Friday, January 04, 2008

Barack

Barack Obama wins the caucuses in Iowa.
I know this is the headline in almost all the newspapers here in the USA and perhaps a few outside the country as well.
But it is personally, both a victory and a self-defying moment for me.
I who have never voted but once back in India and that was because i had just turned 18 and wanted to claim my right to vote and get the black spot on my finger had one of those unbelievable moments back in Mumbai almost a year ago.

You see my Grandpa has walked with Gandhiji during out freedom struggle and he used to tell me how grand his speeches were. He used to talk about Nehru's  speech and how people used to leave everything they own including relationships to walk with those galvanic personalities during our freedom fight. I just couldn't understand how people could do this. I mean if you personally feel that you need to participate in the struggle, i can understand. But turning to 'freedom struggle' after listening to a speech was something i just could not comprehend. 

But my friends i was sitting in my cosy sofa back in Mumbai flipping the channels and landed on BBC and there i first laid my eyes on Barack Obama. I understood that day. Yes, am deliberately making this sound dramatic because it was such a moment for me. He was simply astounding. He was talking about 'hope' and 'belief' and 'change' and i was just zapped. A bomb could've gone off and i wouldn't have known. When the speech ended i wanted more, i didn't know who he was yet i wanted to walk with him, vote for him, and wanted to participate in his struggle. I just couldn't believe i felt so much for a complete stranger in a different land. 

That evening i told my hubby that Obama will be the next American President. I was so sure of it. Aravind was kind enough to not laugh right at my face. He took a moment and said, 'he's a 'black' preethi, America will never make a black ... 'The President', trust me. But i just knew he was different. I wanted him to win. Yesterday i had my own small victory. 2008 has brought with it my first victory. I know it is too early to say that he'll be the President but i am going to hold my head high. A state with a 98% white community selected a Black leader. 

This has made me look deeper. I'm not indifferent to Politics after all, it is just that i don't find such candidates in India. Sad but true. I don't vote because there is no one i trust enough. That is the fact. When will i see a young new blood who trusts himself completely and readily brings about a change in India. Corruption will end. Education will rise. People will turn to honesty because it is still the best policy and they will have a proof that it pays. Where is such a leader? God, how long has it been since i felt this way? How long has it been since i loved my country enough to wish for a change. I don't deny that we've risen economically in the past few years but how grand would it be if there was a man/woman with a spinal cord. 

'Hope' has not forsaken my heart afterall...


25 Comments:

At 11:00 AM, Blogger KP said...

I agree with your husband....americans will not accept black as president...I hope that they look beyond colors and his credentials...he is harvard law schooll grad...very sharp and ideal leader....but hillary is runninning with her popularity too...lets see....If barack runs for presidency...he is getting my vote......I just hope too see some change in india thru some charismatic leader with honest and loyal intentions...;)

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Compassion Unlimitted said...

American politics I never understood..but through your sentiments and words,looks I should make a fresh attempt
Regarding Indian politics,Your words do have a great meaning..Men and women with spinal cord..hmm..looks its going to take a long time
Corruption ,can it at least be reduced if it cannot be wiped out

Nice article ma
TC
CU

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Mansi Trivedi said...

I agree with you. I can sense so much genuineness in his talks. Its just a feeling. Totally intuitive.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Deepali said...

While most people here crib about the government I think lots of people truly do wish for great leaders not because it will help them personally, but because they want the country to progress.

Sometimes I feel our politicians are pulling us down.

Lets hope all this hoping leads to something :) and SOON.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger prabhu said...

Before you fall for the media hype around all the caucuses here is a stat.
- candidates winning the Iowa caucus for the first time never became presidents. There could always be a first. :)

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

Hi... Came here from CU's blog... very interesting post.. Obama seems like a very likely candidate for President... and that will be a big victory indeed considering!!
As for India.. did you hear of Modi's astounding win in Gujarat? From what I have read about him (lets not bring up Godhra though), he seems promising looking at what he did in Gujarat... and unlike many candidates he seems to have a clean slate.. lets wait and watch!!

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

well gr8 little post
let me give you some personal inputs - paraphrasing from a meeting with few (white) americans - "dude do you know we as americans are today really sad - we have no leaders - what a choice - one between a woman and a black"

so its is going to be tough - but will be interesting to watch it :)

i also have a strong feeling for bloomberg - what US needs is a shrewd man - who can garner not only its position back in the world but also keep it intact.....

about the last thing - i cant say much abt indian politics as have been away too long - but a famous comedian whose work i follow here puts it very blankly - (please dont be offended but it is geared towards people who dont vote)
he says if you dont vote you actually have no right to crib that a bad person is selected - you could and everyone like you who thinks that it is unnecessasry to vote - if voted cld make a difference - and also specially for india - if you did not go your vote was still cast by someone else using your name......
so stop f*&^%$# cribbing :)

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ kp: From what i see, Hillary is losing her popularity. She came 3rd! Lets wait for New Hamshire tho'. BTW are u a citizen who can vote? Glad to see a Obama supporter here :)

@cu: thanx sir. nxt few months are gonna be interesting for Amrcn politics! Right time to get hooked on to it...

@mansi: right. that is the 'it' word here...'genuine'

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ deepali: i don't think it's sometime it's ALL THE TIME. ;) 'hope' that's is a powerful word right?

@prabhu: I didn't fall for the media hype man. u know me better than that. It is just that i was happy. When the whole world(literally) thought it is gonna be Hillary's day, Obama won it. I was thrilled. I'd like to see this as a beginning. Me not a pessimist. And what is this stats BTW. It's like saying "India has never won chasing Australia in Sydney in August". IT DOESN"T MATTER.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ preethi: hi to u too :) I gotta tell ya i was a little shocked to see my name in my cmnt box first. I was like OMG i don't remember commentin!! Phew! 'nother Preethi he heeee ;) mmm...honestly i did not hear abt Modi's victry. have lost touch with Indian politics lately. I'm feeling guilty at the moment :( But will get updated. From what u say tho' it seems promising. lets c.

@ ceedy:Thanx for taking the time to cmnt in a detailed manner. But am afraid i'm gonna come a li'l hard on u dis time :) brace urself!!

Ur American pals- Male chavunists and racists, i have no respect for ppl with such small minds. Their opinions don't matter. So am gonna ignore that part. Although my regard for Obama and Hillary has risen immensely now. they are indeed contesting in a backward country...

u r right when u say tough times ahead for the two.

Bloomberg ofcourse will not be a surprise. Safe choice for the Americans.

last part tho' ...Ceddy.... u missed the whole point. I'm surprised!! This post discusses exactly the sentiments told by the hindi comedian... nobody needs to tell that without participation one cannot comment, c'mon it is common sense. U see i always felt guilty for not voting and like u here i thought it is my mistake and that i'm a terrible citizen...., but How can one choose btwn a devil and a deep sea? I can't understand ppl who choose the best of the lot. My mind refuses to accept mediocrity leave alone corrupted minds in Indian politics... How do u find a solution for this? I have never cribbed abt my country b4. because i thought i didn't care enuf. I now found out that it is because i found nowhere to place my trust... there is no Obama in India.... find one like that for me i will go and campaign ...

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger c e e d y said...

thanks again for taking the time to consider deliberating with the comment.
Let me tell you one thing - dont be afraid to ever come hard on me - as true debate only comes from having different viewpoints - and one learns a lot from it - so thank you again

about the american crap - that was FYI - from the trenches - me was appaled too.

let me make one thing clear - i had a crappy state of mind - so re read your post - and not it is more clear - so sorry for the earlier comment.

i am particularly fond of bill clinton - so much so that like you said (i have met him personally) his aura generates a sense of compassion somehow - dunno how to explain it - mrs. clinton lacks that big time - and i surely see that in obama :) this is my 3rd election here so love how things will change from now on...wait and watch.

lastly about india - to be honest - everytime i talk about it I feel more and more guilty - i am away from so long - how then can i say anything about it (like a deshdrohi :() so there i have no choice but to agree with you - how can you select a not so bad apple from a basket full of bad apples :)

also will keep the comments short :P from now on.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger rOhit said...

Im running short of time to express my views. But lemme admit, this one is a very meaningful post. You've got a wonderful blog as well. :)

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger KP said...

yes I can vote....I hope barack runs for pres...since he is the only hope democrats....i only vote for democrats even if republican candidate is good...;)I have this notion that only democrats are liberal and they support minority....this may not be right but i guess......I dont know I am like ppl in midwest...always republicans....so i took it from them......;)

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ rohit: thanx man. A little pat on the bck can do wonders to a person :) will visit u for sure....

@ ceedy: Strangely after me commenting, i realised i have to shoulder some responsibility in shaping the country as well. How? Now, I don't have an answer for that!

Cmnts short?? it will get boring ;P Keep writing watever u feel like writing pal!!

I was here for the last election... John Kerry's. Wanted Edwards to win the caucuses then, for a diff reason tho'. He looked dashing!! he heeeee
Bill Clinton's aura tho'... heard a lot about that! ;)...ok ... seriously.,Some ppl have that charisma na?

As for Indian politics the other Preeth has mentioned Modi. I shud keep my eyes and ears open and support the desrving...maybe u cud do the same to lessen the guilt eh?

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ kp: gud. ha! hoping for ur own benefis. Honest words man. really. let us both keep our fingers crossed.......;)

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger romila said...

Thoughtful post and thoughtful discussions here, in the comment section. Don't know Barack Obama close-up yet, but I'm sure I 'll hunting out for him in the news.

BTW, Can you pl take out this word verification thingy here, if not set on purpose. It'll be a boon to us commenters:)

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@romila: It will be better still if you cud listen to him talk. U sure will 'njoy that...
As for wrd verfi..reason for that was ...i used to get a lot of random ads on my cmnt section! Som kinda software i'm sure for some freebies..'word verification thingy' ;) stopped that. But i'm gonna revert for ur sake!! and others too but if the ads start coming in again i'll have to bring back the 'thingy' deal?? :)

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Hip Grandma said...

That was honest and heartfelt.I too want Obama to win not because he is coloured but because there is or at it seems that he has potential.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger durjoy datta said...

it's difficult for obama to win...but his success does teach us a lot about acceptance in the us political scene,
where in Indian politics regionalism dominates.....
and it's not about just voting....
somebody from within us has to stand up and make his or her voice count....
if only educated people had the drive to get into politics....!

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Hammett said...

when we start talking about politics... these conversations can go really deep.. i can't see it here.. I'm not into politics much.. but like you said, speech from great leaders.. people yearn for it..
I guess lots of people believe Obama will win and make a difference in US this time... i hope so.. let's see...

About the corruption in India, I've seen it while I was there for like 3 months.. Wish it could be decreased if not wiped out, as Comp Unlt has said...

Interesting post.. :)

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

hey short comments means ek do words less thats it, so dont worry...i have a bimari of talking a lot :P

well guilt cant go down easily....i have been involved with some social work for few yrs b4 coming here in India and many projects allowed me to interact with very poor and needy people in India.....just waiting for this legal crap here to sort out b4 doing smg....for me i beleive in action - and i took part in some things post 911 till it started to become a political level ground....

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ hip grandma: That makes 3 of us here :)

@ hammett: Welcome to my space.
Tough road for Obama, yes.
Yes india can shock her visitors with the kind of corruption that runs in the country. Also tourist suffer more than the locals. They are truly taken for a ride...
i hope you don't let these experiences hinder ur future visits :) India has so much more to offer.

@durjoy datta: Do i sense a mild reprimand there? :) well, there is more to politics than just education my friend. You have to know how to sell urself to ur people. To do that with honesty ... now that's what i'm looking for. Welcome to my space here....

@ ceedy: nice to hear that... u cud do so much from here even now. So many charity organizations are in need of financial help... Not CRY or BANYAN etc. they've already earned their names... lesser known ones. Anyway nice to know abt ur work. I'm sure you'll cont. ur good work. All the best...

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Hammett said...

no problem preethi.. wud come here often...
by the way, it didn't change how I felt about India.. it's a nice place.. of course, there's so much to offer.. I was in delhi.. have so many other places to go.. cheers!! :)

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

Actually by ' future visits' i meant ur visits to India. :) But of course it is applicable here as well. Now that we are on the topic... i'd suggest you go down to Southern states in India. Many don't know about the rich culture and heritage it offers...

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Hammett said...

that's what i meant as well..
yeah.. I don't know much about different parts of India.. thanks for your suggestions.. Sure, wud go some day... :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home