Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This must be music to many Indian ears. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting ready to become the President, not of the United States, but of Austria! Surprised? US law prohibits anyone not born in the country from occupying the Oval Office. Arnie was born in Austria and continues to hold an Austrian passport along with his US citizenship. As per a report, he could well become the President of the country he was born in as early as next year, after his term as Governor expires. "I'll be back...as President". This is what he has told his home country, in response to requests from politicians there that he should stand in the 2010 Presidential election.

This news has sent waves of excitement in India, Italy and the rest of the world where persons of Indian origin live. The possibilities that Arnie has unleashed are endless.

Sonia Gandhi, for example, could be the next to be asked to become the PM of the country where she was born. Decades of experience in managing Indian politicians have given her a priceless advantage. Besides there is no danger whatsoever of an Italian Sushma Swaraj threatening to shave her head and live on grams if Sonia becomes the PM of that country. Italian women have far better things to do. To cap it, Silvio Berlsconi has enough problems on his hands, not the least of which is his unusual interest in an 18 year old girl who even spent a week at his villa, and the fact that his wife is filing for divorce. All Sonia needs to do is go to Italy and make an Arnie-like announcement.

Just imagine the pride that will puff Indian chests if Sonia become the PM of Italy and Rahul of India, with Priyanka ready and waiting for any one or both the jobs!

There is great excitement among ordinary NRIs too. There are many potential Arnies in the US, the most prominent being Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He must now seriously start working on becoming India's PM should he fail to make it to the White House. Hang on. He could even do it the other way round. He could become India's PM and then, at just the right moment, jet right back to the US where he was born and run for President! As it is, the BJP is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis, with not a leader in sight. The party could project him as their next "mazboot" neta. And since he has converted to Christianity, he would just be the secular face that the party needs to reinvent itself!

Sons and daugthers of Indian politicians are most heartened by this news. Now they don't have to go to the US to just mark time till papa calls them back to become MPs. They can actually get into US politics and then make the switch to India when they hit the ceiling there. In fact, Indian politicians have already started planning on sending their pregnant wives to the US in future to get US-born kids so that they become eligible to hit the top job in both countries! Since the US allows only two terms to a President, an NRI US President can then come back to India and rule it as PM till his sons/daughters are ready to step into his shoes, preferably in both countries!

Arnie may be opening the door but it is Indians who will eventually make sure that the US gets "Bangalored" in politics too! India will rule the world. Instead of the likes of Laloo and his groin-scratching friends, there will then be smart US born and bred politicians and leaders and other beautiful people gracing your and my TV screens 24/7. English will become India's national language. Rich Indians will be respected and welcomed across the globe. In the middle of all this excitement, the ecstatic aam aadmi will, of course, continue to remain where he is meant to be, unseen and unheard, except at election time. Bliss.