Friday, August 29, 2008


On August 25, 2008, Michelle Obama spoke to America. That moving speech set the tone for the profound change that is energising America and the history that is being made there.

Yesterday, Barak Obama spoke. And left many of the 80,000 Democrats who had gathered to listen to him in tears, tears of joy, tears of the fulfilment of Martin Luther King’s dream, tears of hope and tears of relief. Obama’s 46 minute acceptance speech was probably his best ever. His spotless integrity, clarity of thought, and his deep understanding of and empathy with the underprivileged touched many, many chords around the world.

Obama does not speak about ‘change’ as an election gimmick. It is not a slogan coined for him by a smart speech writer to project Obama as someone different from the rest, as someone he actually is not. It is Obama himself. It is what he believes in. No conning. No false promises to be forgotten as soon as elections are over.

And, yes. Obama did not forget that he was fighting an election and that there was an opponent to defeat before he could deliver the change he promises. So, he went after McCain. Not by launching vicious personal attacks, but by genuinely praising his personal qualities and patriotism, and then attacking his policies with great dignity and responsibility. No wonder America has fallen in love with this black man who is fated to play a significant role in the history of the world.

Obama is the change that India needs desperately, more than even than the US does.

How do our top politicians debate and speak about each other? Advani calls the PM ‘nikamma’(worthless/useless); Sonia Gandhi call Modi ‘maut ka sudagar’(merchant of death). It is not even worth the while to pollute this space of Obama to detail what the Laloos, Mulayams, Mayawatis, Karats and others say, and what our MPs say and do in Parliament.

All our politicians(and their wives) need to be made to watch Obama’s speech. Not just that. They need to watch even Hillary and Bill Clinton speak about Obama after a very tough and bitter fight for nomination which Hillary lost. That is perhaps the only way to get Indian politicians, drunk with power, to introspect and realise that the path they are on is not going to lead this country to glory.

There is little doubt that in the midst of all this muck, there is an Indian Obama somewhere, undiscovered as yet. Whenever he appears, India will know. For, when he speaks, he will be able to get your and my tears out. After a very long time.

Till that happens, let us revel in the joy that Barak Obama is giving to Americans, and their tears that he is getting to flow. From what we have seen till now, he will probably do that even beyond the shores of America after he gets into the White House.

Here is the Acceptance Speech.

Readers may also read:
1. From Obama to Laloo: a rude reality check
2. Obama and Jindal: Hanuman and the Monkey
3. Looking for India's Obama in Harvard!