A World Astir|Dec 17, 2008 6:27 AM| by:

A World of Change

I have nothing to do with America other than the fact that some of my family resides there. I have nothing to do with their governance, their policies, their vision other than what directly affects my own country. And I certainly have nothing to do with the choices made by the American people be it in their favourite baseball team or movie star or flavour of potato chips. And so it came as quite a shock when I found that I had a lump in my throat as I read about the historic win of America’s first African-American president, Barack Obama.

Thanks to the media, it has been virtually impossible to not know the exciting currents chasing each other for the whole of the last year as the race for the highest office of the biggest superpower gained ground. Scores of emails have flooded the otherwise quiet inbox, pontificating on the pros and even more pros of this unlikely candidate. In the last few months, I have finally begun to grasp the basic differences between a democrat and a republican. The ultimate sign of my personal involvement was when shocked at governor Palin’s highly orthodox and unreasonable opinions, I cast my vote for a man who was running for an election half way across the globe… it was a vote that would remain uncounted and yet, I know for sure that it is a vote that was only a drop in the sea of votes which Barack Obama must have received from all across the world.

Of course there is a hope that with the coming of Obama, American thought concerning the rest of the world will widen and extend beyond its own borders. There is hope that with a younger man at the helm, fresh policies will emerge which will keep the need of the times in mind and march forward with energy and enthusiasm. There is hope that racism will become an archaic concept, no longer relevant in today’s world. There is hope that some of the more inspiring facets of politics will come to the fore, rescuing it from its horribly tarnished image. And along with dozens of more hopes, there is this hope that Barack Obama will herald change not just for America and Americans but for every other nation across the globe.

The reason I had a lump in my throat was because I saw and read and felt the vibrations expressed by millions of people, who despite the odds, united in bringing about the victory. Maybe they had their own personal motives or maybe they shared common grievances and common hopes. Maybe they are typical of this age when there is always ‘one thing’ which gets swept in a frenzy of hype. Many possibilities exist which are best left untouched but the ultimate result was that it became a victory of the people. Some may say that is a bit far-fetched or out of place for a country like America – maybe in Burma or Tibet where suppression of the majority is still at large, one can apply “victory of the people” if it came to that but America? True. Americans are free, so to speak, but they like many of us tend to take their freedom for granted, absolving themselves of all responsibility while the politicians get a free hand. Many years down the line, one ends up with a Bush regime which misuses its freedom and spells disaster for not just its country but the whole world. And so, yes, this is a wake up call, it is a victory and it most certainly is of the people. And whether Barack Obama realizes this or not, the change that he has promised has already arrived and begun to operate via the very people whom he has chosen to represent. It is the national enthusiasm that made America enviable for me. It is the collective joy which I have yet to taste in my own country. It is the promise of a leader which is something I have yearned for.

By bringing inspirational politics back to the fore, he may just excite the imagination in every other country to achieve the same. For when something good happens in one corner of the world, it can open many blocked holes and percolate in a steady stream. The handful of politicians ruling the roost in India have tough times ahead. The shift may not take place overnight but it will surely come about. It is not that Obama has proven his worth by becoming the president—for that remains to be seen, but he has been a harbinger of good and clean political tactics, sound strategies, propounding a vision with not just increasing economy as its goal but a healthy people in mind, body and spirit, a more ideal and a less terrorized and terrified world, a resurgence of basic human values and decency of conduct.

At present this political messiah has a lot to prove to his own countrymen, but in the meantime, each of us, in each of our own countries, has a lot to prove in which direction to propel the future of our own politics. If we also want energy and enthusiasm to be instilled in our governance, idealism and insightful vision that can make us narrow the gap between man and man and take us ever-forward, then we have to be equally enthusiastic and energetic in our demands. We have to stand together, unite our thoughts and actions, choose a leader who promises hope and all such things which make us weep in joy and laugh with abandon.
Can we also bring about the change?

In the words of Barack Obama “Yes, we can!”