Monday, November 08, 2010

India heaves a sigh of relief ..

Cutting across party affiliations, the representatives of the 1 billion plus people of India, felt relieved after listening to the stunning and brilliant Obama speaking extempore for about 40 minutes in the Central Hall of Indian Parliament to a joint session of Parliament this evening.

Touching upon issues as diverse as the contributions of Aryabhatta in the field of science and technology, Gandhiji, Swami Vivekananada and Rabindranath Tagore in crafting the future of India, to the modern craftsmen, the literate and hardworking people of India and a booming middle class, Obama was all praise for the Indian culture and civilization as old as humanity itself.

Topping of the cake was the declaration that if India agrees to be a responsible power adhering to the upkeep of personal liberty and freedom across the nations of the world, US was ready to support India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. He did not mince words this time in condemning terrorist camps in our neighbouring country, naming it in simple words, and wanted the "perpetrators of 26/11" to be brought to justice soon.. This definitely brought roars of approval from the lawmakers of the country seated crowded listening attentively to each word coming from this brilliant orator..

Obama did prove to the people of India this time, that additional to the brilliance behind the microphone, he is also a straightforward person willing to think and act in unison.

He was humble enough to accept midway through his speech that were it not for the valuable lessons of non-violent resistance learned by a US preacher Dr Martin Luther King from the hands of Mahatma Gandhiji and put to practice almost fifty years back, he would not have been speaking to the Indian Parliament as the President of the United States of America. He also recollected his visit to Mani Bhavan which was both visited by Gandhi and King.

Obama was all praise for democracy which helped India to rise to be one of the leading nations of the world and a growing power in Asia, to whom US looked up to provide the necessary global leadership with US in G20 and other international fora.

Obama did not fail to mention that a stable Pakistan was good for India and this part of the world and assured India of continued US presence in Afghanistan till peace returns to this once peaceful land after eliminating the scourge of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, naming them in particular.

In short the speech did raise hopes of a billion plus people across the Indian sub continent, definitely of their representatives. The Indian judiciary and rule of law, the vibrant Indian media which enabled the voice of every Indian to be heard, combined with some path breaking legislation like the Right To Information, all covered up in the enigma called the Indian Democracy, the largest in the world, found special mention in Obama's speech.

The oratorical skills of Obama to hold about 800 odd representatives of the billion plus people of India spell bound for 40 minutes, punctuated by occasional thumpings on the desks and handclaps of appreciation, will be specially remembered by the people of India and Parliamentarians for a long time to come.



  1. >> Topping of the cake was the declaration that if India agrees to be a responsible power
    >> adhering to the upkeep of personal liberty and freedom across the nations of the world,
    >> US was ready to support India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

    I am not really convinced this is such a good idea. We've already seen from the inception of the UN that there is nothing democratic about the present structure of the organisation. Resolutions of importance to a large part of mankind are held hostage by a veto from just one permanent member of the Security Council. Adding to that is not really a win for the peoples of the world. Sure, it may be a great win for India, if it does come about.

    Instead, I think India should have been working to do away with the idea of having permanent members and their powers (and I would have been extremely proud of India if it had done so). Just because one nation or group of nations has the money and/or military might to say they want to have the last word on world matters does not create a fair and just organisation. We've seen the current system abused time and time again for political and economic gain by the permanent members and those that cosy up to them.

  2. US is willing to accommodate India if we are willing players to their tune. Obama did make special mention of human rights, personal liberty, freedom etc and India needs to raise its voice against violations.

    We need to set our own backyard in order in kashmir, by not allowing Pakistan to meddle in Indian matters and Indian administration in Kashmir till the issue is sorted out by bilateral talks between the two countries.

    In the name of pricking US, we are siding with the Iranian govt. If Iran has procured nuclear technology covertly and cannot protect it from extremists, then India needs to raise a voice against it. Myanmar has just concluded a rigged election and India is yet to raise its voice against it.

    With added authority comes added responsibility . India needs to understand this and act accordingly, lest we squander our reputation in the comity of nations as a responsible power.


  3. Should India raise voice against other countries that are not in the list of US? For e.g. Israel may be?
    US being such a responsible country when it comes to using its powers, India can definitely learn a lot from it!

  4. A very valid point. Yday in Parliament and outside people and parties have started questioning this motive behind the US keeping India under probation for "good behaviour" before confirming final permanent membership of UNSC. Good behaviour mena s what US believes is human rights in the US perspective !!

    Yday Germany and Japan too joined the chorus, asking why they have been excluded from UNSC even though they have been economic and manufacturing powers for a long time now !!

    Matter of great debate which will spoil India's chances at the high table !!



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