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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 48

Obama Wonder and Bush Blunder:

A Change is Coming

Sunday 16 November 2008, by V R Krishna Iyer

Barack Hussein Obama is now a White House supremo in the making, the hero of a historic event in the happening, a democratic pheno-menon incarnating as the President and a unique symbol of an awakened young generation lying latent till now in the United States as a silent mega-majority suddenly speaking in an electro campaign and bursting through the ballot into a profoundly progressive, powerfully anti-Bush policy shift. America Inc. as Big Business and aggressive, authoritarian George Bush at the Oval in the White House have been a global menace and an extravagant international unipolar freebooter. Alas, Sovereign India, liberated from the British Empire in 1947, has diminished into a satellite state, obliging the US with a nuclear deal, expanding imports and exotic investments, neglecting both the greats: Tryst with Destiny and the Constitutional Preamble inspiring a creative Socialist Democratic Republic. Swaraj is fading as a mirage. “Small is Beautiful” is the Gandhian quintessence. But unlike Nehru, Indiraji and Lal Bahadur of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ fame, our new masters, with a Nuclear affection for Bush of the US, have developed a passion to deal with American Big Business, including Nuclear Barons, but now the Obama transformation demonstrates to Delhi the paramountcy of the common people beyond the futile exaggeration of the billionaire-millionaire command over the national economy. Obama proves that a people’s change is coming, not merely in the USA but wherever the little man in large numbers is beginning to speak and to vote. The world wants a radical reform. YES, WE CAN is the message of November 4. Barack Hussein Obama tells the leaders of the world that he hails a change for full, finer democracy. He was called a Communist during election polemics. (Was not Chief Justice Earl Warren of the US told by President Eisenhower that he was a close ally of the Communists?)

Those greats, who corner political power and money power in India, do not remember that Gandhiji, the ‘half-naked fakir’, had said that India lives in her villages, that Swadeshi is integral to Swaraj, that the people and Panchayati Raj institutions are the ultimate sovereign of the nation. The Obama caveat is clear. No longer will Manmohanomics and Chidambaromics propitiating the Proprietariat sell, ignoring native agriculture, self-reliant industries and the dignity and employment of the humble masses. The fulfilment of their fundamental right to life is not inconsequential. India’s have-not humanity, if offered a free and fair electoral opportunity, will tell the quarrelling power-hungry parties that the little man in the little booth will make his little mark in favour of a pro-poor socio-economic change against hunger and homelessness and a haven where everyone will have justice—social, economic and political. I have a dream then that this will happen in Bharat before long. Harken, you statesmen of Bharat, that politicking conspiracies and communalist camaraderies will not do. The franchise of the billion needy people will overpower the politics of aggrandisement of the dollar rich creamy layer. The latter cannot control or condition the destiny and destination of sovereign India.

BARRACK OBAMA, you are more than a fine candidate who has won fantastically; you are a great cause which has triumphed as an inspiration. Where people are in despair you have kindled a glimmer of a finer future. I salute you and the great American people who have worked tirelessly and triumphantly against mighty odds, a real miracle. No longer will the White House invade, exploit, browbeat or rob other peoples and rulers or dump nuclear power on an obliging Prime Minister in Delhi. A new comity of nations will dawn where a jurisprudence of universal justice will make for a better world, where your victory will be a beacon, not an illusion. This is the beginning of a change the world over, and the end of a greedy regime of global domination. India stands for peaceful coexistence among all nations and in this glorious process you, as the President of United States, and its great people, the young Americans, have a cosmic role and creative power. Not nuclear bombs to wipe out the earth but the pursuit of happiness as everyone’s right, is the paradise on earth we must build together. Humanity, in its holistic aspirations, is one and indivisible. No nation is free until all nations are free. No one lives in dignity until wherewithal for all is globally assured free from war or terrorism.

Dr Manmohan is a straightforward statesman but how he happened to embrace that strange being George Bush and assured him without any warrant that India loves him ‘is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’. But now he, as our surviving Prime Minister, has greeted and invited you magnanimously and assured you of the good wishes of all Indians. India too must change. Its satellite status must go. Our resources are superb, our foreign relations are friendly with all. Now that Bush has suffered a crash and you, Obama, are President-elect, Indo-US bonds will be good, great and glorious. Mahatma Gandhi was Dr Martin Luther King’s Guru and Obama too acts on Gandhian principles. Henry David Thoreau was Gandhiji’s guru. We have thus a spiritual-temporal linkage, not dollar domination, Big Business exploitation and nuclear power dependencia syndrome.

Islam is a major religion with faith in one and only God and is committed to world brotherhood in peace. India has a heavy Muslim population, even after Partition resulting in the creation of Pakistan. This religion, centuries-old in India enjoys friendly fellowship with other religions, including Hinduism, the foundational faith of Bharat. On account of certain shocking doings by the Taliban in Washington D.C. the American President, George Bush, declared hostility towards the Taliban, spread the cult of hatred against them by declaring them terrorist. But eventually, an anti-Islamic cult possessed Bush who violated the canons of humanism, sovereignty of nations and principles of international jurisprudence. He invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and threatened to attack Iran. Muslims were suspect in America which was unfortunate. Islam stands for peace and world brotherhood although there may be terrorists in every group or faith. One of the finer consequences of the Obama victory is that Islam will cease to be a national anathema. After all, President-elect Mr Obama, although a Christian, has Hussein as his middle name and some Muslim blood in his veins. It is fair to assume that Americans will drop this hate cult and allergy towards Islam. US Muslims too are American patriots, even as there are great Indian Muslims who are good Indian nationalists like good Christians and Hindus. Cultural secularism and global patriotism make us all members of a single world fraternity.

Once again, I salute you, gracious Barack Hussein Obama and the sublime people of the United States of America who have made a dream a dramatic reality. The battle is on. We have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.

The author, a distinguished public figure and champion of human rights, is a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

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