Over 30 attended the Town Hall meeting organized by the India Association of New Hampshire on Saturday, January 5th at the Meadowview Estate Club House, Nashua,NH, to discuss the presidential primary politics. It was a two and a half hour interactive session with Congressman Ron Paul's representative Vijay Boyapati and Senator Mike Gravel participating in the session. Mr.Prithvi Kumar, president of the association, welcomed the guests with a brief introduction on behalf of IANH.
The ex-googler Boyapati, the organizer of Ron Paul's " operation Live Free or Die", briefed Paul's message on freedom, peace and prosperity and wished the audience to take up the real chance of restoring the Republic to the principles on which it was founded, by electing Ron Paul as the president.
Responding to the questions, Boyapati stated that Ron Paul's government will work on eliminating the income tax and IRS, improving literacy and health care. He pointed out that New Hampshire is doing well in many areas than the other states that pay high income tax. He reiterated that Ron Paul has identified a few areas to meet with the country's deficit in the economy and he would start by withdrawing American troops from Iraq and other countries of the world and by getting rid of the department of education which will save several billion dollars for the country.
Answering to a question on Ron Paul's knowledge about the world, Boyapati assured that Ron Paul has a consistent record in congress than any other candidate and that he is the only doctor ( an MD) among all the candidates, who can understand the issues and that he has a good knowledge of economics, consequences of republic, education and so on. He also declared that Ron Paul does not give unrealistic assurances to people just for the sake of winning the elections.
When a few questions were raised on funds available for presidential campaigns, immigration, outsourcing jobs and issues related to real estate business, Boyapati explained that "Money is important for presidential campaigns and without money the message is lost. Ron has a lot of money and he has earned 6 million dollars through internet fundraising in just 24 hours which has not been done by any individual so far." He added that Paul's government will work on stopping illegal immigration, though it's a long process. Talking about Ron Paul's views on outsourcing jobs, he mentioned that while he supports outsourcing jobs to India because India has great talents in Information technology, he also wants to keep businesses competitive here.
As far the crisis in the housing market, he remarked that the "sources of this problem should be identified. The interest rates fixed by the federal government in the year 2001,2002 and 2003 were very low encouraging the buyers to buy houses. Ron Paul advocates that federal reserves should not unofficially set the interest rates and that's the source of the crisis in the housing market. We need to get back to a standard monetary policy to fix this in the future."
In the next session of the meeting , senator Mike Gravel briefed the audience with his message of "empowering people." "Democracy" he said," is sharing in power, participating in power-- in making laws that you respect." The 77-year-old senator Gravel, believes that it's important to give responsibilities to people, to bring them as partners in governing the country.
Responding to various questions posed by the audience, he reiterated the importance of having a government that runs on common sense. He wants the majority of the constituency to make decisions. He affirmed that a "Government which is close to people is the best form of government and human beings have the right to constitution." He grieved that "There has never been any fundamental changes since we were founded."
Answering to a question about the U.S troops in Iraq, Mike said," Who are we to occupy Iraq?" He believes that people who want the troops to stay in Iraq want to continue to control oil." It's their oil", he added, and " They can do a better job with it and there'll be a world depression if we invade them."
The author of "Citizen Power", Mike Gravel shared with the audience that his favorite book is "Freedom at Midnight," that describes the events of the Indian Independence movement. He also mentioned that he had been to India a couple of times and met the then Indian Prime Minister, Mrs.Indira Gandhi.
Tej Dhakar, Secretary of IANH rendered vote of thanks at the end, thanking Vijay Boyapati and Senator Gravel for a lively interaction that will help the community to make right choices in the upcoming presidential elections. He also thanked the media persons for covering the event and Mrs.Karthi Chandra, vice-president of IANH and Julie Devasia, IANH volunteer, for coordinating the event.