Sunday, October 26, 2008


"What I'm trying to do is create through the Youth Congress and NSUI thousands of Obamas running around this country." Read that statement carefully again. Listen to it on NDTV if you wish to. Rahul Gandhi, the young Congress leader and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, actually believes that he can 'create' thousands of Obamas who he will have 'running around' in this country.

There is obviously a serious gap somewhere in understanding what and who Barack Obama is. Rahul Gandhi thinks that Obama "reflects democratic values that exist in the US democratic system but not in the Indian one." Is that so? Are there not some stand-out values that Barack Obama has brought to the democratic system of the US due to which he has erupted to the top so dramatically?

"Authenticity in politics" and the vision of an America not led by "politicians born into privilege and coached into automatons", to borrow Obama's own words, are two that have really caught the imagination of the American people. Deepak Chopra believes that Obama is a "unique candidate" due to his "hard won self awareness" and that his election as President will "represent a quantum leap in American consciousness and a promise to restore America's position in the world". In the same vein, General Colin Powell has called him a "transformational figure."

Obama is without doubt an almost unprecedented phenomenon, even by the very high standards that the American people expect from the candidate they elect as their President. His call for 'change' in the words of Mahatma Gandhi has electrified the whole world. He has not picked up Gandhi's words as an election gimmick just to grab power, like Indian politicians routinely do. He believes in them and also believes that he can deliver. Simply put, he is just not a classic political leader that the system has thrown up. That is why every one is talking of him. That is why there is that anticipation that he will make a major, positive impact on the whole world like no other American leader has till now.

So, when Rahul Gandhi says arrogantly that he will 'create' thousands of Obamas in the Congress party, one has to question even his intelligence, forget ability to lead. Obamas cannot be not mass produced like Maruti cars on assembly lines. Nor can they be produced like 'gajar mooly' (carrots and radishes) in India's farms. In fact, for even one real Obama to emerge in the Congress, Rahul Gandhi and other politicians "born into privilege" will have to either step aside or be swept aside, like it has happened in the US.

Is that going to happen any time soon? Not if you consider that taking a cue from Rahul Gandhi, other 'leaders' of the Congress party have, if fact, taken their legendary sycophancy to another level. Even as he is talking about creating Obamas out of them, they have started seeing an Obama in him! It is another matter that being ignorant about what the real Obama is all about, Rahul's fair skin would be causing many of them to question their similarity in private.

Hold it. May be thousands of Obamas can be produced in the Congress after all. All Congressmen already prostrate before Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. All that they have to do from now on is also say "O baba" and "O mama" to them respectively and respectfully. And, presto, they will become India's very own "O-ba-ma-s"! May be that is what Rahul Gandhi really had in mind when he spoke.

This post has also been published in Chicago Sun Times and Lake County News-Sun
Readers may also read:
1. President Obama is Barack indeed
2. Barack 'barracks' McCain
3. Obama and Biden Vs Osama bin Laden: coincidence?
4. From Obama to Laloo: a rude reality check
5. Obama and Jindal: Hanuman and the Monkey
6. Looking for India's Obama in Harvard!
7. Osama and Obama: Saul and Paul