The Indian media is going gaga over the Obama visit. And over a few dances and town hall meeting with students, Obama sure has won some hearts. I happen to see the arrival of Air force one on Delhi airport live on TV. It was really heartwarming to see the way Barack Obama and Dr. Manmohan Singh greeted each other with a hug.
It is really surprising to see the various similarities which Obama and Dr. Singh share. Obama was raised by a single mother, most part of his life whereas Dr. Singh lost his mother and was raised by his grandmother. Obama had to move to Indonesia when he was quiet young. Similarly, Dr. Singh moved to India after the partition. Both studied in one of the best universities in the world, Dr. Singh in Oxford and Cambridge and Obama studied in Columbia and Harvard. Both had no political involvement till quiet later in their life. They both have served as professors some point in their career.
However this is where the similarities end; Obama being one of the best orators of all time and Singh being one of the best economists. This made me realize the irony in the history. The United States of America is going through probably the worst economic crisis since its independence. However, when Obama was running for President, recession was yet to haunt his country and he mesmerized his country and the rest of the world with “Yes We Can”. His ideas promised to take US to another level. But lady luck was against him and his country and from the day he was sworn in, he has been on a damage control of biggest magnitude.
On the other hand, India is on the verge of something exciting. “Change” is the buzz word here; where all the ingredients of a financial, social and Cultural Revolution are on the platter. Dr. Singh can in a sense be called the architect of modern India ( I might be biased). However, given his age and his serene mildness at dealing with things, it might be better if we have a younger extrovert leader at place. BTW Prime Minister in Waiting( conditions apply), Rahul Gandhi is just 9 years younger to Obama.
This takes me to a hypothetical world. A world where Obama leads India and Dr. Singh leads the United States. It was Dr. Singh who got India out of bankruptcy (ya, the whole country) two decades ago (more in one of my previous post). His wisdom with financial matters has a proven track record. USA currently needs a leader like him who could orchestrate a comeback for them. On the other hand, it would be so great to hear someone tell the rich and the poor, the farmers and the IT professional, the slum dwellers and Mukesh Ambani, and the whole country, “Yes we can”. A leader like Obama could work wonders to our country.
Irony, my friend.
(Photo Courtsey: AFP and AP)