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Obama and India

The election of Barack Obama was a keenly watched event in India. Obama appears to have been the choice for President for many bloggers in India. Here is an quick snapshot of the initial reactions from bloggers in India about the historical significance of Obama's election. Interestingly, an underlying theme in a couple of blog posts is how and when will India's equivalent of Obama appear? Change is needed not just in America, but also in India appears to be the message from these bloggers.

Kakisi's World captures the mood and how history was created with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the USA. The blogger writes that what India needs is an Obama:

“Barack Obama as President of the United States is a small step for humankind, a giant leap for America. All nations of the world take interest in the American elections, for America is not just a country but an idea, a dream. Only country that surpasses that dream is India for the idea of India is far more ambitious than people anywhere else would possibly imagine.”

Randeep Ramesh of ‘Asian Musings’ writes about ‘Obama Nationlists’ in India and says:

“Like the rest of the world, India woke up this morning agog at Obama's victory. His speech as President-elect was relayed live on every one of the three dozen local language news channels this morning displacing the usual blizzard of crime, stock market and cricket statistics.”

Randeep goes on to make a telling comment and compares the democracies between India and USA. He underscores the fact that the American version of democracy is very different from the Indian version. He adds:

“There is a presumption that democracies are all built the same…In India this is not true. People have yet to break the boundaries of gender and social-standing in India and are unable largely to choose a life for themselves. The reality is that identity – be it caste, class, race or religion – is central to the character of India's public life. It matters where you come from and who your father was in way that Americans would find bizarre.

Democracy in India is too immature to produce a President Obama. Although the country has had a Muslim nuclear scientist as president, a Sikh economist as prime minister and a Roman Catholic woman as leader of the biggest party these are merely outcomes of patronage.”

Rashmi Bansal of Youth Curry writes an interesting post about what Obama's victory means and wonders when India will get its Obama:

“And here in India one has to wonder when we will see an ‘Obama’ who will help us rise above our differences. And lead us into ‘change we can believe in'…

Not in 2009… but someday for sure.”

Appopt of Daily Kos is in India and shares his thoughts about Obama fever in India and how he wished he was back in the USA just for the elections:

“I actually cried a little during Obama's speech. ….I got a little choked up during McCain's speech as well. Both made me realize that, while I enjoy traveling and seeing the world, I really do love the U.S. of A. And for a few minutes, I was tempted to email my old bosses to see if they'd take me back.”

Democrats Abroad consisting of American expats in Bangalore organized a breakfast meeting (because of the time difference between India and the USA) to watch the election results. Robin King of Bits From Bangalore shares some pictures and writes:

“Here in India they are worried about protectionism with respect to outsourcing, but overall there is great hope of a more enlightened and less boorish role for US in the world.”

5 comments

  • […] is a round-up that I posted on Global Voices earlier today that captures the mood and infection of what bloggers in India had to say. Reading […]

  • Tarlochan Singh

    H1B Visa is considered as top class type of Visa for job seekers, But job contarators by the vitue of defficiencies of H1B Visa rules behaves with highly educated H1B Visa holders as slaves. H1B Visa holders are entirely dependent on fancies of the job contactors. H1B Visa rules require amendments in favors of employees. This is not less than body shopping and has to be declared illegal.

  • A

    For Obama the hard work starts now. His people expect the world ffrom him. The expectations are so high, if he can be true to him he will go down as the greatest leader america has seen, if not, the americans will disown him.

    Its a celebration of hope. Turning this hope to reality is another task altogether.

    http://www.lucky-six.blogspot.com

  • america has proved it that they can change for a better…i belive obama will live up his words and his hib visa is great

  • Swapna

    I am horrified to read bloggers ask when will India have an Obama. We have already had Ambedkar from the poorest, most disadvantaged community writing our constitution,(let any country match that), Jagjivan Ram, as the Defence Minister, any no.of Scheduled Caste folk as ministers, CEOs etc. yes women too. And Obama has NOT came up without money, education or patronage. And alas, not from a degraded US black slave background of ghettos and drugs either. Re immigrants doing well, look at the Sikh and Sindhi community in India after partition: never a hand asking for anything. They left Pak, with rags, worked and went on to riches and power.

    Americans do not seem to find it ‘bizarre’ that it matters where your father comes from: See where a lot of the Ivy League comes from, where Bush comes from, or that Patrick Kennedy need not suffer jail for drunk driving or Ted Kennedy can escape th law after drowning the pregnant Mar Jo Kopechne in his car.

    I am tired of PIO not recognizing what India has achieved(and not with NRI effort either, just criticism). If 350 million are middle class, that is the same no. as the entire US population. It took America more than 60 yrs to do that! But then it is so hard for Indians to acknowledge any good their govt/ fellow citizens do.

    I was born after Independence and remember a colonized country without food or machines or anything that worked. That is not so today for at least 350 mill.
    And no thanks to those who left after an education at the highly subsidised IITs, and medical schools and had no inclination to do anything to help.

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