Wednesday, January 21, 2009
At around 10:30 PM last night, there was a sudden rush near the TV sets at my hostel. I wondered what it was for ?? a new episode of MTV Roadies or an Arsenal vs ManU, the telecast of STAR Screen Awards or the worst fears in the minds of every Indian, another Terrorist Attack.
As soon as I entered the room I understood that all my friends how are getting ready to dawn managerial roles in the corporate world assembled to watch Barack Obama's Swearing in Ceremony.
I thought twice but I could not recollect myself having watched Pratibha Patel's Swearing Ceremony. I asked people around and they too had similar things to say. Like me, a few had probably watched ex-President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalaam's entry into the Rastrapati Bhavan . So it boils down to the fact that at times a person or an individual attracts more attention than an event or activity.
This man is stepping into the critical position at one of the worst times in US economy. Most people in the United States and other parts of the globe are eagerly waiting to see the "CHANGE" that this man has promised to bring about. He is entering the White House with the burden of numerous hopes and aspirations for better governance and bringing radical change across sectors for the revival of the US Economy.
But then I don't know who would really serve as the best example in Indian context. If we speak about Dr. Kalaam, then yes; both can been seen as a welcome change in their respective political setup. In case of Pratibha Patil, while Obama is the first Blank Man in White House, she is the first lady to become a Rashtrapati (President). So the idea here is that CHANGES are happening in India since long.
Last General Elections we elected the first Sikh as our Prime Minister. A man who was primarily responsible for the great Indian growth story as the finance minister in 1990s was bestowed greater responsibilities.
Even the President of the Party having the highest stake in the current government is not an Indian by birth. So while America is welcoming a person from a minority Community we Indians have had moved beyond all these. We have had all the ranks in our governance held by people from diverse backgrounds and representing various sections of the society.
We have had a stage where our President was a Muslim, Prime Minister a Sikh, President of the Leading Party a Christian, whose father-in-law was a Parsi, and the leader of Opposition - a Hindu.
But then when it comes to evaluating their performance, we don't have new standards,any benchmarks or regulations. In the coming General elections we expect to vote more prudently and have a more responsible, committed politicians* at power and doing things right. All magazines are predicting that the younger generation of politicians would be the instrument of the real change. Lets wait with optimism and see how things turn out in months from now.
* I guess after the recent protests, they would soon come up with a new word to describe themselves, as "politician" has become quite a negative word these days