the old one repaired.
Sixty, seventy per cent of women smoke, almost all take drinks. Sixty per cent of workers in offices are women . Their women lawyers are even more in number. They don’t differentiate men from women -may be they are 18 crore angels!
But their family system is a bit odd. The parents take less responsibility once their children grow to be 15, 16 years. But this freedom to children is making them go astray in some cases. I felt their family system is defective.
The whole families eat at restaurants.Some even do not cook food at home. This practice destroys togetherness of the family in some way. Restaurant smells pervading their houses.
Another special feature of theirs is not to interfere in others` lives. They keep to themselves. General population does not bother about neighboring nations. Hundred year old Monroe scheme could be responsible for their behavior.
They do not like to waste time.Men and women walk very fast and even speak fast. Their walk is equal to our running. they use their time methodically. If they have to meet somebody they fix a time and promptly be there and finish the work on time.
One day I fixed up 10 am as my time to meet a person. Though I was there at 10 am it took 10 minutes for me to trace and reach his room. He turned to next work as though he had done with me.
I approached his secretary who said he was looking into his next business.
I argued----- Our meeting time is for 30 minutes .Only 10 minutes are already spent--there are 20 more minutes he has to give me. She did not know what to say but went in saying that I was raising law points.
The gentleman called me in after 20 minutes of talking. I promptly got up to leave. He said that I use my 30 minutes and continued discussion. time is important for them..
Even when we tell things not to their liking, they listen to us without showing irritation. They look for the important points in what we said and reason in our ideas.
So rational thinking is welcomed by them.
I argued with them in many meetings that they were allowing too much freedom to their children at a very young age which is leading some to wrong paths.I mentioned the same in my radio and television talks there.
They attacked me in return saying that we control our children too much not allowing them to grow. Their objection is to our system of the parents finding life partners to our sons and daughters. This point was raised by them in all meetings.
My answer was-----We take good care in raising our children and we sacrifice many of our comforts to enable our children to have better future. You too do that to a certain extent. But you leave them free to find themselves even before they are mature enough to take their own decisions. We in India advise and guide them even in matters of their marriages with a view to make them have proper married life. They did not agree with me. But I did not leave the matter at that.
I said-----With modern education and lifestyle marriages taking new roots even in our country. But most of the parents take that responsibility too in selecting the life-partners to their children. We are not making changes as fast as you do. It will slowly move with education and industrial advancement. I am not defending that we are right. But I see some irresponsibility in your system.~
They emphatically denied it.
But I still insisted saying that you are leaving more responsibility on children and call it giving them freedom. I call it your irresponsibility. I could see their anger.
I continued------What is wrong if you guide your children regarding their marriages giving them advice and suggestions. It is not an order on your part. But guidance is not a sin. The family system is still strong in our country. Yours has loopholes. ---
They remained quiet , some moved their heads.Some could see the point in my argument.
America has federal constitution-young in age. In 1492 Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor was deputed by the king of Spain to sail to India. On the way he landed in America and thought it was India. He called the people there Indians. They are American aboriginals-the Red Indians.
It is a vast country with Atlantic ocean on the east and the Pacific on the west side. There are 50 states with varied climatic conditions-from 120 degrees heat to freezing snow.The country is rich in mineral resources.It has vast forest areas and mountains. The aboriginals were 4 lakhs in number.They had 5 crore and 60 lakhs acres of land under their control.
In ancient days America was called New World. Americans have fundamental rights for persons surpassing any other country. The framers of their constitution carefully drafted the features of the fundamental rights.The feeling of the fundamental rights has taken deep roots in the people .That assertion is the basis of the American democracy which is unknown to others. It is its life support.
America became independent in 1776-the rule of George 111 ended then.
Their constitution which came into force in 1789, was written for Justice, international peace, general well-being and to bestow the blessings of independence to their children. Their declaration of independence and the first ten amendments ( Rights bill) in their constitution have been their legacy.
Now their population is 18 crores( in 1963) . The fifty states are divided into 3050 counties. Each county comprises of towns, cities and the villages. There are 50 thousand school districts, 14,424 administrative districts. Local administration is base and boon to America. Democracy is etched in their veins.The States have more administrative powers than the federal government. Federal government looks after-foreign relations, internal and foreign trade, war strategy, taxes, currency, mail services, naturalization and general well-being. The states have rest of the rights. In recent times the federal government is interfering in matters of loans-providing funds to house building,education,social welfare and labor problems. People fear that in the name of welfare interference is increasing.
Two thirds of people live in 5787 small size towns. In cities we dont find more than 2500 people. There are 12 cities with a little more than a lakh population. Twenty one big cities have over 5 lakh people. There are nearly 90 lakh people in New York. It is their biggest city. Even Chicago and Los Angeles have up to 70 lakh population.
The American government depends on its people and their political parties. The Republican and the Democratic party being the biggest parties. There are very small parties likke - socialist, communist, progressive parties.
Both the big parties work in the national, state and local levels. The basic unit in the party is the election district. They have one lakh 25 thousand such units.
In each unit there are 200 to 800 voters. District leaders devide the district into blocks for administrative convenience. District leaders, block leaders and other important members form the congress district and work like a local party.It is like our assembly constituency.
The district leaders form the county committee and run 3050 committees, in those counties county committees elect two state committee members.State committee elects central committee members.National central committee elects the President. This is all electoral college process.
Democratic party enjoys the support of labor unions, the Blacks, the industrialists. The Republican party is supported by those who do not want the interference of the Government in fiscal matters of the country. There are industrialists and the farmers in this group. The catholics lean towards democrats. In these two parties there are divisions- liberals and conservatives.
Elephant is the symbol of the Republican party. Donkey is for Democrats. The Republican party is called ( GOP) Grand old party.
There is no membership system in these parties.which we and Europeans have. The parties do not exercise whip. There is no system of forcing the members to vote for someone. They vote according to their conscience. There is no infighting or fear of indiscipline in the party. Party doesnot disintegrate into groups.
They do not have party meetings. A house survey is done to know what the people feel about the way the party works. This house survey is the major work of the party. Basing on that Gallop poll is conducted.
For fund raising to the party they arrange party dinners and explain the need for funds and collect donations.
Party`s influence is spread among the people through associations.Parties are not centralized. Party`s working and leadership is decentralized. There is no whip system.Matters are discussed with each member to assess the opinions which are carried to the leader. They discuss matters and no forcing any body what to do or not to do.
The speaker suggests the members to various committees.The membership of the committee is decided according the party ratio.
A national view point is projected in the parties. Slowly provincial view point takes backseat. Parties influence is highly felt in the election of the President and in the rest of the elections individual`s influence more than that of the party.Local body elections are not based on the parties.
To the law courts,selections are made without the interference of the party.
We see more of Republican party in the villages and the city suburbs where as the democratic party is strongly seen in cities and industrial pockets.More women work for parties.
This kind of management is called The American system, which they are very fond of.
America declared war on England over naval rights in 1812. Madison was their president. Afterwords James Monroe became the president in 1823. They adopted Monroe system, cutting all kinds of ties with other nations. They started following their own rule, thus becoming lone country.Monroe system influenced the American way of life for a period of hundred years.
American way of non interference in other`s matters keeping to oneself was the result of Monroe system. It turned to be their strong characteristic.
This kind of life system began to take a slow change making Americans extending to South America, a gesture considered as a good neighbor country. This change help[ed to form OAS ( organization of American States( by 1948).
To day it is an alliance for progress.
America got involved in the 1917 and 1941 wars and evolved into a world power playing a prominent role. Today it stands out a superpower in the world.
America has a different view of Asia. They dont have there the countries ruled by them. Their knowledge of Asia is through missionaries. They do not have experience there unlike Britain and France. But we can see that America wishes all nations to achieve independence.
They have connections in Europe. Their attitude towards Africa is same as Asia. They are completely opposed to communism.Their news media reflects their antagonism to the communists.
When we go to America we come across a different picture. If we ask-what is the role of the Government and what are the duties of the people, there we see the difference between us and the Americans.
We have evolved into welfare state from constitutional cooperative commonwealth.From there we moved to socialist pattern.Then we are caught into socialist state.
The Americans remained consistently in `Presidential system` of government. We declared that Democratic socialism is our aim. They remained in Democracy.
After we got independence we have been observing all kinds of changes in governments and administration in our country.
We feel government interference in the matters of state administration in so called decentralized panchayat and Block development administration in India. If this interference progresses we will only see the government in every field of our life. It may even interfere with our personal lives thus laying their hands on all matters of our lives. The administrators or law makers may feel elevated thinking they are making ours a welfare state. But it will be `a pain in the neck state`-they will lead us to.
This type of administration took shape in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru`s time as prime minister.
The scholars are of the opinion that the government which does not exercise too much administration and power is a good government.
A great number of American presidents saw truth in that opinion.They tried to adapt to their administration. It reflected in today`s American Government.
Too much of power and administration is not suitable to Democracy. Its foundation should be strong that people can carry on well with their work and duties is the basis of Democracy. People cannot do anything-only government has to do every thing is a negative approach to Democracy. That kind of government in the name of people ultimately leads to dictatorship. If dictatorship takes roots it will sound death knell to democracy.
Let us see in which areas the government takes full charge of administration in America. It may help governments of other countries to democratise themselves. Let us take transportation system. Railways are not in the hands of government. Private corporations own the trains. In India the government runs the trains.It is the same in all socialist countries. They have a misconception that there will be less corruption if government is in charge . But that system turned out to be more painful to the people than useful.
In America airlines are in the hands of private companies.Routes and rates are fixed by national and international advisory boards. Land transportation and water supply are taken care of by private agencies. The government has no power in it. The income generated by buses, trucks, lorry services is in the hands of corporations and private services. Electric power supply is in private hands.
Water and gas supply to all the towns, cities and the villages is done by corporations. Roads, buildings, and bridges are built by private agencies. They manage canal work. Telephones, radio, television systems are managed by the private bodies. Postal system is with the government. Law courts, government offices are in their own buildings. Mines, coal, oil , iron and other metals do not come under government control. The multi million billion dollar business in food and other fields are managed by private people.
After hearing all this one may ask then what is that the government does there. Private agencies are primarily important in all businesses. This should be specially noted by us.
Inspite of all that America is the center for capitalistic system where there is a lot of exploitation. We may ask how can democracy flourish in such a country of economic exploitation.
Marx vehemently attacked capitalism.But Capitalism is not there at that critical level as criticized by him saying that the production is done on the social basis but consumption is on individual basis in capitalist system. Wherever that system prevails the Marxists have to accept it as capitalism.
Without undermining the individuality, and with no exploitation the social productions should be distributed. That did not happen in communist countries. If we look at other countries and America, there is no proof that more social justice is done in socialist countries.
Decentralization has to take place instead of centralization.With that new kind of outlook we have to criticize the capitalist and communist countries. The criticism should help societies to progress. If that kind of progress is to be achieved their thinking process should start with grass roots to reach up to the top level and not vice versa.
A man should develop as individual first and then be a basis for the development of society.We have to observe whether such conditions are there in the social system. Mere slogans do not help to progress.
That is why the government should not enter in every field. If they shoulder all burdens there is going to be digressions in the name of collective responsibility.
Let us first consider man as an individual and see what he can do as one among many. Then we have to measure him scientifically to find out his new values which could be stepping stone for the advancement of society. With those new human values in mind I began to look at the American system.
America is a big country with vast lands and mineral resources . Their population is under control. There are opportunities for the individuals to better their lives. Such is their social system..They still need to bring many changes. Democracy has its roots there.It should be allowed to grow stronger. Equality is the basis of their independence.There changes are a must in America. They need not switch over to communist way. They can continue their own system, and be able to bring about desired results. That is my observation and view point.
Let us look at America in comparison with Russia. America became independent in 1776 but the modern America came into existence -we can say- in 1933. We can see what changes their economics underwent. Mere theories donot help They are old enough to be discarded. Experience revealed that by abolishing the system of private property in the fields of production, trade, and distribution , everything is not going towards well being of the world. Communism focused stress on turning man into machine ,giving more importance to machine than to man.That system should go away It did not help for human welfare.
I have observed the American education, local bodies, freedom from government, basic democratic views, social local organizations and their thought process. There are some big capitalists and exploiters there. We cannot judge the whole system with few people. If we do that then it becomes unscientific. America should come out of this defective system of resting things in few hands.
America is a rich country. The Americans are freedom lovers. They resist any system that stands in the way of individual freedom and advancement. They are not slaves to the theories that hamper their independence . We should recognize that free spirit of theirs. If their government restricts their freedom and justice they are bound to fight against it for sure.
I set foot on American soil on 15th August and left it on 14th October. Exactly two months time I traveled for 10 thousand miles in New York, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee states.
I don`t claim that I had seen more or less. I observed the American way of life on priority basis. I visited many places and cities, organizations and saw various scenes some of which pained me and others made me gain rich experience and information.
I did not go there either as an American tourist or as a representative of some organization. I went there having been invited by American government. I went as an individual representing my own ideas. They made all arrangements for me to visit places, meet people and going to different organizations. If I could not go to many places it was fault of my decision not theirs`. If I could give them my travel programme to go to all 50 states they would have made suitable arrangements. They would not have minded if I had spent a few hours in the capital of each state and spent all my time in flights seeing nothing . But I decided against such a whirlwind tour.
The moment I landed in New York a representative of the State department recognized me and got cleared me from immigration process and put me on the flight to Washington DC. Another representative received me at the airport and put me in Windsor Park Hotel in Washington..
I spent 12 days in Washington.Paul D. Smith, Louis Gratia were in charge of my travel. Smith took me to National Press club , invited me as a member there, gave a dinner in my honor. He personally found out from me what I wanted to see there though they had received that information from Madras earlier.
The next day we went to the house of George Washington and saw Mount Vernon. No other person has as many statues and memorials as Washington and Columbus. At Lincoln`s statue I was overwhelmed with emotions. It is a very big statue which reminded me of the past history of America. One can feel Lincoln`s greatness by looking at his statue. The Washington memorial and National parliament building-Capital are in the same line. There is a prohibition in Washington that no other building should be higher that Capitol. Broad roads and trees on either side looked peaceful being one of the beautiful cities in America. A french architect planned the city in the shape of half moon keeping the Capitol in the center.
I attended the Congress and listened to discussions in the house of representatives and Senate . They don`t have restriction of quorum. In the Senate when one member was speaking the President was listening and later other members joined slowly.No other Senators were present then.
On 20th August 1963 I was present at President Kennedy`s press conference. I sat in the front row , two yards distance from President Kennedy. The only non white in that line. He looked very active with very expressive eyes and fair complexion . He made a speech saying that ` It is not our aim to allow a special quota to the Blacks. We aim at the unity of the Whites and the Blacks`.Can either our president or prime minister say that? Next day I had discussions with higher officials of the state department. One of them who toured Andhra asked me about some people and noted their names. When the discussion was about the relationship between Nehru and Communism, I remarked that Nehru was more a communist than the world knew about him. The statement sparked the discussion to take a serious turn. I could convince them and later discussion included many other topics.
I had discussions with important members of both the Republican and Democratic parties in their national offices. They told me many things and taught me many things .I told them about partyless democracy, humanist movement, sarvodaya and so many other aspects. I gathered their opinions too.
I had been to their Supreme court, met the staff and had discussions regarding the court fee, pauper applications and so many other important matters. The court building built in Roosevelt`s time exuded peacefulness.
The next memorable of my experiences was the procession of Blacks on 28th August. The Blacks form more than half the population of Washington. That day the Blacks gathered at the feet of the Lincoln Statue coming from all corners of the country. They placed their Rights petition at the feet and cried saying aloud that `you announced our freedom from slavery in 1863 but still we are not free`. Then they took their petition to the White house and submitted it to Kennedy. It was a very touching scene one could never forget. That was the day one lakh Whites and one lakh Blacks came together as Americans promising to fight for minorities. That day the whole America turned tearful.
Then I left for New York where I saw the buildings touching the sky, playing with clouds.It is considered a small building if it is less than 25 stories.
New York is the city of cities with more than 90 lakh population (1963). Four Islands -Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens and Bronx together formed New York. There are huge bridges connecting all places. Their transport system is wonderful. The Hudson river and the Atlantic ocean gave its geographical shape to New York.
We went to Hyde park which is 10 miles away. That was president Roosevelt`s home. As we were taking a tour we can hear a broad cast rendered by Eleanor Roosevelt in her mild tone- she talked very impressively about her house and her husband. It is the place for innumerable memorials. We felt as though we met Eleanor Roosevelt personally. We saw their garden and their burial places.
I met many friends, visited prominent churches, courts, Newspaper offices, Rockfeller center, the office of the International farmers organization and Humanist organizations.
We went to Buffalo to see Niagara. I saw Niagara in the evening. We stayed at Red coach Inn. Met friends and enjoyed dinners. In the night we had been to Canada to see Niagara Falls from that side. We took a tour of 25 miles. Niagara is a rich area with fruit gardens, where peaches, apples, grapes are grown abundantly.
From Buffalo we went to Eaton. Then I went to Mr Kauffman`s house in Campbell town where I spent 3 days. I had gathered more information about their agriculture and municipal administration.
We traveled from Eaton to Dayton and then to Chicago. It is a big city with 70 lakhs population ( 1963). It has connections to us since the days of Vivekananda. There are backward areas, a very good art gallery and a national museum. It is a city of lakes. Though they are called lakes, they look like seas with high waves,and ships passing. There is a big fish industry. It is a funny city. You see sudden climatic changes -The sun giving away to rain in no time. Before you know you are caught in the cold blasts, whirlwinds.
Bahai religion is founded there . We see it in Delhi and other places. I went to the office of the Chicago daily , the news paper of the Blacks. The editor seriously participated in Loshart revolution . I also talked with him and other Black leaders about their problems. They took me to their homes and treated as though as though I was one among them. I had been to Waukegan where they make 90 kinds of solutions, 30 kinds of capsules, plastic containers, needles and many othr such supplies. There are 250 Ph.d`s , 4000 employees, 1500 in research field, 1500 are working in the production side. They arrive there in 3500 cars and 600 kinds of medicines they make there. They get extra help to buy clothes, shoes, medicines and other things.
If any worker is found out of sorts or unwell the co workers find out his problem and the company pays for his treatment as well. This kind of help is found in many companies.
I visited UNO office and Humanist organizations.
Chicago University is very prominent. There are Telugu books, news papers and magazines . I found Tamil, Urdu and Hindi books. They are teaching Urdu, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu was included their program.
In the library I picked up Andhra Patrika of 7th June. I showed them my picture printed with news of my America tour. They were happy to see it saying that I was already there in their library. I too joined their laughter saying ` you come to know of it because I showed it to you`.
There is an interstate organization in Chicago. It studies the various laws passed by the states and prepare the reports .They work for the unity of laws among the states.
There is an Attorney-generals` organization of various states. I had gone through their reports and has discussions with them. I could gather lots of information through these discussions.
From Chicago I went to Milwaukee by train. That was my first and last train journey which was comfortable. I visited Wisconsin university and met many professors there. There were 3600 students there.
I participated in discussions regarding education, decentralization, administration, youth problems,agriculture, news papers. I met the editors of Milwaukee journal, Milwauke Sentinal and gave a speech in their press club. That was the club where the great personalities like Theodore Roosevelt, President Wilson and Robert Ingersoll were speakers. There they get the signatures of the speakers and preserve them on a framed black board. My signature too is found on it.
I was invited for dinner by a Punjabi and a Keralite who married American. They were leading a happy married life. They are respected by other people. The usual discussions followed after dinner.
I went to Madison by Bus. Met many Telugu families there. Telugu has been taught to the interested students. The children there are able to learn reasonable Telugu in 11 weeks. They have a library with Telugu books. I presented Bhagavadgita by Kaviraju (Tripuraneni Ramaswamy) to that library.
I had discussion with Peace Corps founders , attended youth meetings. It was the day of school reopening day and welcoming the new students. I delivered speeches in the university and returned to Milwaukee.Those days greatly helped me to understand the American way of life.
Then I visited Minneapolice-the capital of Minnesota State. It is the center for industries and agriculture.
I met the people in the state Democratic party office , met the state Attorney. The discussions I had with the New York Attorney General. I compared with my discussions with others. Though there were differences in ideas, major issues are the same. That very evening I attended a meeting with Indian students. In my meeting with the Vic-chancellor of the universities many interesting issues came up. I met some Telugu families, saw the library there and gave a radio talk.
I visited their milk production centers and agricultural units. I had discussions with George Peterson and news staff at the offices of Minneapolis Star and Minneapolis Tribune. They sought more information from me about India, five year plans, Nehru, China war and many other aspects. George Peterso while appreciating the meeting with me wrote to me:
`Dear Mr Murthy`.,
Thank you for your card from San Francisco . I want you to know how much I enjoyed your visit. I learnt more from you about the Indian political situation than I have from any other person , be he from India or not. I hope when you get back this way again you will stop in for another visit.`
His letter is the indication of the depth of our discussions for three hours.
Next I visited San Francisco, the queen of the American cities.Among big cities I liked Washington, and San Francisco and Milwaukee , Fresno and Little Rock among small cities. Just as New York is prominent in the east just so is San Francisco in the west. They call it great west city. San Francisco is the gateway to the Asians to come to America. For Europeans New York is the gate way.
Those two cities are most powerful cities in the eastern and western parts of America.
It is the city of ups and downs. You travel on the roads, as high as our palm tress, suddenly descending down to roads as low as valleys.The forming of the United nations organization took shape here in the civic center. Peace negotiations with Japan materialized here in 1951. Five days before the announcement of declaration of American Independence reverend Francisco inaugurated a church building here. Its roof is covered with tiles similar to ones we use in India. Those tiles might have been imported either from Italy or India. Rome had been built on seven hills like our Tirupati temple. San Francisco is built on 32 hills, we find 910 feet high monuments here.
The first ship said to have reached this part in 1775. San Francisco is famous for its Golden gate bridge, Japan tea garden Mure redwood. The city is surrounded by water on three sides- a very hot place.
There are many Secularists and Humanists here. They have their own news papers and publications. I met Mary Morean , Loid Morean, and Bernard Rocca, the secularist. It was a pleasant experience to talk to them. From there I went to Fresno, in California state. The state is the major food providing center to America. Fresno being the central place is the major food growing place with 213 varities of food crops grown. Per head income is not less than 20,000 rupees. Fifty seven nationals live there. One in seven is a foreigner . One can imagine what a mixture the life is in Fresno.
It is the major agricultural center. I attended the press conference and gave a radio talk. I addressed a public gathering and delivered a speech in the University there. The series of questions they put showed their interest.
The punjabi friend who had been living there for 40 years hosted me a dinner. I attended lawyers` dinner and tea parties hosted by artists. Fresno is a beautiful small city.
From there my next stop was at Los Angeles. It is a strange city. America is known for its very busy life style, Los Angeles is the busiest.
Hollywood is here near Disney land. It has the smell of Japan as well as China, a big city with its dirty localities. Los Angeles Times is their largest prominent news paper. It has many strange features. I had very fruitful discussions with the members of the Education board there.
I spent a day with municipal administrators learning their system.
I had dinner with the family of Irving Stone - the famous novelist. It was 109 degree hot day. Hence we all spent a lot of time in their swimming pool. It was such a pleasant time for me . Watching city from their home itself was a thrilling experience. Stone is a pleasantly romantic person.
A lawyer`s family invited me for dinner. the couple, their two sons and a daughter-in law are lawyers. After dinner discussion was a memorable event. They told me many things and extracted a lot of information from me through their intelligent questions.
We had been to Hollywood, watched film shootings. I gave a radio talk on -
M.N.ROY -RADICAL HUMANISM`. they wrote to me the following letter-
`Dear Mr Murthy, We are pleased to inform you that KPFA will present ` The Radical Humanism of M N .Roy` on Friday, December 6. 1963 at 1 pm. The program is a recording of your talk with John Ohlinger.
Thank you for the opportunity to present this programme to our audience. KPFA is heard throughout most of Northern California. If there are any groups or individuals whom you would like us to notify, please let us know. `
Such is their good will and appreciation.
It took a day for me visiting Disney Land. University campus is great.
Then we had been to Phoenix in Arizona state. From there we went to Flagstaff, took a bus to see Grand canyon. After that we came back to Flagstaff and from there I flew to Phoenix in the night. That was my second flight in the night in America, first being from New York to Washington. This is the place of Red Indians- the Aboriginals. They are called Red Indians- sharing the name with India, because of the mistaken identity of Columbus.
Who are these Indians? America in reality is their country. But now they are insignificant. In 1492 when Columbus found America it was ruled by them. It was their land.
Now they are 4 lakh population. 60 lakh acres of land is in their hands. They dont have any part in the country`s government. The oldest among them do not come anywhere near the modern life. They like to stay back in their old style. But their younger generation is getting amalgamated with Americans by learning English and dressing like Americans. It looks as though the Red Indian tribe is going to be a part of history soon. We can see the plastic Red Indians in Disney land it is difficult to find them in person there.Their style of dressing shows that they are closer to our aboriginals.- our Koya and hill tribes wear horns as part of their dressing. So do the Red Indians.
In 1540 Spanish people met the Red Indians in New Mexico. They were amazed at the weaving of their cotton clothes. they were believed to be expert weavers of cloth even by 700 AD/ They surpassed our Indian Art in weaving. The historical researchers came to that conclusion. Their weaving art is called `NAVAHO`.. Hopi Indians are a different race among them who weaved baskets of various sizes, made earthen pots and painted them in unsurpassed designs. That was their historical past.
Social researchers found out that Anasaji tribe excelled in basket weaving by 500 A.D. It was their cottage industry. By 700 A D they took to agriculture. They are also called PIMA Indians. Pripago is another tribe among Red Indians.
In their art their feelings and emotions were expressed.
We come to know that they were experts in archery, sword fight, wrestling and hop jumping. 1500 years back their culture was prominent and very ancient too. There is not much research done to know about the evolution of their language.
I was not able to meet them and talk to them. Americans are considering them as a race going to be extinct soon. Their population swing gives that impression. No centralized information about them is available there. Their story is going to be history. It can remain a dream story.
From Phoenix we went to Dallas in Texas state. This state is famous for food grains, sheep, goats and cows. It is one of the support states to America. It was here Kennedy was assassinated. From Dallas I went to Little Rock in Arkansas State. This is the center where they fought for Black students in 1957. When I was there there were demonstrations in the next state Alabama. I went to Little Rock to observe what those disturbances can teach us to face minority disturbances in our country.
Once upon a time they fought here too racial wars but now they are leading a steady peaceful life unprovoked by the next door racial disturbances.
I liked the way of Little Rock people . We can learn a lot from them. We harassed and even killed some muslims having come to know that in east Pakistan , Hindus were treated badly. We did not even verify the truth about the Hindus there. the stories of Little Rock can teach us many lessons.
In Little Rock I had observed their municipal administration and their efficient agriculture system. I heard about their racial pride in the past and could see how united they are at present. I saw Astrostrat play of M.R.A. The audience consisted of two thirds Blacks and rest Whites. They watched the play in all their simplicity and feeling of unity. During intermission they had lively discussion.
Little Rock had fully understood the problems faced by the Blacks. I saw their social welfare activities. I was really amazed to know how Americans take care of many matters without looking at the government for help.
I had been to the university there. I met many people and the Black activists. I saw even the cattle market there apart from visiting several places.
From there itself I sent an article to Gopichand Memorial souvenir. I stayed at hotel San Peck which was once the stronghold of racial superiority and pride. But not even a trace of that I could feel here.People are the same but their thinking changed for better. Their views helped them to work for peace among the people.
From Little Rock we went to Nashville. We could see the greatness of Tennessee river which has its origin in Minnisota state . We came there to go to Tennessee valley authority.( T.V.A) to be appraised of their agricultural developments.
In India we fight over river waters. We give political color to technology. So we went there to look at the problems regarding river waters with scientific bent of mind and research oriented method. We travelled a long distance , saw many dams. We could grasp the greatness of Roosevelt and how America was reconstructed after 1933. We saw their projects which turned the mountain areas into beautiful gardens.
That was the last lap of my journey. Came back to Washington and stayed in Windsor Park Hotel. We went to Indian Embassy. It looked very inactive as though nothing happens. There met Telugu friends, had dinners with them.My summing up meeting took place with the State department officials. They were not antagonistic to me, as before. They accepted me having seen the strength of my arguments.
I went to United States Information Bureau and gave a brief report of my travel experiences.
I hosted a dinner to Paul Smith and Gratia who planned and carried my travel arrangements. George Dimitraff gave me a dinner.
Having summed up my work in Washington I returned to New York. I met Rooth Sigman, went to dinners at Church centers and witnessed church services.
I spoke in a Humanist meeting. Met R.G. Ingersoll`s grand daughter. Even his family is following the great humanist`s ideas. The International Farmer`s organization hosted me a dinner and Boucher told me many things about East Europe.
I met Ellen Roy`s elder brother Robert Gostalk in the hotel and discussed many things. Remembering Ellen`s murder both of us shed tears like close family members.
I met some prominent people at the Ethical Union, exchanged ideas. They asked me to write articles.
At all the places I visited I was welcomed heartily, treated cordially and honored respectfully. I left all those people behind taking 707 Jet flight from New York to England on 14th October. I carried with me the memories of their hospitality, their appreciation of exchanging our thoughts and ideas, of letting them to know about India.
Whom do I thank and how do I thank for my wonderful American tour and the rich experience it provided me with!
We have to observe and study deeply the education system of a country to see whether it has a better future and can create the opportunities to prove themselves the best citizens.
Americans are of the opinion that their education system at all levels is devised for strengthening their democracy. They say that it is framed in terms of democratic ideology.
So we can observe and measure their education system according to their standards.
Their education system is centered around the importance they give to the individual. Elementary and secondary education are devised to make a person a complete being. Education helps the individual to play his role efficiently in the democratic set up. He should be able to think and come to proper decision on his own. He must be able to respect other person`s individuality and must be able to deal with different opinions of others keeping the development of the individual in view. American system of education has been framed from that view. They claim that their education helps people to be responsible citizens. Their aim is to give good education to all its children . They have decentralized education system and they assert that they are not against the people who have different opinion.
In America they have 50 thousand school districts in all their 50 states. These districts are managed by Boards. These Boards are the elected bodies in those districts.Their education system is decided by those boards basing on the budget allocation of the states. The boards are responsible for income and expenditure.
By 1870 there were 20% illiterates in America. Slowly that figure dwindled by 1959. Only disabled and the very old remained in that category.
There are 7900 public libraries, 2000 college libraries and 42 thousand school libraries apart from great number of private libraries and many more established by various organizations.
Books are published and sold on a large scale. They help the promotion of education.
Their education institutes are established in interesting way. 65% of colleges, universities, technical education schools are run by private and also church managements. These institutions are run by the boards elected by special charters. The syllabus courses and text books are decided in consultation with the teachers who work there.
The public education institutes are run by the government and the municipalities. Trusty boards are decided upon either by Senate or municipal mayor, or governor or their elected members. The courts have supervisory rights over them.
These institutions enjoy full freedom. There is very little protest against such freedoms. Americans aim at practicing the freedom in all their education institutions.
By 1962 there are 99% of students in between the ages 6-13 in the elementary education. 88% in high school students are between 14 and 17 years of age.
They have six years of (3 primary 3 elementary level) primary and 6 years of secondary education system. Every citizen should complete secondary education being in school for 12 years. Thus education is free and also compulsory in all States.
There were one crore and 10 lakh students in secondary education in 1962, 39 1/2 of young people between 18 and 21 years are in colleges making the number 37 lakhs by 1962. They were expecting the number to go up by 3 or 4 lakhs more.
After the secondary education the students an pursue their studies for 2 year junior colleges. Such colleges are found everywhere. There are almost 6000 such colleges. More than 4 lakh students study there.
The number of students in different colleges is increasing year by year. By 1962 the degrees issued are 6 lakh 23 thousand.
In the secondary schools books are given free of cost- this is done in many states. All schools have canteens, State and Federal government allot special budgets for providing food. They also give special fund for advising and consultations to students.
There are special education schemes for war-veterans and the old people. One crore 10 lakh war veterans availed grants in the scheme. Federal government spent 9000 crore rupees under this scheme. Every person is directly paid in the name of allowances.
By 1962 one crore senior citizens benefited by their special education scheme.
Elementary education is almost similar in all the States. High school education is divided into two systems. those who wanted private college education have a different scheme, a different for those who are in technical education. General education is common to all. Those who go to junior colleges the system is not much different.
700 colleges out of 2150 are under State municipal administration. 60% students study here .It is almost free education. Nominal fee is collected in some. 500 institutions are under private management, 800 are under church managements.
Each university is treated as university city. There are different schools of education in it. A trust Board manages them. Science, arts, degree , under graduate courses , medicine, general education schools are all built in one campus. Head of such a university is called Chancellor or President.
In such institutions, education meets high standards. They have sports, dance, music, theater arts and creative writing. Then student unions play prominent role.
Their essential expenditure 1,13,500 crores of rupees nationwide. They spent 1500 crores for building construction in 1962. They don’t hesitate to spend but insist on maintaining students.
They call the head of the school Principals, we call head masters. Our head masters are responsible for the accounts as well as teaching. The principals in American schools take care of teaching and discipline. Superintendents look after free collection, salary disbursement and other accounts. Superintendent is like our manager. He has nothing to do with teaching and discipline. Like our headmasters their principals do not work like head clerks. Each superintendent is allotted some schools to look after.
The whole country is divided into Education districts. Voters of each district elect 5 or 7 members for their Board-one being the President. All schools in that district come under the management of this Board. This Board is responsible for all matters of education there working as the middleman for government, people and the institutes. Government bears 20 or 25 per cent of the expenses. The rest is from the taxes and donor funds. Only a nominal special fee is collected from students-private colleges collect more fee than the committee colleges.
Education board of the district prepares estimates of expenditure in a school year and prepare reports for budget proposals. For each school this budget proposal is prepared.
The budget proposals are referred to the people for their approval-it is called referendum. The referendum quotes extra quotes the extra amount they need that year and seek their consent.
If people vote in favor of the proposal of the Board the proposals are accepted , if not the proposal meet a set back. The previous year budget approval stands as it is. Only the extra proposals have to be voted by the people.
I observed and found in different states those in the past 25 years , the additional proposals of school board were never met negative vote. In all the states the district education boards were voted in favor by the people because they are for education and want their children to get best education. This is one of the ways of life in America. They believe that their democracy is principally based on foundations of education. We can see that in practice.
Even we contribute for elementary education in India. Every farmer pays education tax too along with land tax. He us forced to do it and they are not aware that they paying for education.
In America people voluntarily pay their taxes. This system has nothing to do with government. Their willingness to pay taxes is to be greatly appreciated. Of all the education districts in America, New York district is the best . Los Angeles comes next. Under New York board there are 550 schools, 117 high schools, 7 junior colleges, 27 senior citizen schools and the rest are elementary and kindergarten schools. 725 thousand students study in them. I had at length discussed with the Board president Meriteen Gols. Their interest and dedication to education is laudable.
The district education board spent rupees 79 crores in 1955, rupees 76.50 crores in 1958, 63 crores on building construction alone. Their budget for 1963-64 happened to be 170 crore rupees compared to our state budget!
The state government gives 30% of the budget, 70% is borne by the people who volunteer to pay taxes and vote for referendum.
The state government has no control on this Board. They may occasionally give some suggestions. Their education boards are completely autonomous.
The courses, the syllabus, the standards are decided by the Board. Teachers play great role in syllabus framing and selection of text books. In this the Board or the government do not interfere. They practice autonomy imparting education.
Everywhere I went and met the teachers I used to ask their opinion about nationalization of text books. They used to reply that it was a very horrible system. They used to ask me whether we have that horrible system in India.
When I said that we have `horrible system` in India, their response was , ` we heard that Nehru is a socialist, how did he give his consent to this system? I could see how shocked they were.
I told them that with Nehru`s consent only the system works there. This is one his aims- I said.They remained in utter amazement and could`t remark further.
Some asked me what was my opinion about nationalization of text books. My reply- ‘We humanists oppose this system. We are working against it in our country`. One teacher asked me whether we can change the system through law courts.
About the teachers---- Every teacher should have a B.A, or B.SC degree and also should have the certificate or license to teach the subject he opts for. There degrees are a must for the teachers from elementary to Higher education. Teachers with higher degrees ,it teach in schools, get a little higher pay.
The basic salary of an elementary teacher is rupees 26,000. He will reach to rupees 50,500 salary as he puts in more years of service. If a teacher has M.A degree he gets rupees 100 more every month and a Ph.D holder gets an annual increase of rupees 2500.
Each teacher gets a thousand rupees increase every year . Within 13 or 14 years of service they will reach the maximum pay scale. Like our Provident fund they have retirement fund. 8% of salary is deducted for this fund apart from regular tax cuts.
These pay scales differ from Board to Board . But no body gets less than rupees 22,000 annually . Teachers working in big cities get more pay basing on the standard of life there.
There are 22 lakh teachers in various schools. They play prominent role in Nation building.
When I was in Chicago , New York teachers served a strike notice under the leadership of united federation of teachers. There were 40 thousand teachers in New York.
There is a law regarding these strikes. In case of strike any citizen can get a stay order from the court against the board that teaching should not be stopped for children. A citizen has that right Their conviction is that in no way student should suffer.
There were 203 colleges years ago, but now there are 2150 colleges and one in 1500 youth go to college. Now 2 in 5 people study in college. Under Abraham Lincoln`s Land -grant proposal the government allotted 70 lakhs 30 thousand acres of land to the colleges. This change took place in the past 100 years time.
There is no comparison between our budget and theirs. We have differences in the basic system itself. We can bring in some changes to cut short the differences.
Our dependence on government has been slowly increasing. Taking advantage of this the government is asserting its total control. You may say that it is not wrong in the people`s government. The question is whether the government is hesitating to give administration rights to the people. Amid these doubts the government usurped the authority.
Our law makers are thinking of amending constitution allowing more control to central government. That is the major difference between us and America.
The Los Angeles education board had included 345 courses in their syllabus.
What I observed in their universities is that they divide each course into several areas and offer teaching. In our universities they divide it into 20 to 40 sections and teach intensively.
Whether their system is good or bad, we cannot afford such wide choice in a course.
American television plays a great role in teaching. Our radio does that in India. But in television a student can see the teacher at work giving the lesson so is case with dancer or singer.
They have television in each house, some have in each room.
Experts give lessons in television at fixed timings. The teacher uses blackboard in his television lesson. Children can sit in their homes and listen to the lesson , they can take notes. If there is a request from them that a particular lesson needs repetition the television company complies with it and repeats that particular lesson.
Certain Radio stations take the lessons from the text books in those areas and teach daily basis. With this the companies are known to the student community and such radio companies get a strong hold.
There is possibility of answering questions posed by the students. This system makes teaching easier and effective.
This kind of teaching is done in America from elementary level to higher level. Even college students are able to the get benefits by this system.We should adopt this new aspect from them.
Children are Children
While touring Ohio state we went to Jackson school at Eaton. We wanted to see the children in their classrooms, mainly up to sixth class.
We went to 4th class. Here first three classes are considered primary and next three as elementary. They call the classes `grades`. High schools are up to 12 th grade. Before that they study in middle school.
It is a beautiful building. There are 36 little ones in the class. Boys and girls are in equal number. Mary Sanders is their teacher. She introduced Pauline Kaufman, my host, to the class telling them that she brought the guest with her. She asked my host to introduce me. Our names are difficult job for them.
I began to tell the kids about India- `your country became independent from Britain 200 years ago. We got independence from the same Britain 16 years back. You and me are brothers. We are younger brothers to you as we become independent much later than you.` All the children clapped enthusiastically ` being our brothers`.
‘Your country is much bigger than our country, you are 19 crore population where as we are 45 crores’(1963).
The children looked at their teacher and then at each other and they blew their cheeks in surprise.
`We are trying to educate all our children . You don`t yet have full number of teachers, we are much behind you. It will take quite some time for us.—
‘Our children are good and well -disciplined like you.’
This compliment made them smile.
‘I will show you where our country is.’ The teacher spread the world map. -- Pointing to our country in the map. I told them that we started from Bombay in the morning and reached New York in the evening flying 11 thousand miles within 22 hours. They looked at me wide eyed.
I encouraged them to come forward with their questions. Those who wanted to ask questions raised their hands. The particular girl or boy I pointed out asked the question. After I replied others raise their hands. Till answer is given to a question others sit quietly waiting for their turn.
The following are their questions:-
Do you have cats and dogs in your country? Do you have rabbits? Do you have elephants? Do you have squirrels, monkeys and lizards? We heard you have flies and mosquitoes.
Do you have cows? I said -- we have cows and my last name is Avula, the cow. They laughed and made me laugh.
They address ‘you’ as Mister. They asked me whether our children dress like them. When I said ‘yes, they mostly dress like you’. they looked at me appreciating. A small girl wanted to know whether our children wear shoes. I told them, ‘some wear shoes, some wear slippers. I showed them Bata slippers I was wearing at that time. When I told them that some children come bare foot, they could not believe it and most of them said ‘damn’ loudly. I had to explain to them that the country is still poor.’ We were slowly making arrangements to give all things needed to our children. They did not know how to react.
They asked whether all children have chairs, desks in the class rooms. Each student had a chair and desk in their class. I told them that we long benches with writing boards attached and in primary classes we have low benches only. I even told that in some schools the children are made to sit on mats. I had to explain what a mat is and their teacher helped them to understand. ‘Why like that ?’- a little child asked. My reply-- 1 we are able to meet our needs gradually. When your grand parents studied in your country they were also like us`. They looked at Pauline Kaufman for answer.
One child asked whether our children study English. I told them, -- initially we teach our children our mother tongue- Telugu- your mother tongue is English--` One girl asked - ` how could our children learn English. I told them that we start teaching English to our children in their 3rd class. One boy expressed his doubt -- why not only English. I told them that our children should learn their mother tongue first and then English as it is international language .I advised them to learn different languages when they grow up. They agreed with me.
A very active girl asked -- How does your language sound?
I first wrote my name in Telugu on their blackboard and then same in English under that. I showed the syllable wise division. I wrote TELUGU -ANDHRA on board. They copied it in their notebooks and laughed.
One child asked me why should we have two names for one language. I said - `We don’t normally like that. Our language is very sweet. So we have names`. I laughed and they too joined me.
Let us listen to your language-- they all said in one voice.
I know that our language is sweet as sugar blocks-that was the remark of Sri Krishna devaraya about Telugu. But my voice might not bring out all that sweetness -I thought.
I first recited one verse of Vemana slowly, softly and sweetly. I recited Kaviraju`s (Tripuraneni Ramaswamy) verse -GUDIKI TARACHU BOYI GUNUGUCHUNDEDI VAADU (GO TO TEMPLE OFTEN AND GRUMBLE), and B.V.Narasimharao`s poem `Gudilo bommalu palakavu, kadalavu; Badilo bommalu palukunu, kadulunu` (The statues in temple donot talk nor move but dolls in the class room can talk and move.)
I told them that I can tell them such verses at length for days together. They chirped, giggled and laughed. That is their style.
The children in the front row were observing my dress. I wore `dhoti and shirt` as per the advise of Kaufman couple. Dhoti has a border. I told them that our Telugu men dress like me showing my dhoti.
They looked wide eyed in amazement and remained motionless like painted children, their faces beaming with multiple expressions. Anybody will be enamored looking at them.
Yes, children are children . They have hearts like soft flowers, limitless innocence, clear minds and wonderful expressions on their beautiful faces.
I told them that children are the same anywhere and everywhere. Our children are just like you.
If you come to our country they they will also ask questions similar to yours. The children are the same worldwide.
They clapped joyfully and made me share their blissfulness. They too are like our children. Not different at all. All children have a world of their own.
I saw similar schools in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minnesota ,San Francisco and Los Angeles. The children are unsurpassingly beautiful. They have well disciplined schools. Their teachers are dedicated to their work, satisfied with their service. Even the parents like their childrens` schools very much.
Next to the educational institutes the local bodies are very important to them for promoting democracy in America.
They divided their 50 states into 3050 counties. Each county has its towns, cities and villages. There are 14, 424 administrative districts. In India we have been considering local bodies as self governing centers. Rippon started them in our country. When there were discussions about self-governance and good government we preferred self- governance.
During the British rule Panchayats and local self governing bodies were established . Our people expanded them gradually establishing decentralized panchayat rule.
America does`nt have very old system like us. Only after their independence in 1776 their local bodies took shape. Though they differ in their local body system from State to State, the major unit forming is in their election system. The people`s opinion is highly regarded locally.
Theirs is a very big country with over 36 lakh mile area. Our country has 12 lakh mile area. Population wise ours is a big country. US is small population wise.
We adopted Panchayat rule. We passed panchayat raj law. Panchayats in the villages have to follow that law. Panchayat cannot be far and above its rules and regulations.
American system is different. They don`t have law of panchayat in their states. One may ask how they can rule the villages without village panchayat law.
In America , each village decide upon a particular system of administration. Those rulels and regulations are fixed by voting method. The village voters participate in it and establish their system of administration. It is called their ` charter`. Those voters only have the right to change their laws.
Just as bye-laws in our cooperative bodies they too have specific bye-laws. Taking them into consideration each village can adopt administrative rules suitable to them. Village has to nominally permit their laws. They check whether their village or municipal charters are appropriate with their constitution and then give permission.
They should follow the rules in the Charter in day to day administration. Their rules are regulated in the charters and they have weight even if they are opposed to the state rules.
City council elects a mayor and its councilors. One member can submit his nomination papers to one ward only when it falls vacant. One who gets more votes is elected. A councilors term is of 4 years. The competing member should be a voter for 3 years.They have the recall right if they don`t like a particular councilor they had elected earlier.
Mayor is the president of the council . He is head for all functions. He is a paid member. If he goes to other places on council work he gets his expenses too. Similarly each counselor has his salary. He too gets allowances if he is given additional work.
The council meets once in a week. Sometimes more times as per the need. Council meetings are open for public, anybody can attend them. The council has the quorum system.
In their meetings any citizen can expose his needs, he can take the help of a lawyer to represent his requirement. He has that special right.
The matters by the council are called resolutions and ordinances.
Council appoints a manager over chief administrator. This manager appoints the office staff except the financial secretary. In some places only council appoints all the staff. In majority places the manager does the work. The mayor or the councilors donot interfere with manager`s duties. If they have to do anything they get it done through council resolution.
Like us they appoint a lawyer as advisor to the council. Apart from taking care of legal matters this lawyer drafts resolutions and ordinances.
The head of a department appoints the staff in his department. He manages them.
The salaries and allowances of the council staff are registered in the charters themselves. The places where such registration is not done the council takes decisions.
The whole staff members work for 5 days in a week and eight hours a day. The staff cannot work for any body of council elections.
The council appoints different committees like -planning commission, civil service board, tax board,parks committee, police, fire department,zonal board, appeals committee,administration advisors, boards in charge of roadside trees, civil center committee, housing board and such other committees.
Council can permit voting right to any one basing on eligibility.
Police and fire department are under council`s authority. Law and order is in council`s hand. Mayor can work as the city commander if situation demands.
All the voters participate in all elections to the council including the mayor. We divide into wards and elect one member to each ward. They don’t follow this system. Once upon a time even our panchayat president was elected by all citizens. Of late we changed that and introduced the system of election of the president by its members.
In some towns and villages there are mayors, councilors elected by all their voters. It depends on their charters.
Along with the councilors the voters elect a judge to the municipal court and another to higher court. Municipal courts take up civil cases involving rupees 15000, violation of municipal ordinances, small claims, minor crimes. Superior court take up civil cases involving more than one lakh rupee value, crimes of minor children, robberies and other major crimes. The lawyers elected should have law degree. For rest of the councilors there is no education prescribed. They get elected once in 6 years.
The salary of municipal court judge is fixed basing on the income of that council. In Eaton he gets rupees 18,000 annually. In Fresno the judge gets an annual salary of 1,30,000, city clerk gets rupees 52,000 and the lawyer gets rupees 80,000 annually. finance director and police chief get rupees 70,000, fire department chief gets 70,000 rupees, public work director gets 84,000 rupees. all their salaries are fixed depending upon the income of expenditure and the standard of living there.
Their system of administration :
Federal government levies some taxes and state government some.
Education boards fixes their taxes. Municipal city and village administration decide their taxes. State assemblies look into certain taxes like taxes fixed by local bodies, wealth tax, licenses, permits, service charges, water tax, bus permits, business licenses for animals, motors, gun licenses, vehicle tax, gas permit, electricity permits, bicycle license, dividends, work exercise permits, civil defence rebates, zoo taxes, leave and toll gate taxes etc.
Their tax system is different from ours. Some if our taxes are resolved by the council government. Hence in America if the taxes are to be raised in comparison with the previous year,they should prepare estimates giving reasons for them and submit the report for voters ‘referendum’. If the voters approve those taxes their resolution becomes law. If they refuse it is not treated as ` no confidence motion. The voters opinion counts there as basic principle of democracy. Their opinion is the practical solution.
The information of all the taxes levied is sent to the counties. The tax collection come under county administration. They don't have separate tax collectors for town, cities and villages. County staff collects all sorts of taxes and deposit them to council department.
In India municipality levies cinema tax. It is collected by sales tax department. They deduct their commission amount and send the rest to the municipality. Tax collection system is convenient to the citizens. They got information about all the different taxes they have to pay and they pay it all together.
Local bodies donot spend any thing on education.It is the Education Boards responsibility only they collect wealth tax as education tax.
If the population is over 5000 it becomes a city. If it is low it comes under the village. City administration is called municipal administration. The village administration is also similar to it. They have special taxes, separate police, fire department, sanitary and water works, a mayor and a manager.
There is county commissioners board in the county administration. They elect their president, they appoint the staff they needed. They too can levy taxes which will also also have effective city and village councils.
Fresno population is 2.50 laks but their income is 11 crore rupees. Little Rocks income is 2.50 crore rupees. Fresno is very rich area.
Even we have decentralized administration. Hence we have to observe the American system. We can see how important their people`s opinion is and how they get their demands achieved. We should consider how much their way could be adopted to our needs.
We have yet to do much research in the field of local bodies. Local administration is the basic principle in democracy. Our decentralization is great in theory but it is failing in practice. We have to device ways to strengthen our decentralization. We can notice the American way with no expenditure involved. We can adapt suitably to our administration of local bodies and make the system worthwhile.
News Papers and Journalism
Democracy is promoted and protected by four pillars--education, local bodies, law courts and news papers-media.
This is true not only in America but also in our country. Dictatorships function differently. We have nothing to do with them.
President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan said that India and America are the biggest democracies in the world. News world is one of the strongest bases of democracy. Individual freedom is primarily and prominently regarded as the first principle in democracy. To understand whether an individual is free and whether he has freedom to speak, we have to look at the freedom for news papers and freedom to hold meetings for a cause. Freedom of speech is strengthened in newspaper freedom and holding meetings freely.
With all these freedoms an individual can have a safe haven in the society.
Free news paper world will help to promote and establish individual freedom. Hence it is essential to know about the news world and journalism.
For a steady democracy the news and print media should have absolute freedom.
If we have to interpret whether America is a steady democracy we have to look into their various news papers. They provide us with the essential picture of their country.
Having paid serious attention to their news world I came to the conclusion that this aspect in America enjoys utmost priority and freedom and remains a powerful social system.
The duty of the news papers is to tell the government the ideas, opinions and needs of its people and explain the people what a government is doing for them. The news world should from time to time suggest what is good for people in their system of government and also show them if there are any defects on either side. If this news paper world takes a wrong direction it will be a blow to the general life of people.
In dictatorship the news paper world works like another government department. News papers are used only to show that anything and everything done by the government is right. They cannot correct the mistakes or wrong steps of government. The news world in dictatorships demeans, degrades it self which is equal to suicide.
America is superior democracy and its news papers maintain equally superior standards.
Rabindranath Tagore said that the literature of the particular people will show us what their culture is. On the similar analogy we may say-- show us your country's news papers, we will tell you what your culture is --May be Radhakrishnan`s remark means the same!
There are a great number of news papers in America and every person reads some news paper or the other.
All kinds of news papers put together there are 12 thousand of them in America. There are 1890 dailies, 9500 weeklies, rest of them are monthlies and bimonthlies. They have news papers even in remote corners. People are educated, they have money to buy news papers readily available in their area.
Dailies are sold upto 6 crore copies and weeklies 2.50 crores each day. In bigger cities they take out 5 or 6 editions of a paper. They publish Sunday specials on a very large scale.
A small number of news papers are run by Republican and Democratic parties. Though not much to do with those parties they support these parties for promotion of their business. Major number of news papers are published by private business people. they run them as per their views and values.
Very few weeklies are in the hands of parties
majority papers are run independently with the news value.
They have a variety of news papers which reach even the remote villages.Their news paper size is shockingly big, even smallest papers are big in size when compared to our big news papers. Even the news papers in remote areas have not less than 50 pages. Sunday editions crosses 100 pages. News papers in major cities contain 100 to 150 pages daily. On Sunday they go up to 200 to 300 pages. On Sunday they bring out even up to 500 pages and some even have up to 600 pages too. I heard that their Christmas, Independence day editions have 700 pages. New York Times and Los Angeles Times did that.
The size of their dailies leave us wonder struck .
The news print used annually by the New York Times alone is equal to the news paper used by all our news papers put together. With that information in view we can surmize the size of their larger news papers.
I have seen the Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Herald, Chicago Tribune, Dayton times, Milwaukee Sentinel , Milwaukee Journal, Minneapolis Star, Minneapolis Tribune, the San-Fransisco Times, The Los Angeles Times. They are among the largest news papers.
Almost all the news papers allot more than half space for advertisements. Some news papers charge highly for an advertisement. The New York Times a full page advertisement costs $ 6000 approximately.
Majority of the news papers are published by individuals. There are chain news papers nationally. There are papers run on cooperative basis. Some papers are run by employees themselves who have 75% share in them. They don`t have papers owned by the government. Even we don’t have government news papers.
Majority of the papers do not support any party or its ideology. Some publish news papers independently depending on issues and the occasion. Such papers are large in numbers. Very few lean towards either Republican or Democratic party. Some have a via media approach.
In these papers there are advertisement politics which play a significant role.
A kind of superficial reporting is mostly seen. Very few go deep into the matter and report it. Those who read the news do not pay much attention to what was happening in other countries. We take more interest in prominent events of the world. May be it is our national chatacteristic.
We are under foreign rule when news papers were taking shape in our country. Most of them were following the British tradition. Our papers started giving first place to news from Britain and Europe, second place to our national news and third to our state news. Even now we see that sort of approach. All our papers are national and international ones, hence their news takes priority . Of late a bit of change is seen but very slow change is on the way.
We have more fascination for national and international news than the local news. We have to study this aspect-whether we became like that because of our news papers or our news papers are like that because of us.
American news papers prioritize local news primarily giving national news second and international news third place. And hence people give preference to the local news. Perhaps their way may not appeal to us much.
All news papers in Europe, England are similar.Among them Russian system is a bit different.
That is the reason why very few discuss foreign affairs here. This could possibly be so because of the effect of James Monroe scheme. For over a hundred years the Americans kept themselves confined to their life, their country and lived in a kind of isolation making it their national characteristic .
Of all American news papers The New York Times is considered the most important national news paper. Not only in New York but also in the west coast this paper has special publication. They bring out European edition in Paris. Apart from this The New York Herald, The Los Angeles Ties, The Washington post and Chicago Tribune come under national papers.
During my two months tour in America, I happened to see the news about India in American press only four or five times. Some papers publish news received from the special reporters from Delhi. If we miss seeing Sunday papers we have to wait for the following Sunday for Indian News. The New York Times ,The New York Herald, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times publish such news on Sunday.
For example Nehru dropped many ministers from his cabinet in the name of Kamaraj scheme . I came to know of it only through letters from friends. It is a great news for us. But here the news papers didn’t carry that news at all. Even European papers are like that. Being once upon a time our rulers Britain is a bit better in this aspect.
People here buy weeklies. I thought they would not read them much. I went to a dinner at the invitation of lady. There are many news papers in Tennessee state. I asked her what she was interested in those papers. She guessed my interest. She said `ask me about any main article in those papers, I can talk about it.` I told her that I was not testing her. She said that people here read news papers. Both of us shared the laughter when I said that they may be having problem with books.
The way they sell the news papers is interesting to note. They keep papers at the street corners along with a bar to drop the price in. The person picks a paper and drops money-10 cents on week days, 20 cents on Sunday issue in the box. There is every possibility to steal the paper and also money from the box. But nobody does that there. In the past 25 years such a thing ( stealing) happened once or twice , I heard.
The papers are sold through machine. You drop 10 cents in the slot , one news paper comes out of the machine. If you don`t drop money you cannot get the paper out.
You can buy news papers in the book shops, hawkers sell them in the streets and there is home delivery too.
Their papers are voluminous. Apart from local , national and international news there are separate sections for women, sports,entertainment, and also kids section, story section. You not only find advertisements in all pages but also include special sections for classified ads.
In our papers we find news by ` our reporter` or `our special reporter`. Here the news is given with the name of that particular reporter . It is a good method.People can see which reporter is efficient in presenting the news. There is possibility for the new reporters to come up in career as good reporters. Their photos are also given along with their names. This is an important aspect of their news world.
I am a news paper writer. I am associated with small papers like -Radical Humanist, and Sameeksha (Telugu monthly).Hence I took special interest in American news papers having been a special guest in their country.
I went to The Washington Post`s office in Washington. I was talking to the editor-meanwhile it was time for him to attend the daily meeting with the other members of his editorial board. He took me to their meeting as a friend.
We don`t have such routine here in India, though the editor gives suggestions and other members carry them out.
In that meeting 32 members were present. Their daily carries 100 pages each day. It has different sections. Leaving the space for advertisements specified by the manager, they discussed what news has to be given prominence, which news goes in which page etc. Some reporters demanded for more space for their features, the managing editor settled the matter.
As per their discussion white pages are given to all with marking of the news, secifying certain news. The meeting takes place between 2-3 in the afternoon everyday. They leave the meeting and start working according to the plan. The next day I saw the paper .Every bit of news was published as per the plan in the previous day meeting. Attending their editorial board meeting has been `education` to me.
The friend asked me whether our news papers follow a similar system. The lady in charge of women`s section asked me whether we have such a section.
I said `we don`t have such large papers. On week days they print 6 to 8 pages, on Sundays 10 to 12 pages`. One editor wondered what could we write in such small size papers.I smiled saying that our papers publish news basing on its value or importance. The paper has circulation of 4.50 lakh on week days and 5.50 lakhs on Sunday.
The chief editor meets other editorial board members each day and helps shape the next day`s issue. He does`nt have business responsibility.
The American New Papers have an editorial page editor with his assistants. they all write editorials on different subjects.
I have seen our big news papers. I have seen their big news papers. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. There is no comparison. They have mechanical facilities which involve huge expenditure. We don`t have such facility.
The circulation of The New York Times is 7,16,210 on week days and on Sunday -12 47 782 copies.
The Los Angeles Times prints 7 lakh copies on each day and 10 lakhs on Sunday.
All large papers print 200 to 300 pages on week days and 400 to 500 pages on Sunday. Of all these papers The Los Angeles Times has some modern mechanical facilities. they have one `thinking machine`. It is called ` brain computer`, it is a very strange machine.
One dictates the news item, another types, a third records it on the tape recorder. This taped news is taken care of by 3 or 4 others who add or cut the news as per the importance. That copy is finally approved by the chief editor.
They feed this final copy and tape recorded copy into the ` thinking machine` and press the switch. Both the copies go in and a corrected version comes out from the other end of machine- it carries all the corrections done in the typed copy. The final ` ready to print` comes out immediately.
This final corrected version is fed into composing machine. It prints 10 columns a minute and continues working like that .
Such a machine is there in The Los Angeles Times office. 350 people work there in the editorial section.
With this `automation` paper work has become easy with the possibility of losing jobs for many. Hence the management , instead of losing the existing staff , gives them `automation` training and allot them different types of work.
I went to the office of The Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Sentinel. The journal favors the Democratic party and Sentinel favors the Republican party. Journal news paper bought the Sentinel. The Journal has daily circulation of 3.50 lakh copies. The journal is the evening paper. The Journal staff and Sentinel staff have 7.50% shares. H.S Ringer and Russell Austin are the backbone to these papers. I went into their building and saw their machines.
I saw Minneapolis Tribune and Minneapolis Star-both are run by one management. Tribune is the morning edition and Star is the evening edition. I saw their work efficiency and their machines. My interaction with Paul G. Pearson and his staff was very interesting and hearty. He is one among the best individuals I met in America.
I could understand a number of news aspects in the news world there by going to major news paper offices and meeting their great editors . Their honesty and dedication to work is clearly evident and it is a great experience to me.
Some of their news papers conduct competitions in education, social activities to the students.They give gifts to the winners. They motivate students to take interest in social issues and activities as a means of cultivating social awareness.
Minneapolis Star and Tribune have been conducting such programs for the past 16 years. Ten lakh students and teachers were benefited under their projects. Even other papers are getting ready to involve themselves in such useful social activities.
Just as we have untouchables problem, the Americans have Blacks problem. To solve that problem they have special daily , weekly and monthly news papers. One such paper I saw in Chicago daily Defender. I discussed their problems with them. They are all small papers. They give free space to publish their problems.There may not be a need for special papers for Blacks but each revolution needs to establish its won papers. Once established they should be promoted and run regularly.
There are radios and TVs for relaying and broadcasting news. There are 4 crore 8 lakh families in America. There are 4250 radio stations and 625 TV stations .
All these are under private managements like their news papers. Though government doesnot exercise its power on them there are federal commission regulations. They are not under any pressure from the government.
Some news papers grow their own special forests and they have machinery to prepare news print for their consumption. The Los Angeles Times has such resources and arrangements. With this we can understand what a big level business it is to run a news paper in America.
Though the news papers economically depend upon the advertisements they are not effected by the politics of the advertisers. Even chain news papers are not bound to stick to one particular kind of publishing news. Mostly small news papers only seem to have their impact on American people`s psychology.
John Peter opposed New York governor in 1733, criticized him and was put in prison . But he continued his criticism and finally won the case in the court. From that time onwards the Americans have a fascination for freedom of press . They never forget that right of theirs. They have constitutional protection and also the protection given by the court judgements. They have the special love and dedication towards news paper freedom. That is why the news world in America is so strong an institution .That is one of the paramount support base for their democracy.
Education, local bodies, Newspapers and the law courts keep democracy thriving. If any one of them faulter it will be a blow to democracy.
All these four areas are equally important and play their roles well to strengthen the nation.
Law courts safeguard the interests and the rights of the people. In ancient India this law was called `Smriti`. It means the law known to everybody.
The work of the law courts is always to protect the rights of people-individually and collectively- as per the principles laid out in their constitution.
In the eyes of law all are equal, no difference between the government and the people, no difference between the rulers and ruled.
Once we had that kind of difference of inequality in our country .Of late the scene is changing moving slowly towards equality.
In this country there were inequalities in certain fields. But here the law courts started cutting those differences off.According to law there is no inequality in this country. Even we are trying to achieve equality in the eyes of law. In our country laws based on different religions should be wiped out giving way to one uniform `Civil Law` throughout the country. Then only the Constitution law will be established with no inequality.
Throughout America there is one and only civil law. But in the case of Blacks there is some inequality.
Just like our High courts here each state has an appalete court, in some states they call it supreme court. The national Supreme court is in Washington. There are seven justices -one of them is the chief Justice. This is the Highest court.
The disparities between the states are in the appellate court. Appeals and writ petitions are mostly taken up by the Supreme court. The cases basing on the individual rights-within the constitutional per view- are mainly taken care of by the Supreme Court.
I visited the Supreme Court. The building is imposing. The court hall emits peaceful atmosphere. I had interaction with the officials there. The court was built in Roosevelt`s time in 1933 spending 4 crore 65 lakh rupees. Its structure and shape, the architecture inspire the visitors with the feeling that this is the center famous for its law and justice.
Unlike in our courts all seven justices sit together, listen to cases and the verdict is based on the majority opinion.
In some states they call their High courts Supreme court. I remarked about this to the New York State attorney general saying that it is not right to give the same name to the highest court and the high court. He agreed but said that they are used to it and know the difference. It will be better if the names changed said Minnesota Attorney General Mondel because appeal on the Supreme court is done to Supreme court (highest court).
There is a vast difference between our legal system and theirs.
We have certain central laws and certain state laws. The central laws are followed by all the states. The states should not make laws opposing them.
In America each State frames its own laws.
They make their separate laws regarding procedure or substantive law.
In our country there are two major laws -`civil procedure` and `criminal procedure`.According to them all courts must function.
The American courts have fifty kinds of procedures in fifty states. Each state follows what it prefers. There is no uniform system.
Even important laws are framed by each state. Our central government imposes laws regarding contracts, transfer of wealth, partnerships, arbitrary, easements etc on all our states. That kind of dictatorship is not here. We observe their federal Constitution wherein central interference is very limited. They allow the States full autonomy. That is the base for decentralization.
Even ours is federal Constitution, we say. But with the central interference the States are functioning like municipalities. Americans cannot tolerate it. But here in India our states welcome it and bow before it.
In our country autonomy and provincial rights are meeting slow death whereas in America they are getting stronger day by day. It depends upon their law making system.
There is election system in many areas of the law courts. They elect justices at the time of local body elections.
Even though the President nominates Justices to their Supreme court they should be approved by their Senate. Attorney Generals are nominated on the party basis. When I went to the Little Rock city one incident took place there. President Kennedy came to their State-Arkansas. The State Governor was a Republican and also opposed to the Blacks. He came to Kennedy`s meeting and spoke welcoming and then criticized the policies of the President.
Some politicians and the news papers remarked against the governor`s criticism.
The State attorney General gave a statement supporting the Governor.
While interacting with Hogan and Mondel I asked them whether it is not good to have a uniform criminal and civil procedure in all their States. They said that their system is not harmful to them.
I expressed my opinion that uniform procedures will help the lawyers and make the work easy in the law courts and Supreme court too.
They said-` we are not facing any problems with our existing system. If we accept central procedure in one case there is the danger of its interference in all cases thus destroying the provincial independence.
I accepted their argument. We have to notice their provincial democratic system. That is the American speciality of asserting provincial independence.
I expressed my doubt--` By electing legal officers and justices are they not bringing in party feelings and influence into the law field which may hinder the protection of justice in some cases?
They said- `That is not our experience so far`.
I said -`Because of the opposition between the parties there is the possibility of judging the cases with party partiality`.
Some denied such possibility. Some opined that such risks will not arise. Some said that thus far they did not come across such partiality.
Our laws and our experiences are different from theirs.
They have special family courts in America. If problems arise between wife and husband ,between parents and children the family courts take up such cases and deal with their legal aspects.
In such courts there are more women justices than men. In general there are many women justices in America.
They have `divorce` as a major problem. Once `Hollywood` was notorious for divorce cases. So they used to say` if we address a person Mrs so and so today, we have to doubt whether we can address her with the same name tomorrow`. She may have a different spouse by then or free from the previous spouse. Hence that particular lady herself has to come to our rescue mentioning her present status.
That kind of severe situation is changing there too. If they have large number of divorce cases why is it so?Are they morally downgraded? No. Not all.
They have a reason. They consider a woman and a man as individuals. They are equal in status. Their status is equal in marriage too. In our country we say- we give our daughter to so and so in marriage. But here both get married maintaining their individuality and individual rights.
If there comes a disparity in such a status it leads to the dissolution of their marriage. Like in India if the wife and husband are not happy in their married life - reasons may be many- do not continue to live together for society`a sake or in the name of family reputation.Their marriages are relationships between two equal human beings. If that relationship goes off the track they seek divorce.
Divorces are decided upon in the family courts. We too have new divorce laws but very few cases come to our courts.
In the law courts the protection of the individual`s rights is given prominence. Compensation cases are also important. If the municipality digs ditches in the road and causes inconvenience to a traveler he will go to court for compensation. He does not simply keep quiet.
There are pauper cases in their State courts and in the Supreme court. `Pauper` means one who cannot pay court fees for a case. There are 32 pauper cases in 1932 and in 1963 there are 1629 cases in the Supreme court. One of the court officials gave me that information during our discussions.
A Supreme court justice gets an annual pay of 1 75 000 rupees. Appeal court judge gets 1 25000 rupees and district court judge gets 1 10 000 rupees. But New York court justice gets more salary than the justices in the Supreme court get.
In 1963 there were 28000 cases in the Supreme court out of which 16000 have been cleared. In the other courts too the cases are cleared in the same ratio.
Though they have different laws in different states they have certain central organizations in Chicago to look into common needs of all the states and bring out uniform decisions regarding them.
They have Inner state department. If the laws in some states give good results other states study them and adopt them to their needs. This kind of effort is always done. In this department there are representatives of all states and prominent justices. If there is friction among the states it is resolved by the inner state arbitration. In case it could not be resolved there the case goes to Supreme court.
There is an association of national attorney generals. The Attorney Generals of different states are members in it. It is their work to advice on the laws of their states. Hence they all meet, exchange their experiences comparing them with the experiences of other state Attorney Generals and if necessary adopt their laws to their particular state.
They gather lots of literature arising on their experiences and bring uniformity among laws. It shows the strength of their laws.
My discussions with Posner and Manson were very useful.Americans have great respect to our law courts thinking that they meet out virtual justice to people.
In India we should not discuss a case outside when it is still in the law court. On the basis of the rule ` Sub judice` we are prohibited to discuss it. This we have inherited from the British.
But in America there is no such law of `sub judice`. So when the case is still in the court news papers and others also discuss them and express their opinions about those cases.
That is why Ellen Roy`s brother Robert Goltschock expressed disappointment about the verdict passed in Dehradun in her murder on 13 th December 1960. He asked me why we could not bring pressure on the court. I told him that ` sub judice` prevented us from doing so. He felt very sad.
Law courts play a great part in protecting peoples` rights from government`s authority. Their law courts apply the rights mentioned in democratic Constitution and protect life of people. Law courts really fortify their democracy any day.
In America people only do and achieve many things in the private sector more than their government does. In such a set up we don`t really need to talk about their social sector. In each village, town and city they have a number of organizations who work together or separately doing research in social welfare sector and take up the issues for solution.
These organizations are locally established, they donot have any constitutional binding. They have nothing to do with municipal and village charters. But there is no place where they don`t have these welfare organizations to work in various areas.
As part of these organizations there are `Guest service organizations ` in major cities. These organizations help the foreigners and Americans who come to those cities in finding accommodations and take them round whichever place or institutional centers they choose to visit. They help the new comers to have travel facilities . They do a lot of such service still they apologize that they could not do much more for them. There are many ladies who are famous for their hospitality - they are `ANNAPURNALU` as mentioned in Peddana`s description of Pravara`s wives. their willingness to host the guests is adorable. The guest service center sent Ms Janet Griz Bank to show me Murewood. She had to pick me up from Canterbury hotel in San Fransisco.
It is a tradition in America and England that the hosts who are going to show us round don`t come to our hotel rooms. They telephone to us saying that either they wait for us in the guest lounge or at the gate at the appointed time. We have to meet them there and they take us out in their cars.
In those cities car parking is a problem. One should not park car more than specified time. If any car is parked beyond that time, traffic police will leave a ticket in the car showing how much the owner has to pay as penalty and by what time. If it is not paid in time that car is seized by the police.
Getting such a ticket is considered as a humiliation. Mr Devabhaktuni Ramaswamy who took me round in Chicago told me that he never got a ticket . That means he is a careful driver.
I waited for Janet Griz at the hotel gate. She came and we started in her car. While driving she told me many things about San Francisco. We passed the ` Golden Gate Bridge`. That is the biggest Bridge in the world without the support of any pillars in between. They built that bridge connecting the mountains on either side. They call it `hanging bridge`. It is 17 mile long. We passed the bridge and Richardson Bay which is a part of pacific ocean. After showing me Mure wood she took me to a village in Maria county and there we went to a small beautiful hotel built over the ocean -length being 60, 70 yards. I don`t smoke or drink like her. But I shared snacks with her while discussing many things. She is very shrewd, her husband is a doctor and she has a son.
That evening is memorable . We sat over the ocean in pleasant atmosphere, and cool breeze. Many boats were seen sailing competitively as though they were scating on water. People at different tables were busy talking but no body was disturbing the other.
It is good opportunity to know American women. They discuss things deeply and with care. Janet was cool and steady in our discussions.
A similar experience I had in Tennessee. Miss Leefish took me to a dinner in a village at night. Till 12`o clock we were discussing various issues. She told me that she never wanted to marry. She appreciated my ideas and opinions saying that I have strong views and if I stayed in their country I get a lot of support to propagate my views. She even said that she even likes to join me in my effort. Even Janet Griz expressed a similar agreement with my views.
I offered to pay the bill for dinner but she vehemently protested saying that I was her guest and she would not accept my offer. The Americans show us round driving long distances, pay for our dinners and finally they express that they are sorry to part with us that soon. That kind of hospitality is one of their traits.
The American women are mainly responsible for the American social life to become meaningful and fruitful. They not only give beauty and joy but also excersize the best influence on it.
Little Rock is a small city. Fresno is bigger comparitively. Milwaukee is a big city. There are social welfare organizations every where in small as well as big places. I quote Little Rock in Arkansas as an example. In 1957 the Blacks faced many problems due to Governor Faubus. Arkansas is a Southern State. I observe one whole day those social welfare centers there. They are functioning in 123 sections. For each section there are two representatives. They elect a Board of directors. Those directors run the activities of the centers with the advice and cooperation of the representatives.
The social welfare organization collects funds from the people and other organizations. There are many who voluntarily contribute their mite annually. Nobody is forced to contribute. Individuals come out willingly to pay big amounts. In 1962 various organizations were able to collect 5 lakh rupees and 7 lakhs in 19 63. The Board decides how much to allot for various activities. They keep some amount as the capital . They make use of it if they have to bear additional expenditure for some works.
In those 123 centers they allot amounts to health, education, child support, senior citizens and student scholarships and to disabled dealing with other problems.The Blacks problems are treated as human relations. Aid is given for the development of backward areas. People become members of these various organizations depending on the areas of their interest. Let me give an example of how these sections function . I attended a meeting of one of the sections n in Little Rock. There were 25 members present- half of them are ladies. That day`s problem for discussion was ` why some children are leaving and running away from schools in the middle of the academic year?` They call this problem `Fall out`.
They received report from teachers of various schools. Social Welfare organization writes letter to the parents of `Fall out` students saying `your child` is not attending school, the reason is not known, to us. We have to discuss this with you. Can you kindly come to our meeting?`
The parents come to the meeting, the problem is discussed. They talk to that particular child and take necessary action. They discuss whether a child has not got enough food and clothing, or does he have problem with parents, bad habits or the child has any bad company or does the child have any mental problem. Having found out the reason they help economically to redress the child`s problem. they create suitable situations for the child to come back to school. They don`t hesitate to spend money. They care for good outcome.
Let me take another example. If in a family the man or the woman is suffering from ill health and can have no reasonable means to get good medical help, the social welfare center sends expert doctors to that family to examine the patient and arrange good treatment in the best hospital till the person recovers totally. Thus the family is saved, their children get good support and thus the painful story of the family ends.
If a particular locality is found dirty and backward the social welfare team makes inquiries and sends its report to the municipality to act. They also allot some fund toward the betterment of the locality. Thus the problem is solved immediately.
If they find that in some schools there are no better families for students they come to rescue and help the schools.
In the year 1963 they allotted one lakh rupees to tackle the problem of the Blacks treating it as a human relations problem. They help to mitigate discrimination towards Blacks, help their children taking care of their needs.
Through special programs like play, dance, sports, they try to educate children and make them scientifically oriented.
I mentioned to them about Children`s art academy (Bala Kala Parishad) in Tenali (the town from which I came) and explained to them its activities. They came forward with certain suggestions for its improvement.
The people in the society seek help from those social welfare organizations and don`t depend much on the government. People don`t expect the government to do everything. They do things they need by themselves. They are self reliant and hence don`t criticize the government for not doing many things.
This kind of social welfare activities have been going on over years and that system got rooted in the American welfare society. They are able to achieve great results for the benefit of society.
The social welfare organizations are responsible for bringing unity among people whom they meet several times and hold discussions regarding their needs. They plan for more and better activities and better future.
In small cities there will be one social organization with different activities but in big cities they have area wise organizations that function separately.
In the small cities the representatives of those organizations try to find out if there is any problem and try to take action if they find any.
The representatives are familiar with small and big issues in the small cities and they convey the report to the concerned people. A kind of social discipline is automatically established and there by creating the atmosphere of ethics or morality in the society. This kind of influence exerted by the social welfare organizations is to be highly appreciated and recognized as it is worth emulating.
But in the bigger cities their work and influence is not enough in certain areas which are turning to be indisciplined. Even the youngsters are going off the track getting drawn to bad ways of life which are harmful to society.
A kind of slackening in the family life is observed in America. There are almost seven crore children under 18 years . Out of them 30 lakhs belong to divorced parents. Two lakh children are in the foster homes. One lakh are taken care of in private and public institutions. But every year almost four lakh children are being sent to juvenile courts.
Looking at these figures I feel sad. Private and public institutions which give protection to children are 2500 in number. This is one of the major activities of the social welfare organization. Apart from this, they have family welfare organizations. It has 350 centers working with it. I have keenly observed those organizations . They have good arrangements. Children get all facilities. But they miss the love of their parents and the family life.
This is going to be a major future problem in America. Parents are slowly realizing the need to take proper care of their children and have a better family life.
In American society divorce is a major issue. In such cases children may suffer. The parents leave their children freely once they reach the age of 16, or 17 years. That system is leading to social problems. They have money and facilities which could divert their children to uncontrolled freedom and bad habits.
Divorce is a major problem among the poor and the richest families. Of late the middle class families are steadily maintaining the family unity. I came to know of it in my discussions with various people. The Americans started realizing the importance of the unity and strength of a family life.
All those issues are discussed in the social welfare assembly. Eighty voluntary organizations which work at the national level participate in it. Federal agencies are also there. They discuss the welfare projects and plan of action is decided upon. This assembly plays a significant role in American social life. Major share of work is done by women members.
I participated in the meeting of these social workers in Little Rock. I was invited to the discussions after dinner at the house of Fletcher Miller. The meeting is scheduled at 7.30 pm. Americans usually have their dinner by 6 pm. I had my dinner at the hotel and was ready by 6.30 p.m.
Fletcher Miller took me home. There were 10 women and 4 men in the meeting. There are poets, lawyers, writers and ambassadors in that group which is small but powerful.
Jane, a poetess asked me whether we have divorce in India. I said that we have. She asked me whether the divorced women get married again. Another writer wanted to know how our society treats the divorced women.
My answer was--` In our country there are very few divorces. In our state divorces were legalized in the year 1949. Nationwide divorce law came into force in 1956. Is that so?- they wondered.
When I said that divorced women do not enjoy equal right- they exclaimed -- ` What a terrible social system?`
I said that very few divorced women get married again . But that situation is likely to change in future. They looked at each other without further remark.
Miller`s wife asked whether we have any institutions to take care of the children of the divorced parents.
I said that such institutions are not there but in recent time the government has started some child care centers.
One writer wanted to know whether English is our national language. My reply-- ` No. There are 14 languages accepted as national languages according to the constitution. We are going to accept Hindi as official language putting English aside.`
`The English people had left your country. Why are you still angry with them, why can`t you continue with English as your official language ?`- one writer posed the question.
`English is treated as foreign language not the national language. So they want to bring in one of our languages to replace English. That is essential to bring back honor to our country. This is the argument of the majority of Indians.` I explained.
One lady said that it may not be right even though many support it.
I replied that majority opinion counts in a democracy.
`Yes, but -` stopped half way one gentleman.
One lady writer wanted to know whether Hindi is going to replace English.
I said `Yes. That is the constitutional decision. But in south India and in the state of Bengal there is severe opposition. I told that the language issue should not be decided by the mere majority but the people`s acceptance should be taken into account. They all agreed with me.
One gentleman wondered if it is not English what else will there be as the international link language.
`I questioned ` What do Russia and China have ?`
One friend asked -- They do not have . But why should you give up one which you already have?
I told them that English should continue as the official language for a long time to come. All looked cool with this remark of mine.
One writer said `You have several languages in your country. How do you understand writings of other languages?
My reply-- `It is a difficult job. We depend on translations which are not coming out in required number. We have to put in more effort to translate great number of good books of different languages.`
One remarked -` Indians write good English. Why can`t they accept it as their own language?`
My response- ` English is not our language. We have 14 mother tongues. Ours is a country of many languages, sates and many races. English is the official language to keep all of us together. English is the link language for a long time to come.
They all agreed that the task is going to be difficult.
In such meetings there is the possibility of our knowing them and their thinking about us.
I went to Mr Fender`s house in Los Angeles. The couple have two sons and one daughter in law and all are lawyers. I was the sixth lawyer there. The dinner at their place was enjoyable that day. There were artists, poets, doctors.And there were ladies and people from T.V. Fender`s mother who is 87 knows many things about India. She listened to my English, asked me whether I think in English or in my mother tongue.
I said if I speak in English, I think in English and I think in my mother tongue when I speak in that language.
They made me recite some Telugu poems. I let them listen to the recorded songs of Modukuru Johnson, poems of Attota Ratna Kavi. They appreciated them and said that our language is very sweet.
When I told them that Telugu is called the Italian of the East one Italian agreed with me.
I wrote a poem, recited it and wrote it for them along with English translations. One or two of them read their own English poems but members present gave me more marks for my poem.
An artist asked me about our arts and Ajanta, Ellora. He asked me the reason for the arts to prosper in Buddhist era.
My reply--` In our country Arts , architecture and sculpture prospered in Buddhist era and the muslim rule. In the Hindu era poetry and philosophy flourished.
They expressed surprise. One lady asked me whether such prosperity was ot there in the British era. I said that they were not there in the British era.
I said that there was prosperity then too. education was given priority more than arts and architecture. Not only many ancient sanskrit writings were brought out to the people with easy explanation. If that did not happen India should not have become this famous.`
They were all very much surprised with the information of mine.
Some said that we were benefited by the British rule.
My reply--`Like you , we also benefited and incurred losses. Both of us got freedom from the British imperialism. But our ancient literature is known to be world language..
Then our discussions turned to social problems.
I said-` Our people think that -you people lead a fast life and not slow and steady. That is why here youngsters lose self control, due to too much freedom and elders ]resort to divorce.`
Some of them started attacking me like ferocious dogs. Some moved their heads in agreement to what I said. Some kept quiet. On the whole they saw the point in what I told them.
I remarked that the divorces are more among the poor and also rich people.
Fender`s mother said- `yes.’
Fender said `no`.
Fender`s wife and another poet said `yes`.
One lady asked : how I got that information.
`In course of discussions in Fresno a friend gave me that information- I said
One lady said that all our conversations are being electronically recorded.
I said: only the essential ones.
I spent a day with Irving Stone, the famous writer. He has a small house on Beverly hills. We talked about the writings in America which have social relevance and also the style of Stone`s writings.
That day being very hot, Stone and his wife, Fender`s wife and myself spent quite some time in their swimming pool and felt refreshed.
We can grasp their social attitudes in such occasions in course of conversations.
Such private gatherings and discussions play key role in social welfare programs. The issues and problems raised in their private meetings will be discussed in the social welfare sector. Their welfare activities are the beacon lights leading to progress and perfection in their social life.
We often hear Americans claiming that their education system , news papers, local bodies, law courts and social welfare organizations are the essential strong holds of their democracy. People have indomitable faith in them.
Some even say that no where else one finds such foundations for democracy. They often repeat what once Abraham Lincoln said- Democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people.
They desire that people should lead their government with responsibility and they strongly believe that their government is running according to people`s will.
America is not one particular race. It is a combination of many minority races.All the races of Europe are there. We find there races from Asia, and Africa too. But all of them consider themselves Americans. They all speak the American language. Their kind of unity in diversity is to be found in very few countries.
In some cities half of the people are Germans and half Italians. But all behave like Americans.
In New York , in certain areas, people only from Holland live, in some only the Italians, and in other areas only the Germans. All speak English and live like Americans only. If you ask a cab driver to take you to Holland, they take to the area where Hollandes live.
America maintains such high quality of unity amidst their diversity and it is proud of its powerful democracy. Those who call America a capitalist country should think whether they are fair in doing so.
There are many capitalists in this country, some consider theirs New Capitalism in principle. There are many who claim that theirs is the biggest democracy in the world.
What ever it is, they don`t like anything going against their democracy, they sate the prevalence of dictatorship or socialism. They don`t differentiate between communism and socialism. They describe both as dictatorships and nationalism. There are many who openly argue that capitalism is better than the other systems.
We have to make an effort to clearly understand all their views. We have to grasp the spirit of ` people` towards their governance. We have to understand their respect to the individual and his fundamental rights. We have to grasp their feeling that freedom is everyone`s birthright.
If we look at America with the above perspective it does not matter whether we call theirs a capitalist country or by any other name.
The Problem of Blacks
The problem of blacks is given a new name- Problem of Human Relations- by the Americans. In India the problem of MALA AND MADIGA was termed by the British as the problem of scheduled castes and Gandhi called it the problem of Harijans. We gave new names to washerman (chakali) as Rajaka; barber (Mangali) as Nayee Brahmin;Potter (kummari) as Kulali; medara, uppara saragu etc.
In this kind of change the names humanism is expressed. We want to do away with humiliation of people.We express that we are striving for equality.
Hence American way of calling the blacks problem as human relations is highly appreciated. It shows their desire to care about human values and the principle that all people are equal. It is the matter of respectable relationship between person to person. Different skin color should not lead to racial discrimination. Skin color depends on the climatic conditions of a country or region-too much cold or too much heat is responsible for skin color. For skin color a man or a religion is not responsible. When we fail to understand this simple reason we take pride in our race or color. Ignorance should not give us happiness or pride. We should make to strive for better knowledge and understanding.
Now in 50 states of America there are two crores of blacks ( in 1963). Originally America belongs to the Red Indian aboriginals. Lakhs of Europeans migrated to America and called it their country displacing the Red Indians. These migrents did not have enough stamina to work hard and generate necessary income to live comfortably. Hence they brought the blacks from Africa to work for them as laborers, servants and slaves. They even bought slaves from other slave masters. They claimed them as their property. They did not treat them as human beings who have individuality of their own but took them to be useful material. There are still some people even now who can not give up their superior feeling.
Initially Europe imported the Blacks as slaves while migrating to America, they brought them along with them.
Lord Mansfield freed his Black slave in London in the year 1772. He totally abolished slavery in England in the year 1807.
In 1794 America decided not to import Blacks in the ships. In 1807 they decided not to import slaves. But even till 1860 Black slaves were miserable. They said a Black man did not have the right to decide himself whether he is a slave or a freeman. In 1854 in the case of Scott the Supreme court`s verdict said that even if a Black is free he cannot be a citizen.
Those were the days when arguments were ripe that the Congress who rules America and protects their constitution had no right over slavery. In 1854 in the case between Nebraska and Kansas the Congress passed a law that those who settle there could maintain slaves. The Congress passed a law that Missourie state can keep slavery and can also join the union.
The Blacks were tied with ropes and chains and clogged. They were sold and bought like cattle.
From the beginning the Blacks were mostly brought to the Southern States. Among the present 50 States there are only one per cent Blacks in 25 states. There are 30% of them in 15 states, while in the rest of the states there are 5 to 15 % of them. Hence the problem of Blacks is the problem of 6 or 7 Southern States.
In some of these states the Blacks can never be a majority in the 100 or years to come. They did not increase more than 23% in 30 or more states. Hence they have to live as minority in all the States.
In none of these states the Blacks can ever be majority in 100 or 125 years to come. They did not increase more than 23% in 30 or more states. Hence they have to live as minority in all the states.
America itself is a combination of minorities. Hence Blacks too are a part of it. The Red Indians are another point. So the Blacks need not specially consider themselves as a minority and feel desperate about it.
Because of their color they are discriminated in their rights, hence they are reminded that they are minority. But it is a must that America should find solution to their problem.
Many people give various reasons for their racial supremacy. In Africa the whites are ruling. Ghettos are built in certain areas for the Blacks to live. Initially this Ghetto culture was imported to America too but now ghettos are bare minimum. In certain Southern states that culture is still felt. If a house is for sale in a whites area they see to that no Black should but that some. Indirect discrimination is shown like that.
Let us turn to Indian situation. Mala, Madiga and some low caste people are untouchables. They kept them away from main stream of life. In undivided India ( before partition) there were 7 lakh villages, 7 lakh separate dwelling areas for untouchables.Charvaka, Ramanuja, Palanati Brahmanayudu and Gandhi made serious efforts to change such shameful situation. Ambedkar, M .N.Roy revolted against that ugly past of the culture and came out with suggestions for change.
Some Indians show sympathy to the South Africans and the Blacks in America. They criticize those governments and make unjust remarks against them forgetting how heinous their treatment of their fellow human beings in their country in the name of untouchability.
In history of the revolution for emancipation of the Blacks had taken strange turns.
Till 1860 a Black was neither accepted as a citizen nor even as secondary citizen. He was the property of somebody or other. That was the argument prevalent then.
The law of 1820 allowed Missourie State to be in the union while still continuing slavery. Even in 1850 as a kind of understanding between Northern and Southern states they said that in South Blacks could be kept as slaves.
In 1861 when Abraham Lincoln tool oath as the President neither Black slave nor his descendant could be citizen. But the status of a Black who is not a slave was different.
Some wisemen wrote their will declaring their Black slaves free from slavery. But the law courts invalidated the conditions in their wills. Why? A Black slave had no right to decide whether to remain slave or a freeman-he had to remain slave. We heard about the verdict in the case of J. Scott. The verdict said that Congress had no right to curtail slavery in any state. Lincoln vehemently condemned that verdict saying ` if color degrades a person, people who are fair in color than us can denounce us-people who are more intellectual than us may look down upon us . Color or intelligence is not the property of particular group. All people should condemn that verdict-if this slavery is not a sin there is no other sin in the world. In 1858 Lincoln was defeated-Douglas who defeated him said- The government is of the white people, by the whites for the welfare of the whites. That was the political atmosphere then.
Lincoln put forth a proposal that if slave owner considered his slaves as property, he would be compensated with money for that part of his property. He introduced a Bill to that effect in the Congress. He said - It is not our decision to free slaves immediately, but we have to make an implicit decision to free them.
Soon after Lincoln became the President eleven States who perpetrated slaves left the Union and found a Federation. The question arose whether the Unity of the nation is important or the freedom to the slaves. Powers opposing unity declared won. The question arose whether to recruit the Blacks into the army or not. Slowly they were taken into army. In 1852 a law was passed that Blacks could be recruited into the army.Two lakh of them got into the army. They all fought for the unity of the nation. Every Black soldier was freed from slavery. This became the issue of disturbance to one group which gave strength to the other group.
In those days Lincoln said ` I always thought all people should be free, whoever wants to be a slave wants to keep others as his slaves`. M.N.Roy in his New Humanism said - `A slave or any one who wants to retain others as slaves are both slaves.`.
But there were political risks then. Lincoln was compelled to say `If the Unity of the country and the security of the Union could be achieved without freeing the slaves I will do that or if the union is saved with the freedom of the slaves I will immediately declare the emancipation of the slaves.`
On 13th september, 1862 Chicago Christian organizations decided in favor of abolition of slavery.
On 22 september 1862 Lincoln made his first announcement that he was going to declare the emancipation of slavery on 1st January 1863.
With that announcement disturbances were created in the country. Jefferson Davis gave a call that all the free Blacks in the Southern States should be caught and turned into slaves. Richmond announced that Lincoln`s announcement made the country incur loss of 2000 crore rupees.
40 Black slaves were freed.The credit went to Lincoln. That was the story of a human being to gift of humanism to others. It was the story of Lincoln becoming the father of Blacks.
Lincoln`s proposal of emancipation of slavery was the 13th amendment of the constitution. Later 14th and 15th amendments were made freeing all free of color discrimination.They were included in the Constitution but it would take a long time to be fully implemented.
For example, look at our Constitution which abolished untouchability but its implementation is dead slow.
The issue of emancipation gave rise to other issues in America. There is competition between Northern and Southern States about what rights should a state have and what rights the federal government has. Many argued that the slavery issue come under state administration. Some said that central government had to deal with it. Their desire that states should not bow down to the federal government authority had been connected to the Black`s freedom issue. From 1820 on words there were arguments and counter arguments about the emancipation issue.
Lincoln brought this issue to its climax by saying -`No nation which has half its people free and half slaves can exist for a long time`.
Lincoln`s pain and anguish subsided when the chief of the opposition army surrendered. Lincoln went to watch a play in a theater as a way of celebration where he was shot by on 14th april 1865. He died next day. He made amendment in the constitution declaring the emancipation of slavery. He is the father , mother grandfather to the Blacks. He is the incarnation of humanism, the greatest person to be cherished for ever in the American history.
In the beginning there were 2 lakh Blacks brought to the country. But to day they are nearly 2 crore people.
With the industrial development America prospered economically. The problem of Blacks took new turns leading to the efforts for resolving them. Time as it advances brings changes. That is what happened in America. The riches in America did not much help for the progress of the revolution for social changes.
But it slowed it-it looked like that.
In the year 1912 Arizona state joined the Union, the first time America became the united States of America. In reality America is only 50 years old, the youngest among the developed nations. Each state insisting on self development and the verdict of the Supreme Court, social reforms moved snail pace.
According to their declaration of independence of 1778 all men are born equal. Amendments to their Constitution-13 the amendment in 1865, 14th in 1868, 15th in 1870 laid the foundations for freedom in the independent country.
In the house of representatives, Southern states get less representation. But in the Senate each state has two representatives.Hence southern states` strength went up and they obstructed the progress.That was the main reason for the reform to lag behind.
In the year 1896 their Supreme court gave equal but separate rights to the Blacks and the whites. this phrase equal but separate right caused hindrance in the field of education. But with the Supreme court`s verdict in 1954 distancing the blacks in the education field giving them separate quota or looking down upon them were abolished. In all schools all found equal representation. That was the beginning of the progressive path.
On one side the courts were bringing in the equal citizenship, the Blacks on the hand found entry in Federal jobs, government contracts and military jobs. When Franklin Roosevelt was the president, Issen Hoover introduced the first citizenship bill. Roosevelt was a democrat and Issen Hoover a republican. Eisenhover made equal citizenship possible in 1957 and 1960. That was not possible in the past 80 years. This was the beginning of the law of comprehensive citizenship of 1964. This law was proposed by President Kennedy and was accepted at the time of President Lindon Johnson. The emancipation of Blacks started by Lincoln has reached the climax.
To achieve this result many Black organizations worked very hard.Among them the national association of the progressive colonial people was the main organization. Roy Wilkins was its secretary. There was other organization-Congress of the racial equality. There are thousands of small and big organizations like-Southern Christian leaders association, non violent student committee, National urban league, National council of Black women.
All parties and all religious denominations supported the citizenship of Blacks.
The procession taken on 28th August 1963 was memorable. It was not the meeting of the Blacks alone. It was the meeting of the Americans and half lakh whites and Blacks together came forward for the meeting and gave slogans.
Whiting Young, Roy Wilkinson, Walter P.Riyath Meer, James Formal, Matthew Aikman, Rubby Zoyalemim,Prince Dr Eugene Caros Black, John Lenin, Dr Martin Luther King welcomed the important activity and leaders working for the Black revolution. There are thousands of activists from various places of the country.
Blacks have many news papers, many writers, poets, singers, artists, actors and thousands of fine arts promoters,sportsmen.No other race stands superior to Blacks.
Even in India the backward communities play important role in the areas of movies, arts, films and the instrumental music. I hope the social historians will specially conduct research and find out the reason for their eminence . Whatever may be the reason they stand out in movie, fine arts.
In the law of 1964 there are eleven special protections for the Blacks-voting, schools, rights in public places and organizations rights for jobs, civil rights court, federal civil rights commission are important among them. The Federal funds will be spent to mitigate any kind of disparity.
It was announced in the government industrial department that the income of the Black workers family is 16,000 rupees on an average and 30.000 for the white workers family. There are 11% of Black workers nationally. There is 2.50% unemployment among them.
President Johnson gave a call that all people
people should decide to eliminate this disparity and work for that cause. They are coming forward with new proposals to work for a better social life.They are making all efforts to make Lincoln`s ideals practically successful.
There is poverty in America .But there is difference between our poverty and theirs. There are differences among themselves. There are poor whites and there re poor Blacks. But majority of the poor are among the Blacks.
I had been to the house of poor whites and poor Blacks. They have telephones, cars, television sets, refrigerators, and other amenities but they are poor. In their row of houses all children don`t have separate space or rooms. Though they are not suffering from hunger but they don`t live in plenty.
President Johnson started work to give a better social life to them. Now they made laws among all citizens. But they should make efforts for their full implementation. They should proceed carefully to make the story of equality end happily.
As President Kennedy said-We don’t have quota system, whites and Black should unite as one race -it is the ideal. If they continue on that path, for some more time we can call America, a country of walking democracy.
If they succeed in their ideals, it is useful for us because we too have similar problems. We get encouragement from them and can work paving the way to success.
Their population in the south is dwindling. The southerners who wanted to play politics against the Blacks are disappointed.
Let us look at the figures of Black population in the Southern States in 1960. In Alabama they were 9 lakh , 83 thousand ; in Arkansas 3 lakh 90 thousand, Florida 8 lakh 88 thousand, in Georgia 11 lakh 25 thousand, in Kentucky 2 lakh 18 thousand, Louisiana 10 lakh 46 thousand, Missisipi 9 lakh 21 thousand; North Carolina 11 lakh 57 thousand; south Carolina 8 lakh 35 thousand; Tennesse 5 lakh 90 thousand and in Virginia 8 lakh 73 thousand.
These are the 11 states where Blacks problems got intensified and reached the climax. In recent years 2 lakhs of them became newly listed voters.Five lakh students are getting education in mixed schools.
The Blacks problem successfully progressing. The sooner this problem gets solved the better for them.For its success proposals are coming up from all corners. Various forces in the country are getting awareness of the problem and are working hard moving along with the nation.
The answer is flowing in the winds. `I SEE FREEDOM` says one Black person!
America grows 10% of the total food produced in the world. It is possible for them to produce it because of their best seeds, good fertilizers and the use of machine tools.
They follow meticulously the results of research in the Botanical field and grow food crops in abundance. Their drainage system, change of crops and their interest in their lands made it possible.
They maintain all accounts assiduously in the field of agriculture . They preserve the family pedigree of their cattle and have a record of their feed. They note down how much milk they get every day. They stopped using cattle in cultivation and they introduced all machine tools instead. We see horses being used for that purpose in rare places-that is because of some keeping old traditions . By 1962 there are 39 lakh families involved in agriculture out of 75% of their cultivation is managed by the owners.
There are 250 or 300 acres under each farmers unit. Like in India farming used to be the occupation of the family. But once the country developed industrially, trade and business progressed, with the rise of cities, many people started switching to different occupations from agriculture. It sounded a blow to the agriculture sector. Slowly the limit of farming unit seems to grow to bigger sixes, machine tools replaced the manual labor and cattle and farming is treated as an industry. It was a revolutionary change.
Farming units which used to grow food worth rupees 25 000 in 1959 , grew to Rs 50 lakh units. These units which were earning Rs 50,000 found 36% increase in their produce and such units reached 8 lakhs in number and the farmers started growing second crop too. 70 laksh farmers were able to move their produce to markets with the help of cooperative societies .There came a lot of change in the field of agriculture by 1963.
The farming units grew bigger, decreasing the total number of such units. In some areas like Fresno farming is turned into a heavy industry. They call it agricultural automation.
India is primarily an agricultural country. America is an industrial country. Even if we increase our industries our people in 5 lakh villages have to depend mainly on agriculture.
Our leaders who make plans for our agriculture should observe the growth and status of agriculture in other nations and adopt their improved methods suitable to our needs.
With that in mind let us observe the American system of agriculture. It is a large country but their population is less than ours.
Once upon a time America too was based on agriculture. But now their farming , the life style of families underwent a radical change. It turned out to be an industry and business. Total change is expected very soon.
Many of our families even now depend mainly on farming. A change is seen in our views about it though it is yet to be realized practically.
We have imposed ceiling limit on our agriculture income. In America they don`t have such limit. Their least farming limit is more than 90 acres. The heavy farming units have up to 50 thousand acres. For them growing more food is important than limiting the farm units.
They don`t use cattle in farming. They don`t have buffollos -either she or he.They have only cows or oxen. Cows are for milk, and oxen , the bulls go for meat production. Cows are used for milking for a period of 10 years and later they too are used for meat. We depend on cattle for our agriculture and transportation.
All their agriculture depends on machine tools-sowing seeds, cutting and harvesting crops-everything is mechanized.
They plow the fields 4 to 10 inches deep with their iron plows. they irrigate them, level them and with the help of machines lay the boundaries using nails and plastic cloth. Those boundaries help maintaining the level of water. They have to lay the boundaries every year. the machine lays 1000 yards of boundary in an hour.
They don`t have planting system. They sow the seed, straight away in watered fields. When the seedlings appear they remove the excess water. Till harvest season they irrigate the fields as much as necessary.
Their airplanes sow the seeds flying 20 or 25 feet high on the field. they use up to 180 pounds of seed per acre. The crop grows thick but not very high.
In the year 1962 on an average the farmers produced 4800 pounds per acre in California state. Some even got 6000 pounds. that means 37 sacks of grain in an acre-their average being 27 sacks (bags).
They use chemical fertilizers per acre costing rs 75 or 100 annually. Using hay as fertilizer is very rare. They use hay as beds for cattle and burn the rest of it in the fields. They don`t use hay as fodder for their cattle.
They use the machine called Combine for cutting the crop. It costs roughly one lak rupees. The driver presses the button, it moves at the speed of 5 miles an hour cutting the crop up to three yards . The cut crop is pulled into the machine and thrashed throwing the hay down. The grain gets filled in a tub. The moment a yub is filled a lorry draws it and loads it. The machine can cut and harvest the crop in 6 or 7 acres in an hour.
The grain harvested is still moist. they pass the grain into a machine with 100 degree heat to get the moisture sucked out. Another part of the machine cleans the grain and thus they take it to storing place.
From sowing seeds to getting the crop to storage they do not touch it with hands and then maintain its cleanliness.
They sow paddy between 15th April and 15 th May. Crop cutting is done from the end of August to the end of September.
100 pounds of grain costs 4.50 $ equal to our 22050 rupees. They lease out the lands as they wish. There are no laws to govern it.
Each farmer cultivating 100 acres ,buys all the machinary spending 15000 rupees at least. They can use those machines in 300 or 400 acres. That is why the farmer takes the land on lease. With the help of their machinary each farmer can work alone in 400 acres. Two or three people manage 10,000 acres. They use machinary worth 50 lakhs. They use 1.50 crore worth machines to cultivate 40000 acres, 6 0r 7 people manage the whole work.
They are doing all the food growth through automation.Other countries who are advanced industrially are stunned at the American system of agriculture. We cannot dream of such a revolution in food growth in near future. Their government does not interfere in the agriculture sector. But when it is necessary the crop controlling corporation gives suggestions to farmers as to which food crop they should grow more and which less. The farmers who grow those crops decide through referendum whether to accept those suggestions or not. This is the democratic way of running their agriculture sector.
The farmers grow much and earn much. But they don`t have to pay heavy land tax.They have turned farming into an industry and are enjoying the best results.
Ohio State is famous for its food growth. It is called Hog-corn state. They raise the hogs-pigs and grow the corn on a very large scale. I visited many farm units in Ohio and Illinois States. I visited their poultry and cow sheds. Raising pigs, chicken and cows is part of their agriculture.
They mainly grow corn , wheat, paddy, barley, oats, peanuts and tobacco. Alfa alfa grass is for cattle feed.
I met one small farmer Leonard L. Duke in Ohio. He owns 165 acres and cultivates it all by himself. He has a small size combine, a tractor, a wagon and an iron plow. He has corn sowing machine, wheat cutting machine, a machine to indicate the climate, he spent 60,000 rupees on them. If he needs any other machines he will rent them and rent out his machines to others.
He took some more land on lease. He sells corn at rupees 6.25 a bushel, wheat 6.50 a bushel and oats 3 rupees a bushel.
The grain traders and private cooperative agencies decide the rate of grain locally. Government does not buy food grains. they have a corporation which decides the agriculture matters. they too play a role in price fixing. They all fix a reasonable rate for grains which are sold with a subtle variation here and there.
In those states I visited a third grade land is sold for 1000 or 1500 rupees per acre. Second grade for 1500 or 2000 rupees per acre. First grade land is sold at 2500 an acre.
I went to the cow shed owned by one Buckland Bob. He and his brother cultivate 420 acres.. They have machines costing 2 lakh rupees. They have 120 cows 60 of which are milch cows. Their fodder is stored in separate sections. The machine cuts the fodder to thin pieces and fills them all in tins. They give to cows vitaminized fodder.
Newly born calves are not allowed to suck milk from their mothers. they are fed separately with milk and some food. Their months old calves are much bigger and stronger than our one and half year old calves.
They milk the cows with machines not with hands like us. Milking areas are maintained separately. Six cows are led to one side and another six to the opposite side and they are fed. Between those two lines of cows there is a ditch like area. In that area one person sits on a cart. He fixes milking machines to the udders of all cows. The machines draw the milk rhythmically with equal pressure. Milk is drawn to the glass container which rests above the man`s head. When the container is full he draws a string and the container tilts and empties into a tank. The chilling machines maintain the temperature to keep the milk fresh. the milk van draws milk from the tank and measures it before taking it to the city centers.
This milking system was new to me. The whole system and sight was appealing to me.
The farmer sells 5000 pounds milk from sixty cows every day. 100 pounds costs $ 4 . Daily the farmer gets 950 rupees income on milk. These cows give milk for ten years. I saw a cow which gave milk for 17 years. They don`t touch the fodder or milk with their hands. I saw the cow sheds in Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota. One Mr Pearson has 60 cows-30% of them are milking. He sells 1200 pounds a day. He has 134 acres. He took 90 acres on lease paying Rs 350 per acre. His machinery costs 940 00. He pays land tax Rs 524 per acre. Raising the cattle, selling milk are his main work apart from cultivation. He says selling 100 pounds per $ 4.50 is reasonable. Raising beyond that is not good for the economy of his country-he says. His is a responsible citizen. I met some other men with similar views.
A cow costs Rs 5000 or 6000 . He has a bull born in 1958. It was in 1963 I met him. He maintained a photo frame with the family tree of the bull. He is expecting to sell it for 30 to 40 thousand rupees.Some offered 20 thousand but he says he will not give it to him.
In America the horns of newly born calves are chiseled and the roots are burnt, not allowing the horns to grow further. Cows and oxen have bald heads. Cows usually give milk for 300 days, some even 350 days. Their feeding process is new to us. Among cows -Handsteen, Jersey, Gorness, Brown swiss, Ice hair are prominent types. They insure their cows heavily.
The Americans maintain not only the family pedigree of their cows but also the charts with their milking particulars. If there is 4.50% fat in the milk that cow is considered superior. I even saw some cows giving 2 pots of milk at a time.
I saw a grass machine in Fresno, California. Alfa alfa green grass is brought there in trucks. They send it into the machine which cuts it into various sizes and finally into powder. The powder is converted into vitamin tablets. Those tables are packed into bags and sent to various markets. The tablets are used as food for cows. Every day each cow gets more than 2 kilos of it. They take great care of their cattle as a part of their agriculture.
In this area lands sell 3000 or 4000 an acre. the lands where they grow grapes sell at the rate of 7500 rupees or 10000 per acre. Their land rates are not much different from ours but their soil, their produce are richer than ours.
The Americans used to do business through corporations. But now they established corporations in their agricultural sector turning it into an industry.. For some it is cultivation, for some it is family occupation and for some others it is a heavy industry. But in future it is going to be totally an industry.
They donot have a system of fixing rates for their commodities. Whether to follow the suggestions of crop control corporation or not is left to the growers corporation.
The growers, government will accept their decision. For example Kennedy made an appeal to the farmers to reduce the amount of wheat growth in order not to risk the rates . But the farmers through their referendum decided to grow their usual amount. The government accepted their decision.
The farmers have an advantage. They can insure their crops and get the money according to that days` rate. If the rate is low they can leave the produce to the government and take the money. If the rate is up then they themselves can sell their produce and pay the insurance.
They grow cotton 2 to 4 packs per acre. Each pack contains 500 pounds. They grow barley upto 4000 pounds. that is the case with the other crops too.
I went deep inside their fields. Their roads and trasport facilities are good.
You get the same facilities and comforts in the cities as well as in the villages. Whatever you get in the cities is available in their villages too.
I visited many places and met many people in Washington DC. I went to the International Peasants office on 24 August, 1963.Their working committee meeting was going on. Former Premier of Poland Mr Slanya Lans Kolajusk was the chairman. Dr George Dimitrof - the chief secretary of the committee introduced me to the members present.
The members present were: Dimitrof, Ferangi Nagi-Hungary Prime minister; Bela Bokar-secretary of International peasants committee; Harnikans Blajas-the editor of their news paper; DR Vland Komak-leader of Croatia farmers` party; Chi Sonimane- leader farmers party of Czechoslovakia Republic; N. Narre Jarveslo, leader small farmers party of Estonia; Balyans Perankhan from Lithuania; Joseph Letrich- leader democratic party of Slovakia; Dr Augustin Popo-leader farmer`s party of Romania; Dr Milan Gerilovich-leader, farmers` commission of Yugoslavia.
I got an opportunity to address them over an hour. I answered to their various questions. The chairman in his concluding remarks said: ` Our sympathies are with the farmers of your country. Please convey our good will to Mr N.G.Ranga and other farmers leaders. We all can overcome the obstacles faced by our farmers and farm laborers. Please convey our message of hope to your country.`
I was in the midst of a special world of farmers. My speech too was special. They asked me to tell them about the laws of our country which trouble our farmers.
I told them about native rulers in different states, formation of linguistic states, abolition of jamindari system . All of them are well versed with the world of farmers and their problems. Hence the questions were suitably answered by me.
They asked me about the role of our planning commissions. I told them that they play a nasty role. They asked me who elected them.I told them that they were nominated by the Prime Minister and people pay for them. They were puzzled how could so much power given to the members not elected by any one, whether it was accepted by the constitution. I said that our constitution does not accept it but such things are made possible in Nehrus` government.
They asked me for further explanation.
I explained `Our democratic socialist leadership fixed a ceiling on the income of a farmer that it should not exceed Rs 5400 annually. N.G.Ranga and we Humanists questioned the government. When others have a lot more income why should there be a ceiling on the farmers` income. The ministers, professionals are getting more salaries than Rs 5400.In the businesses there was more money. Their aim was to control the farmers. Nehru was determined to impose the ceiling on farmers. The decision was made by Congress party in Nagpur.
The government made 240 laws newly controlling the farmers in various states. Some measured the ceiling in terms of acreage and some in terms of income. Frank Nagi interrupted me with his question.
`Was not it much worse than in the communist countries especially Russia?
I said -`you know it better than I do. I am talking about the situation in our country. In Poland , Yugoslavia, Russia they put ceiling on land not on the income. Hence a farmer can get any amount of money by growing a rich crop. But some of our states imposed restrictions on the crops grown` . They all laughed saying that their communists look better.
Our government buys food grains and does business with it . They do not control food corporations. They go on imposing laws on the farmers`.
After seventeen years of our independence our government is going to bring 17 th amendment to the Constitution calling ordinary lands as Estate lands. Government can buy them paying minimum priceThe farmer has no say in it. He cannot even approach the court of law for justice. We have toi fight against it. N.G Ranga is working hard to stop it. `They asked me why Nehru lost faith in law courts. I replied that Nehru never expressed that he had faith in law courts. So he has nothing to lose now.They all exclaimed loudly when I said that.
I told them that we don`t give more than Rs 3 ( 65 cents) a day to the farm laborer even in the busy season of field labor. The laborers get work for 3 months in a year and rest of the year they have nothing to earn. They were all totally surprised at what I said.
They remarked that we have not benefited with achieving independence. I told them that there are benefits in certain sectors but not in the labor sector.
The chairman while sending goodwill message said that ` we all should work for solution of the farmers problems. Dr George Dimitroff and Frank Nagi thanked me for participating in their meeting and enlightening them with problems of Indian farmers. I was surrounded by a new world, I felt.
Before concluding my views about agriculture in America I have to tell you briefly about their project called ` Tennessee valley authority.` They call it T.V.A. Tennessee is a big river in America. It originated in Minnesota State spreading to a large area in Tennessee State.
T.V.A started in 1903 as a first Bill when Roosevelt was the president, Pincaut and Megiwere were two intellectuals who gave publicity to make it into a law. In 1928 President Hoover rejected the law of Ncted the second law by Norms in 1933. Roosevelt accepted the third law by Norris in 1933 and it got established as law.
We saw Norris dam. President Roosevelt named it after Norris. Norris and Wheeler dams were ready by 1936. Tennessee electricity company was established in 1939. 22 municipalities, 11 cooperative bodies and some others got it established.
T.V.A. has been the base for production of electricity, growth of food crops, improvement of fertilizers, solution of employment problems and industrial advancement .Results of these projects were enjoyed by the people in 42 thousand square mile area.
Such projects laid foundation for the beginning of New Era in America. We can even say that America came into being from then on.
Humanist movements are progressing internationally. Let us observe how the Humanists function in America.
In India Humanist movement started in 1946. M .N .Roy and some others felt the need of Renaissance in people`s ideas and led the Humanist movement in that direction. Both these views progressed together as the humanist movement in India.
The Humanist movement does not accept nationalism, sectarian movements or any other collective interpretation of work. Its philosophy is to accept man as an individual and take him to be the base for society. Man as the individual should work for his development and his future is dependent on his efforts , and not on any outside powers believed to be there.
He is the primary and foremost being in the society. Individual progress is more important than the collective progress. He should give up power politics and get into social political set up. Production should be made for usefulness not for profit . He should curb exploitation and work for cooperative relationship among people. That is what the Indian Humanists are aiming at and working for it.
Let us see the American Humanist movement.
America is a big country. People are educated and they love individual freedom. They work hard, eat well and enjoy their life. That is how they look at their lives.
It is a country which tirelessly works for individual freedom , respect and social equality. It is a country which insists on respecting and treating the person as individual being.
There are 53 chapters of Humanist association. The Humanist association of America is in Yellow Springs, Ohio State. They have humanist association branches in all the major cities. They call them chapters. There are 1500 members in some chapters. All the 53 chapters are affiliated to the American Humanist Association. Each chapter has its own manifestos and planning. They are mostly akin to main association,sometimes a bit different-here and there.
Humanism has faith in human beings, it emphasizes the need of scientific knowledge and search for truth. Its stress is on gathering ethical and human values through literature, arts, science and philosophy, thereby making the life meaningful as a whole.
Humanists do not have interest in any religion or god. They are against dictatorial ideas coming from any source or direction.
Majority of humanists participate in social activities individually and express their ideas instead of participating in collective activities. That way they work for the betterment of the individual making human life useful and meaningful.
That is how the humanist association of America defined its aim and system of activity. The association publishes bi-monthly `The Humanist and Free mind`.
They express in their editorials that Humanist movement will get a set back if they call it ` our movement` praising its superiority . They emphasize their aim positively.
Apart from Humanist associations there are many other associations in America. Ethical Union, Secularist association, American Rationalists, Unitarians Ethicalists.
The Humanist, The Progressive world, The American Rationalist are the main journals for the movement. There are 15 other journals published by several chapters. The country being vast and places are far distant apart , their chapters work separately. To coordinate the work of all branches they need to make serious efforts. If they do it over a period of two years continuously the Humanists can strengthen their movement.
There is one Humanist movement namely Humanist World digest. They run their activities keeping their faith in religion . Ethical Union also works on similar lines. Except in their belief in religion they are united in their attitudes and activities though their faith has its effect on the society in America.
Lots of literature is made ready from different areas to spread the Humanist ideas and principles. There are many famous writers , intellectuals and teachers who work for the advancement of Humanist movement.
There are some areas which are strong holds for humanist movement. But it has least influence at the government level.
Just as Humanism emphasizes the individual`s progress, the people stand for the freedom of the individual. If anyone creates obstacles to such freedom they fight against those obstacles.
This spirit of Americans is an indication that the aim of of Humanist movement is deep rooted in their minds.
In recent times the Humanist activities are attracting people and there is a possibility of a bright future and success of the movement.
Fresno in California is a small but beautiful city. It is the home of many food crops. It stands first in growing paddy. Agriculture is converted into a huge industry here as Andhra is famous in India for growing paddy just so is California State in America -like Tenali town in Andhra , Fresno is prominent in California.
Here the climate is suitable to various food crops. 213 varieties of crops are grown here. Paddy, cotton and grapes are major produce among them. They grow 2 lakh more tons of grapes of the total grape growth of the world. Their crops are valued at rs 200 crores a year. They have resources enabling each person get Rs 20 thousand annual income. There are 57 races of people. One out of seven is a foreigner. Fresno is a cosmopolitan city. There are many farmers from Punjab here.
It is a clean city with wide roads and office buildings like in Washington DC. They have trees on either side of the road.
I went to meet the city mayor G.L. Sellard. Having come to know that I was once municipal chairman of Tenali, the mayor arranged to felicitate me that day. Though it was an honor done to me I felt that Fresno people honored our municipal administration, which they have great respect for.
As the part of honor they appointed me as honorary mayor for the day. We went into the municipal building. Edward who accompanied me introduced me to the mayor. He called his staff and introduced them to me. They gave me copies of Fresno annual budget.
Mayor made me sit next to him and adorned me with the gown having the badge of mayor. He vacated his own seat and welcomed me to occupy it saying that I was the mayor of their Fresno city that day. He asked me to see some files and pass orders. He was all smiles making me take his seat and powers.
One lady officer brought a file. I took the file and said that the next mayor could pass the orders. I left the file there and said that I was appointing the next mayor and made the real mayor occupy his seat back.
All of us enjoyed the situation heartily. I said that I had the power but need not exercise it . People who had power but would not exercise are greater than those who exercised power though they did not have it the lady said.
In our meeting after tea we discussed our system of municipal administration and the American system.
We have panchayat laws to govern our villages and municipal laws for our towns and cities. They don`t have our system. They have the tradition of framing their own rules for their village and city administration. We interacted for a long time.Then I removed the gown with mayor badge. They took me round the office and gave me some literature.
That day I could buy anything free of State and Federal taxes in Fresno. That was the part of honor they gave me that day. That day`s experience is unforgettable for me. Their good will, their heartfelt welcome and respect to me were memorable. Fresno gave me such a wonderful experience.
America is a country with many places of scenic beauty. Those beautiful places give immense pleasure to the people going on seeing sight then, fill the hearts and minds with the memories of the wonderful places visited.
Every country has its places of scenic beauty . Those who visit India and enjoy the sights like great Himalayas, Kashmir valley, Kerala, Waterfalls, Ajanata-Ellora and Elephanta caves, and exclaim in adoration `What a beautiful country`. For example, you see some place -may not be Taj Mahal-feel very happy and content and share your pleasure with others too.
During my tour in America I went round certain places, seen historical , natural , beautiful areas and tourist sites for people`s education as well as entertainment.
I like to tell our people ,what I had seen and how elated I felt seeing them. It felt like enjoying a feast along with our friends.That is the purpose of this chapter.
Niagara Falls in America is famously known throughout the world. When you see it you appreciate how they made it a wonderful tourist spot. The river is flowing between USA and Canada. I flew to Buffalo from New York and reached Niagara by bus. Stayed in a hotel nearer to Niagara falls, walked to a peak on the east side of Niagara enjoyed the sight of long stretched lawns and beautiful flowers. Getting on to the top of the peak we saw Niagara Falls on one side and falls which look like shoe horn on the other side . We could see Canada border from there. Down below the Falls the boats were carrying tourists from the middle of the river to the border. We enjoyed the trip very much. The boat ride below the Falls will make you wonder at the height of the great Falls. Then we got into a small train going through the garden we reached the falls. We walked into caves like spaces . We were made to change our dresses and wear rubber dresses covering our heads , and reached the actual scene of the falls. Some of us started singing, some drenched their heads under the rolling water. We forgot ourselves totally, immersed into the beauty of the Falls.
We read about Sivaganga , saw it in paintings. Here the beauty of Falls made us feel as though we have actually seen Sivaganga.
Water is pure, can even drink it. We remembered the Telugu poetry written by poets who never saw Niagara and the English poems written by poets who saw the falls. The cool weather and the vapors falling on us like garlands beyond description.
Some called the falls Maid of the Mist, some named it the queen of beauty and some said it is Mist Maiden.
We spent the pleasant evening watching the falls from American side.After dinner in the University club we crossed Niagara river and entered into Canada.
If you have to see Niagara in the night you have to do it from Canada side. Immesurable electric lights from Canada are reflected at the bottom of the Falls. Moon light adds amazing sight to the scenic beauty of the Falls. We spent the night happily watching the Falls beautified by the reflections of the lights below and the moonlight dancing on the waters above.
There is a building in Canada by the side of Niagara. It is a hotel as well as guest house for the tourists. Watching the beautiful Falls from the top of that building is a memorable experience. I thought about good places in India and how they are not maintained beautifully to attract tourists. If you stand here for a while your head gets wet . The cars below shine as though they are just washed. This is all because of the vapors from the Falls which fly up to 2 furlongs distance.
By midnight we returned to our hotel. Niagara made me feel that it is ours and we belong to it. Niagara belongs to everybody who visits it. But it is in fact the common property of America and Canada.
In our Puranas the sage Viswamitra got credit or discredit for his power of creation. Hence Viswamitra`s counter creation got established as a saying. Nobody knows whether that creation is of heaven or hell or space in between. If Viswamitra really existed he must be powerful , be must be related somehow to our Vemana and Tripuraneni Ramaswami Kaviraju.
Disney is a visible story. It is all created by humans. There is a little counter creation too.
Disney land creator may not be related to Viswamitra. He is Walt Disney. He has creative brain, he is rich. He imagined Disney land as a world by itself and his wealth created it.
Disney land reflects mans` capacity . It is the yardstick for human talent.
Disney land is the reflection of human ability in the past and the present time. We have many historical and religious buildings in India. In the Disney land the constructions of buildings took place with scientific knowledge. This is a center of scientific innovation.
For children Disney is a center for education, entertainment. It is a tourist place and resting place for them, For grown ups it is a land worth visiting. Those who visit America will not leave the country without visiting Disney land as far as possible. It is like paying our homage to Disney.
What is Disney land about? Let us hear about what Mr Disney himself says. ` It is a magic world. We provided a place for knowing fairy tales, history, scientific knowledge through entertainment. It enables the grownups to reminisce and entertain the children , at the same time enabling them to face boldly the present as well as future challenges of life.`
Disney land is built 35 miles away from the city Los Angeles in California State. Every day countless cars and buses endlessly transport visitors from Los Angeles to the Disney Land. Let me talk about at least some of its special features which entertain and educate to children as well as grown ups . I write about it to let it be known to people who did not see it or could not see it.
Disney land is on a huge area. A train goes round it on a railroad laid on cement pillars. It looks like a walking whale or an airplane transporting the visitors. It looks like a mixture of tram, motor and air plane. If you ride the train to start with you will get a rough idea of what you are going to see in Disney land.
There is another train. It resembles a small train initially innovated. It has five -six stations. It is like riding a cycle which enables us to see each and every corner of disney land. This is meant for children but grown ups too get in. We have to buy ticket to see Disney land . With that ticket we can go through Disney land and also watch four shows we select. For other shows we have to buy tickets separately. We need to spend a little more than Rs 100 to see all the shows and activities in Disney land.
There are many shows purely for the purpose of entertainment. I could see only a few. Musicians play music for dances and play actors, pure music sessions are there. Painters and cartoonists are there. Mickey Mouse cartoons make you laugh heartily. Even if you are a serious person not laughing, you cannot but laugh happily looking at the children enjoying and laughing, giggling contentedly . There are giant wheels and merry go rounds. Some carousels have cups and saucers to sit in . Electric motors run the carousel very speedily cups and saucers hit each other with a bang, scaring you to death. But nothing dangerous happens. You ride safely and get down safely. We rode zebra like animals,and passed mountains, valleys , caves and forests ,and crossing streams. It took an hour. We enjoyed like little kids who were sharing laughing joking and expressing fear too.
During that trip we saw one Indian house. We saw the Red Indians, some were cooking, some were singing and some were guarding the area. We were happy to see the Red Indians, Aboriginals-the real Red Indians- the real owners of America. But when we were told that we were not seeing real people there , -they were all plastic figures-our mouths were agape wondering how well the Disney fooled us!
On this trip we saw various kinds of snakes, squirrels, mongooses, sheep, goats, tigers, lions, elephants, camels, giraffes, whales, birds, foxes, dogs- all were moving . they looked real, but in reality they were made of plastic. It has all illusion--SANKARA MAYA-philosophy of myth is defeated here by the illusions.
Finally we got down those zebra like animals and reached the seashore.
It is all water but not the sea. We got into a submarine . It was like a boat in whale`s shape on the surface of water. Its sides were mostly built of glass. After we all settled down it dipped under the water- 40 or 50 yards deep. We were safe in the boat. We only knew earlier that there are diamonds, fish, whales in the sea. But we saw many more species in the sea. One big whale came attacking the boat with wide open mouth as though it was going to swallow the boat. Kids were scared , horrified, cried and screamed . We men though scared pretended to be bold.But the whale did not swallow us. We were thankfully safe.
Even that whale was a plastic toy, the trees, the fishes, animals that we saw in the sea were the plastic replicas.
The submarine trip I enjoyed thoroughly. Next we walked into a room which was full of birds. There were many parrots. It was not India and they were not RAMA CHILAKAlu -It was a 3 dimension movie. Its technical name is -Audio-Animetranics-. Sound replacing silent movies, colors invading T.V.-great technical evolution. This Anglo-America tronics brought a revolutionary change in the field of motion pictures. Like in our puranas, trees , birds, flowers and animals speak and sing but the human voices were heard. Their movements synchronized with the words. In our puranas all these species spoke in human voices only. Sound and music were made to synchronize with the movements of those species.
It rains- birds and flowers jump joyously, drenching, singing and dancing in the rain. This technology adds a special feature to the entertainment.
Science made all these technology possible. The techniques used in space rackets are being used here to amuse and entertain the tourists.
To make trees sing is not magic or jugglery. But we are made to feel that it is all magical. We can call it ` musical fantasy`. We find here the co- mingling of the voices of 200 people. We directly hear German, Spanish, French, Irish and English languages.
When a song is started 60 birds sing it from all directions. Words, songs and sounds are all amalgamated in such a way that you feel the birds were really singing.
This total show takes place in 25 minutes. They have 3 shows an hour entertaining the visitors.
Let us see how the tubs connected to metal rope function. There are two mountains a furlong apart. They arranged a heavy metal rope connecting both the mountains and six hanging tubs were fixed to it. One person fits in a tub. With the help of electricity the tube move from one side to the other. We feel as though we are travelling in the air. We can see the land below.
They have an arrangement to show how racket is launched to the moon. There is a house built in round shape with seating arrangement for the visitors. They can see the moon. When the house is full they launch a racket . We can see how much scientific knowledge is used in this show. It is real education to the visitors.
Next we went to wax museum. They exhibited 60,70 wax figures of internationally famous actors. They looked real people. Here you can have the satisfaction of seeing world renowned actors and actresses by spending a rupee from your pocket to buy a ticket. There is lots of skill and artistic efficiency exhibited in making these wax figures. Moonlight like happiness touches you . Softer than the wax is used for making these figures.
There are many strange and wonderful things here in Disney. There is a building in crescent moon shape with the name plate ` See America`. In side we see a 3 dimensional movie showing the resources of America and their social advancement in the past 30 years commencing with the presidency of Roosevelt.
There are many geography and science centers which educate people through entertainment.
I will to talk about one or two centers in Disney before bidding good bye to it.
In the art gallery there you can get your picture drawn just for 2 to 3 $.The artists draw the figures with pencils, paint brushes and colors. Many young men and women were getting their figures drawn individually or in pairs. They were joking whether they were beautiful or their figures. I enjoyed their jokes.
Walt Disney is an expert in the field of animation. He spent his enormous wealth and introduced that technique in art and created beautiful pictures. This technique is used in pencil sketches of animals, birds, fish, trees and people. There are many colorful pictures,representing beauty in nature. These pictures can stand in competition with the pictures in the London art gallery in Trafalgar square. These are many pictures which are superior to the pictures in Chicago art gallery. There are the fine art divisions of Disney land. I better take leave of Disney Land and move on to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon in Arizona State is famous for Colorado river valleys and geological pockets. Once upon a time it was the house of Red Indians who are scarcely seen now. It is the land where we can see their paintings , sculpture and beautifully woven clothes which tell us how great skilled artisans they are.
Here the nature looks like a mother who just gave birth to her baby. To reach Grand Canyon we have to reach the city from Flangstop airport and take a bus from there. It was my longest bus journey in America.
At the time when Roosevelt was the President some forest areas were designed as ` National parks for the collective use of the people. No individual can use them as his own. One such area is Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon appeared in a large number of movies. If you want to see the rich colors of nature you can really see them in Grand Canyon. Disney reflects the man made beauty but Grand Canyon valley represents the beauty of nature. There we can see the difference or comparison between beautiful buildings constructed by people and beautiful spots .Nature itself provides us with naturally formed beautiful sites.
It rains very little in Grand Canyon area. It is 277 mile long , 4 to 14 mile wide and one mile deep. Both sides we see one mile high mountains like two banks. The Colorado river flows in full speed, between them. On both sides of mile deep mountains we see multicolored stones shining like diamonds. It is the place where even the atheists attribute knowledge to nature.
We got into the mile long valleys riding the mules. One mile is no distance on the land but in an uneven valley it is a long distance. Here even the nearest place looks a distant place. Just to get down one yard of land we have to cross many bends . When looked up from below the valley we were awe struck. Persons looked like Liliputs. But immediately I felt brave and proud thinking of how such small human beings are capable of great knowledge, intellect and innovative skills that enabled him to reach planets.
I wondered how long it took to cut the valleys in the mountain areas. Geologists come to a conclusion that it might have taken 70 or 90 lak years. It is said that out of seven atmospheric areas in the world six are in Grand Canyon. Hupy, Navoja, Havasupaic, Hayal pai red Indians belong to Grand Canyon areas. Three out of five geological science areas are here in the valley. Geologists saw the valley for the first time in the year 1540. Since then research has been going on about its history which has become the basic knowledge in geology. According to geological sciences as early as in the 1st century mountain pieces - stones were exhibited in Grand Canyon. They estimated that 5 lakh tons of melted soil flows down to the river every 24 hours. The scientists allotted 500 pre-historic areas to the Grand Canyon. There are various living species -sixty mammals -180 varieties of birds, 25 types of crocodiles, 25 types of jumping animals. The park is worth seeing.
We saw the area up to 30 or 40 miles, walked in the valley, climbed the mountains.In that area one mile deep valley has 100 to 125 colored stones with many layers.We enjoyed those beautiful sights wondering how they formed into such colorful layers.
Everywhere we found restaurants and guest houses with peculiar names. Can stay there for some days if you like . Food is no problem. You can write poetry and stories sitting there. The movement the visitors enter the Canyon hall one geological researcher will explain the history of Grand Canyon and also show a movie. The sight and sound of it leaves the visitors simply thrilled,.
A lot of literature is sold there. Though Red Indians are not there now, the beautiful things carved by them can be bought there. When I remarked that it would have been better if the Red Indians themselves sell their produce , they kept quiet.
The beautiful things made by the Red Indians resembled the artistic things made by the aboriginals and mountain dwellers of India. They are not related to each other in any way but the skill and artistic ability both these people exhibited proves that people are alike-human beings are the same everywhere. We see the truth that they are all one .
New York is a city of islands Manhattan being one of the islands. It is a big island surrounded by Hudson river and Atlantic Ocean beach. We started om a small steam boat , went round 30 mile area. The tour guide explained to us the importance of many places in our way.
This boat trip was real good. Food arrangements were there in the boat itself. People were busy taking pictures of prominent buildings, talking, joking. We had good time.
After America got independence they erected a big statue of a woman on a hill in a small island. They call it the statue of Liberty. The statue holds a torch in her raised hand. Our boat went around the statue before taking us to see Manhattan.
Going round the statue had an emotional input on me. Just like the Americans we too got freedom from the Britishers. I felt the closeness between us and the Americans while going round the statue.
While sailing in the boat I observed the big buildings passing by their foundations. I felt like counting the multi -stories of those high buildings. My thoughts too flew to the height of those buildings.
We passed the huge U.N.O building suitable to the organization. We went into it and it looked much bigger than it looked from outside.
We went round the huge buildings of various enterprises. Their architecture and variations in construction attracted us very much. Many boats, ships were on sail around those buildings. Skating boats move with stunning speed making loud noise cutting the waters in their way.
We need great imaginary skills to see the difference between our walking in the New York streets and sailing in boats around it.
The highest building in the world
We have Himalayas in India, the highest mountain range in the world. It is a gift of nature to us.
Empire State Building in New York with its 108 stories is the highest building in the world. They are now constructing two buildings with same number of stories but higher than it. When they are completed Empire state building cannot compete with them in height.( This is referring to twin towers which were destroyed by terrorists later. In its place single tower is erected)
This building is like a city worth of number of crores. We went up in the lift at night time. We could not but think what would happen if the lift got struck in the midway.In the day time if you go up you can see whole New York city from there. But it is real beautiful in the night. You can feel the difference if you see it in the day as well as in the night.
I saw it in the night. I could see crores of electric lights emiting pleasant colors. I felt like describing them in a poetic mood.
I felt as though I was standing much higher beyond the stars. If people who have high imagination and poetic sensibility can describe the scenes beautifully in their poems.
I felt how a person could conquer the starry sky through his creative skills. I enjoyed both visiting Grand Canyon a mile below in the valley and walking high up on the highest building in New York. It fills a person with pride and self-importance. It is the place where people who think-AHAM BRHMAASMI-should live.
Though we were much below the flying airplanes we felt that we were there much higher up. I was under the illusion that the electric lights below are the real stars and I was making fun of them that I could be above them.
I went round watching the lights below as though the stars jumped down in countless numbers enjoying their status. I felt pity for those stars for their descent.
Meanwhile the moon felt sad that it could not do anything without the stars around and went hiding behind the clouds. The nature met its defeat. Such were my proud feelings for human being`s creativity.
I READ ABOUT about those lakes in my childhood. Now I saw them personally. Those three lakes looked like three mangoes hanging from a stalk in Nature descending from the skies and settling in Chicago.
Calling them lakes is meaningless. I saw Chilka lake in Orissa (India).It looks like sea.
Chicago lakes are off shoots of ocean. A sage like Agastya muni might have got angry with the oceans and cursed them to lose their freedom and be imprisoned on the earth like lakes.
Wow! What big lakes they are! They are not lakes. They are oceans with huge waves. They can be homes for whales. Whales cannot survive in rivers and lakes. They need oceans. Those lakes could be their oceans.
I sailed certain distance in boats on those lakes. I was reminded of my sailing in Atlantic ocean near New York and in Pacific Ocean near San Francisco . Same thrill I felt here too. They are not lakes but oceans. Those are three crowns of Chicago
I have put down many of my observations about America. I must say that there are many while I have not covered. I have not touched industries and arts. Some I just mentioned in a sweeping way. I have not seen much. Not that I did not want to but I did not have much time at my disposal. I can not even present all that I have seen.
Before I conclude this book I like to mention a few more of my simple observations.
While touring in America I came across certain words which sound strange. When I was in Washington D.C. I heard the word ` downtown`. I thought that this city is full of ups and downs and the low level area is called downtown. But that was not so in fact. Downtown means business area . There is no connection between this word and its meaning. I expressed my doubt to some people but I could not get proper answer.
Americans are different from us in the use of language and pronunciation. In English we do not pronounce every letter we write in a word. That kind of confusion we don`t have in Telugu and Italian too. The influence of German and French in English language led to this confusion. Americans adopted some easy spellings to avoid confusion. We follow the British traditions. So initially we feel American way a bit new.
In pronunciation too there are certain differences. For example: The word schedue-British people say `shedule` but the Americans say` schedule`. Americans seem to use spoken language where in the British stick to bookish language. They stick to their tradition.
Americans walk fast. When I was studying in Andhra Christian college ( Guntur-India) we observed Dr Roy Strack walk speedily. Our running was equal to this walk. We used to wonder about his speed. Here one day I went to see Settlement of children and old people. Rooth Tiffer Taylor was the manager there. She was showing me the different centers in that complex. She was walking very fast-almost like running . She mentioned that the Indian s walk slowly. I said: -what is the hurry? She laughed. Even I increased my speed and walked faster than her. For them it is natural, for us it is an effort.
They speak firmly but slowly. During my speeches some audience felt that I spoke very fast.
They walk fast, drive fast but speak slowly. That is the American way.
In most of the families both wife and husband work. They all have breakfast at home, have their lunch in their place of work. Children eat in their schools. The whole family sits together for their breakfast and dinner.
Some families go to restaurants for dinner. Of late their number is increasing. This eating at restaurants did not appeal to me. Most of my hosts took me out for dinner. I used this opportunity to discuss many things and know their views and social life.
There is dating -tradition in the American society. Young girls become close friends with young boys. The boy who likes a girl will approach her parents and request them to allow their daughter to go out with him. Parents consider the matter and allow their daughter to go out with that boy- for parties, for movies and to watch sports events etc. Later those young people`s friendship leads to their marriage. this Americans tradition looks strange to us. But do we have any good traditions as such?
Even before the marriage only the boy starts living on his own, leaving his parents house. The girl and the boy sometimes live together even before marriage. After marriage the young people do not live with their parents at all.
They visit the parents like guests and parents visit them like guests only.
All have cars . At the end of the week almost all families take a break, drive to some places or beach. They work only 5 days a week. By Friday evening they will be busy with their weekend plans.
The whole family will sit in the car and rush to some place or the other. Some stay in hotels, spend time swimming, eating and enjoying. By Sunday evening they are exhausted and return home. They are crazy about their weekend enjoyment.
I asked them why they donot rest at home and be ready for the next week`s work. Some agreed with me . Some said that they loved to enjoy the weekend . The British believe in taking rest at the weekend. The Americans find rest in rushing to new places.
There are hotels and motels in America. Near the motels they get gas for their cars, get them cleaned for onward journey. Repairs are done if needed. They can stay in the motel rooms. Food arrangements are there. Motels are like brothers to Hotels, where the tourists relax during their journey.
Many people travel in their own cars and there are bus and car services available. They have green cabs, yellow cabs and red cab services all over the country.
If you go to the airport in a cab and if you need cab service at hour destination this cab service will arrange for a cab to pick you up when you get off the flight. All these are private services. But they function throughout the country. Their transport services are much better than the nationalized transport systems of the welfare countries.
Even the bus services are available nationwide. The bus companies reduce the rates in competition with each other. You can get your ticket transferred from one service to other. They only make all arrangements for you if you show your ticket to them.
You can go round the country using any one bus service. They take you to the places you like to visit, make arrangements for your rest and food etc.
Because of good transport people travel a lot.
Traveling is comfortable because of their good roads allow speed travel. Less than sixty miles an hour speed is considered unsafe. Accidents occur because of much speed or too slow speed.
They have toll gate system on the state and country roads. You have to pay tax while travelling. They say you use the roads, and pay for the repairs, and they pay. They have 4 lane system for their cars. In first lane the cars move fast, second lane they move a bit slow, 3 rd lane still slow in speed and 4th lane the cars really move very slowly. To cross the roads they should be very careful following the rules.
Car parking is a problem. If you park your car in a place for more than specified time you will get a ticket, the police will stick the ticket to your car , you have to pay the penalty specified in the ticket , within the specified date. Otherwise the police seize your car.
The car drivers are really scared of the police in America.
In the cabs and buses they have `receiver sets`. Before your journey starts you have to tell them how many of you are travelling together , from which place and what is your destination. In case of emergency the police will send messages to the vehicles and they must be followed. This is one way of controlling accidents.
I went to Madison college . The vice chancellor of Wisconsin University complained that the students from Andhra were neglecting their studies. I was really surprised. Why students who came all the way to study were neglecting their studies. I told him that I would enquire the matter.
I was told that Andhra Pradesh government sent some students here for refresher course so that they could be employed in the rural universities which the government was planning to start in our state. Those who already put in 20 years service in the state government were sent for refresher courses. They could not concentrate on their studies here. They just enjoy their facilities here simply waiting for the completion of their course.
The vice chancellor came across such students but all the students were blamed as unfit or negligent. I wondered how the vice-chancellor came to know that those students were from Andhra.
Telugu was taught in that university . they knew how many Andhras were there. But they could not differentiate between the regular students and the government employees as refresher course students.
I conveyed the message to the Vice Chancellor that night on phone. He thanked me for the interest I took in the matter. But I thanked him for his interest in Andhra students.
Our government sent students not suitable to be sent there and brought bad name to all our students.
Our government should employ people who are already qualified in those courses.Instead they waste money on people who are least interested in learning anything.The government is answerable for such wasteful efforts.
In America they are teaching some Indian languages. They are making arrangements to teach Telugu in Chicago University. They got the library ready and they were getting news papers like Andhra Patrika.
I don`t know who advised them to buy those books for their library as most of them are useless. I wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor that he should buy books to the Telugu library consulting the registrar of Andhra University or the chairman of the Andhra Sahitya academy.
Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Telugu are being taught in some places there. The teachers who are teaching those languages are Indians.
Some Americans are really proud of their language and literature. A famous novelist there with whom I interacted told me that there is a lot of qualitative literature in America and they don`t need to borrow it from England.Perhaps the English people have to borrow it from America.
I remarked that it is not good to draw national boundaries in literature.
He said that the British are scared of `Big India`.
I am able to put down here some of my experiences in America during my sixty days tour. It is not possible to expound everything. Every good thing should finally come to an end. Hence I stop here.
We cannot see everything in such a big country in such a short time. I cannot pretend that I have seen everything and I know every thing about this country. A close observation of every thing is not possible in such a hurried trip.
My main purpose is to put down the things true to my observation and understanding. I looked at things keeping democratic values as basis for my opinions.
If the readers understand that I have not seen much of America they will not expect more details from me.
I cannot say that everything in America is good. Every country has its shortcomings. But I wanted to present the good side of America that I have seen. That may be some help to us. It is not my aim either to criticize America or praise it. I don`t get into such politics or controversies.
I wanted to tell my people about the good side I have seen there.
I have seen their democratic way of functioning . They are my social attitudes too.
If anybody differs from any opinions they can express them giving their reasons rationally. I don`t have any conflict with such persons.
Good things cannot be confined to certain places. They will not have any national barriers. They can be found anywhere.
I assumed impartial attitude to what I saw and what I wrote.
I tried to coordinate certain ideas that we and the Americans particularly have. Some may not like my way. Truth is always bitter. You can find my search for truth and love of freedom in my book. That was my aim in my tour and in my observations.
Translated by Komala Venigalla
Retired professor in B R Ambedkar open university, Hyderabad, India