Yesterday, as I heard the Obama speech that was re-broadcast several times on the Indian news channels – I could only think of other eminent speakers seeking ‘Change’ – like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Bill Clinton, or Indira Gandhi (In Hindi), in his league or comparison. I agree, they all have been the ‘chosen ones’ to rise up to meet the difficult situations they are or were under! Indira Gandhi’s slogan ‘Garibi hatao!’ and her efforts to achieve the same are really commendable. John F Kennedy championed the cause of free enterprise, free market economy in the US, way back in 1960s. Bill Clinton brought in an era of ‘economic success’ in the US, during his tenure.
The speech was very well-worded; but, it was Obama’s sheer confidence that was glowing! What an accomplished orator he really is!! The timing in his speech was perfect – and he reaffirmed his command over ‘the most attentive’ audience I have come across in the Indian parliament that is known for its brawls and fights on the floor! As the audience waited, filled with expectations, Obama utilized his diplomatic skills and timing to his best in naming the Pakistan Government’s inability to dismantle the terror havens within its borders.
Re-iterating his support to the Indian peace efforts, he sought complete justice to the bereaved who lost their near and dear ones in the 26/11 Terror Attack at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. Further, he clearly mentioned that he was unhappy with the progress made by Pakistan in their effort (if at all, there is!) to counter terrorism.
Obama surprised each one in the Parliament, when he welcomed India in taking her ‘well deserved’ permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC). Again, he spoke about a ‘reformed UNSC’ that was not only a figure head body, but is a powerful participant in restoring global peace. I am sure; the reformist efforts of a Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize winner like Obama will be acknowledged and acted upon! Another striking part of the speech was his knowledge of – the Indian culture, its long history, and its spiritual strength in the Vedic scripture. His faith in the potential of Indian people was clearly evident in his speech!
Since the time, Barack Obama was elected as the US President; he has praised India and its people in several interactions with the international Press on many occasions. Obama has risen up from an ordinary middle class family background, in fact from a broken home, so it is really not astonishing to realise that he can empathise well with others. Well, India has the largest ‘middle class’ in the world! He revealed – his knowledge of Swami Vivekananda’s speech on Hinduism in Chicago in the year 1930; Dalit leader Dr Ambedkar’s contribution in framing the Indian Constitution and his amazement on India’s complicated multi-party coalition success in democratic governance.
Another point – I liked it much – when Obama spoke of global partnership of USA with India to meet the global challenges especially in lesser countries like in East Asia, the South East Asia and Africa. So, it was not Big Brother or Uncle Sam any more! Now, it is a partnership between equals confirming further that India has Arrived! It is no longer the small poor ‘peninsula’ country it was. Besides her economic strength, India is being counted upon for its army/ military prowess. Obama also acknowledged India’s positive role in UN Peace keeping missions, like in Sri Lanka etc.
Clearly – through this historic speech, Obama has won the affection of the Indian Government and its people! Way to Go, Obama!!