November 6, 2008

O Ma Send Us An Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

A long forgotten emotion held reign yesterday.Never before has one witnessed this kind of mass jubilation, frisson of euphoria, unadulterated joy than when Barack Obama won the race to become the 44th President of the US of A. Tv channels screening his victory speech captured not just the historical moment for posterity when the dream of Martin Luther King 40 years earlier saw fructification, but also captured the tears of joy, glistening with Hope..of a new America, of change, of renewed vigor to fight the challenges that so far seemed insurmountable.


Nothing proves this better that humanity as yet dares to dream.. of a better tomorrow, and most of all, confidently believes  it will happen. Barack Obama has now emerged as the face of that Super Human who riding high on the crest of victory will deliver the Americans and the world from the fires of inferno..or so we piously aspire.

barack-obama Barack Obama

I am not ashamed to admit that whilst the exhilaration was contagious and left me tingling with the anticipation of a new tomorrow, yet I sensed a deep envy for Americans, for being there witnessing the beginnings of a fresh future, for rejoicing at the possibility at least and the reality at most. I felt hopelessness crawl in. “No such D day for India and Indians”..whispered my inner voice.

No Obama to infuse us with hope. No leader in sight to re invigorate our lost convictions on the future of Indian polity, no statesman to reinforce the value of probity in Public life, no re-establishment of faith in the solidity of a glorious future, free of corruption, lies, deceit, not a single Indian that we could hail as our hero, our saviour that could elevate India, alleviate the miseries and freedom from the shackled clutches of greedy self serving politicians.

Obama exported HOPE..sadly by the time it reached our shores it got metamorphed into Dard-e-Hope.

While America celebrates the birth of a new Homecoming that would transmogrify their scenario, we despair, being caught in the Hobsons choice.. of choicelessness. At best we look forward to economic leeways with the ‘change of guard’ in America. A ripple effect that will filter down on our fiscal future. So all we care fro and do is eagerly anticipate fresh surge in the falling stocks and laze back vicariously gloating over the success of the American vote, American people and American democracy.

Aakar Patel in Mumbai Mirror words it thus:

Barack Obama’s victory is our victory, the triumph of the human race. This, we can tell ourselves rightly, is what we are capable of: a moment of unprejudiced perfection.

All of us can share it, all of us can exult in it. But only Americans own it; only Americans can actually understand it.

True..Whats astounding is this statistic. Blacks are only 13% of the American population. It is the whites who voted for Obama , putting aside any and every inveterate prejudice harbored for generations! Ole for America and Americans.

Should India opt for Presidential system of Government as well? Dont be silly..In our present set up of a few hundred there is yet a chance of a single comparatively honest mantri. We opt for one and he transforms into a Dictator as with our neighbours, there goes even the right to shame our bete noires in the guise of politicians. Lets just reconcile ourselves with our fate. Lets learn to live with concerns over which party will single out which community to target with violence in the hopes of proving Power and filling its coffers.

Jana Gana Mana

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  1. As usual thought provoking Kaveetaa. Great read..thanks!

    Comment by Krishnan — November 6, 2008 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Kaveeta,

    Gosh, that was a thought-provoking read! I kind of relate to your elation-mixed-with-desperation emotions!

    But look at the positive side. The youth of the country are silently working at grass-root level (programs such as Times Teach India initiative to quote just one of the many examples). This they are doing in a non-confrontational manner (which means it is less likely to “attract the ire” of politicians). At the same time, such goodwill programs have the potential to bring about a sweeping change in a generation or two.

    Lets all hope (and strive) for the best for the future of India. Jai Bharath!

    Comment by Kiran — November 6, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  3. Kaveetaa,

    Thanks for another great article.. yes India is still a long way from getting an Obama.. I feel democracy is still nascent in India.. The top 20% of population can judge who is right for india but the rest of population is still to realize the importance of putting a correct vote. So till the time this 80% fully understand it, the parties in india will continue to exploit and misguide them on various grounds and the chances of an Obama are slim. As kiran has said, it may take a generation or two for this to happen. Till that time India will remain, as someone has said “Anarchy in the name of democracy”

    Comment by Rajeev — November 7, 2008 @ 1:20 am | Reply

  4. Thanks Krishnan:)

    Hi Kiran,

    I do appreciate the point you are making. But somehow sadly cannot share the positivity. We need a leader to take over the reins of the country. I personally also know of those, like you mention who are unobtrusively doing their own thing for the country. The question is that will work at the ‘grass root level’ help matters or aggressive work in the administration that will spell progress for India? My bet is with the latter. We need Baba Amtes..most definitely. But we need a Barack Obama urgently.

    A generation or two..well I wont be here to witness it :)But on that score I do agree that for this kind of expectation, we require half a immediate resolutions are in sight.

    Thank God they are far away enough as not to ““attract the ire” of politicians)”. Nothing/nobody can retain their pristine quality in the vicinity of our politicos. They will ensure that the paint of corruption brushes all uniformly so that none stand out stark white in comparison. Survival tactics. For this very reason I am diffident of a politician in the present mould contributing anything of significance to our country. They arent permitted to.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 7, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Rajeev,

    The bane of India has been the gullibility of the masses and their underdeveloped intelligence whether in the political field or say films. This is exploited endlessly by conniving mantris to the detriment of all other good that may have been achieved in the last 60 years.

    India comparatively may be a nascent democracy but I think the crux of the problem is not with the democratic institution as such but the apathy of the masses. Illiteracy is the culprit to a certain extent. But more than that it is the divisive parochial values we Indians hold.

    This extreme aggression towards anything that isnt from your community , or the misplaced loyalty towards language/region/ethos based politics. Would a Mayawati have found place in India otherwise? It is so maddening when I think about the caricaturish personality of those at the helm. They dont care a damn where the country is heading as long as their accounts in the Swiss Bank remain active and replete with billions of dollars. No exaggeration. I read that the total undisclosed wealth accounted by politicians and industrialists from India in Swiss equals the total Indian debt four times over.

    We are being looted, robbed and deprived. And all our masses do is vote their biradari into power!!

    Its not as if we dont already have an Obama within our midst. Its just that he will not be permitted to survive if he dares to bob up.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 7, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  6. Agreed that people tend to vote their biradari into power.. But if we the see the country as a whole then it is divided so much linguistic wise or culture wise also.. that it is because of universal adult franchisee only, that everyone above 18 is getting a right to vote and that is keeping us together else a setup with an autocratic leader would have caused discontent and uprisings which would have resulted in disintegration of the country..

    People all over their place want to hold on to their language/culture so it wont be incorrect to assume that they would like to select one among them as their representative.. Only thing is when they all gather at delhi, they should act as one.. In addition to this, in our present setup, the trend of voting is shifting from national parties like congress, bjp to regional ones who have a very narrow mindset. This is giving rise to unhealthy coalitions which is leading to an indecisive and weaker central govt.. which is complicating the situation.. The latest example is the case of karunanidhi putting the govt. to task on an issue which was happening in our neighbourhood.. we can see that for simple decisions also, there is so much infighting(much of it is cheapness) that govt. tends to put the issue on hold rather than acting on it and risking its kursi.. one example is women’s reservation bill.

    So in our present conditions, even if there is an Obama, he needs to first be in the right party, then second is the timing of his party or his coalition coming to power and the third , even if his coalition comes to power, he should be able to bargain his position .. so in a way we are putting too many ifs and buts for a thing to happen.. So i feel chances of an obama coming will increase when people will realize that coalitions are useless and they need to stick with just 1-2 parties who can give a stable and decisive govt.. and this may take a lot of time.. may be a generation or two also..

    Another thing which i feel is stopping obama’s from coming up is criminalization of politics and ever increasing corruption.. These things are taking us into a direction where we are punishing merit and rewarding dishonesty.. I am not saying that America doesn’t have corruption.. but unlike india here corruption happens mainly at washington rather than spreading all over the country.. Here also there are groups of voters who want to stick to their religious beliefs or color of skin and would vote for a candidate who fulfills that criteria.. but the percentage of such voters is less and such groups are not so overpowering as in India.. Americans also woke up and voted for a change when they saw that country is sliding into uncertain situations like an downsliding economy, 2 endless wars and which are not showing any quick results as such.. So 2008 was in a way defining moments for american people.. I do not wish Indians to pass through same experiences but i think we need a defining moment for India also, when people will be forced to introspect themselves and encourage obamas of india to come forward and lead..

    Comment by Rajeev — November 8, 2008 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  7. India’s Martin Luther King is undoubtedly
    Dr BR Ambedkar, but Obama nikalna aasan nahi hai.

    One great thing about Obama is he chose matariarchial side of faith even though his mother an anthropolgist was atheistic and leftist by nature. Generally father’s religion is transcribed to the progenies. But Obama choose to say that he is a practising Christian. This speaks volumes of the man’s independence of choosing his own faith.

    God is given a male denomination in most of the religions of the world. In Hinduism the Shakti ( Goddess) principle is very much explicit in the mythologies and many scriptures. It is not practiced in real terms as again the male is given more importance, even though the Shakti prinicple is very much emphasised in scriptures. This has been mystery to many for centuries as to why Hindu practice is also very male centric, when the Shakti principle has been so very well entrenched in Hindu scriptures. One must appreciate Obama for choosing the Shakti side prerorgative ( his mother may have been an atheist and leftist, but her family were practising Christians) for his faith ,which in itself is admirable departure from routine patriarchial religious inheritance.

    Comment by gajanan — November 10, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  8. Rajeev and Gajanan ji ..excellent points. Will get back soon.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 10, 2008 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  9. I think it is too premature to decide if Obama is good. Winning an election is one thing, pulling the world out of recession is another. The man has not even stepped into office. Let us see how he goes about with his business at the White House after Jan.

    I agree that Obama has run a good campaign. The only doubt in my mind is if he can run the administration well.

    Comment by Abid — November 18, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  10. hey mam anshul chouhan 20 yrs…frm Indore,india

    i will b d obama of india..!!1

    it is nt a joke.

    join my movement
    ‘change India movement’

    mam support me…’i will make a change’

    Comment by anshul chouhan — November 19, 2008 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  11. apologies for the inordinate delay. Certain tasks needed urgent attention.

    Rajeev, you raise interesting points. Even if parochialism is by default a virtue, discarding partisan interests at the National level becomes well nigh impossible. The MLA/MP needs to show results to his voters, who range from the illiterate to filthy rich. Playing on a tightrope he is now called upon to stick to his election manifesto which to begin with wasnt nationalistic.

    If Americans had stuck to their class culture, Obama wouldnt have been voted into power. They rose above pedestrian age old narrow mindedness in the interest of America. Yes we know it will be a long while for India to emerge with such maturity.

    Our defining moment is everlasting, paradoxically. The emergency is so crucial that the particular moment has extended into generations so much so that now we seem to have grown immune to the ‘ram bharose’ emotion we have been smothered with. It is the lack of a face, an ideology, a politician who will re invoke our faith that can be a defining moment if one cares to look at it this way. Not ONE name among a billion that we can call as our saviour. Not one politician has risen above petty differences and party politics to take India to another level. Our present system affords atrophy for the emergence of such a leader instead of nurturing ambitions and creating opportunities for the growth of such individuals.

    In the two party system you mention, chances are bright yet until and unless
    individual gain is forsaken for national growth, it may not help. Little like cricket when individuals often played for creating records at the cost of the teams loss. This is our national chaarcter or rather lack of it.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 26, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

  12. Gajanan ji..powerful observation. No wonder then that the Shakti which resided in him catapulted him to a victory which was unprecedented in the history of the world!! There have and will always be elections and winners but Obamas win has captured the imaginations of people from all over the world. It does seem charmed and blessed. His grandmother, another embodiment of the Shakti principle played a major role in his life. She passed away a few days before the results…Women folk if happy with their men leads on to success in life and career is my firm belief. Show me a failed man and you will see a failed relationship..where the woman has been granted no respect and care. of Course this holds true in the reverse as well.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 26, 2008 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  13. Abid..yes it is premeture to decide whether or not Obama is the promised saviour. But the purpose of this post was to point towards the hope he has instileed or rather the sentiment of faith he has touched and made alive, which so far had been lying dormant in modern times.he somehow has manged to inspire confidence and gather the positive energy which he has harnessed into a lead.

    From what one reads, he is down to earth and practical. No “I-know-all’ attitude. he is humble enough to gather around him the best minds in their respective fields to help ease the crisis. It cannot possible be over in a jiffy. Most importantly, he has confidently readied himself for the task. Most feel he is the best man for the job in the present scenario even if as an administrator pulling in the right men, also adversaries. This open minded, approach may prove beneficial to all.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 26, 2008 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  14. your spirit. Will definitely visit your site and do the needful if am convinced..


    Keep it up!!


    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — November 26, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

  15. Hey you are so true we seriously need an Obama 😉 Read my comments at and also my proposal to the community at large at

    By the way your points make sense but I think that Obama needs to back all the hype with performance. Lets see what he can achieve 😉

    Comment by Abid — December 11, 2008 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  16. Okay seems like we have an Obama in India. Check out

    Comment by Abid — January 22, 2009 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

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