US Presidential Election: Something to learn?


[pullquote_right]”It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight – you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”[/pullquote_right]

It was the morning of November 7, which was perhaps the most awaited day of the year, as a daily routine I went through the headline of the major newspapers, most of them read “4 more years for Obama, celebration begins” but I can’t go beyond that as I had to prepare for the sessional. The only thing I did was I made a Facebook post.

Barak Obama with ManMohan Singh
India is a big part of my plans,” US President Barack Obama said to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh .

After coming back to room I rushed to my laptop, read the entire story, and then went to CNN website to watch the victory speech of Obama and Romney’s concession speech. Obama’s speech was so powerful that it made the people cry. The first picture came to my mind was that of our Prime Minister, I recalled the time when he had delivered a public speech but unfortunately my memory had no such stored in it but I managed to content myself by listening to those of Gandhi and Vajpayee. Their speeches were content based and tears too rolled down my eyes after hearing to these Indian heroes.

But one more question that was envying me why the world is giving unprecedented attention to their internal elections but I think I should admit the true fact that they are a superpower and they deserve that ‘undue’ attention.

Four more years’ for Barack Hussain Obama is what the people of the United States of America voted for. So Obama will continue to be the world’s most powerful person for yet another four years. Unlike 2008 elections, where people preferred a black president for the first time in 235 years of their independence, this victory has a different story to say. This time they chose a president who stood firm in the times of economic crisis, stood determined against terror.

Pages of history say both India and the US share a common past; they both were colonies of the United Kingdom, post-independence both have chosen a democratic path, more or less inspired by their colonial emperor.  They are oldest democracy and we are the largest. But what has created such a big difference? Today they are a global power and we are still struggling to prove ourselves as a regional power. The answer certainly lies in the way the politics of these two nations differ.

Racial discrimination was an election issue in last elections in the US but the president re-elect didn’t utter any word about race this time, probably he knows it’s time to move on. Since the last 60 years we are fighting elections on the primary issues like electricity, water. Politics has surely become a disinterested subject in our country and the credit goes solely to the default tag of corruption associated with it.  Never forget the US too had such issues once but they resolved and moved on. Like the Watergate scam in the US that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, then President of the United States (the first and only resignation of a U.S. President). In India there is a belief, you can’t be a politician unless you are a muscle man or a business person, much to an extent, it is right. Thing is entirely different in the US, there you can’t be in business once you are elected as a senate.

Their campaigns were not limited to streets, newspapers and television; they also occupied the world of cyber. There the presidential candidates take part in TV debate; top leaders in India not even do a press conference, their messages are conveyed through party’s spokespersons. No doubt the trend is changing in India, few like Modi, Shashi Tharoor, Shusma Swaraj etc. are active on social networks and even are seen in Google hangouts but the number is yet very small. This will not earn them any vote but can make appeals and interact with the youths of the country. (Average age in India is 25 years and a large proportion of these are active cyberspace users). We are a conservative society. Obama is the first president to endorse same-sex union; can any of leaders volunteer to speak a word on section 377 of IPC?

The question that arises here is; should we blindly follow the story and theory of the US? Why should we after all we are an independent matured nation. Never forget that what we were watching here on TV were footage of media giants like CNN, ABC; they go through several stages of filtration and editing. They may say they are ‘United’ States of America but a basic analysis of the election results say 87% of the blacks in America voted for Obama. Don’t you think is more a ‘Divided’ America!! The role of media and corporate can’t be denied in the making of an American president.

We are a diverse country two-party can’t represent the entire country and we stand today in the world of coalition, though it has some disadvantage with it but we have redefined the word democracy. Most of the urban middle class consider voting day a holiday and most votes come from rural and illiterate. Voting can’t be the best solution but it can be a beginning. At least we can choose the least bad guy as our representative. I sum up leaving these unanswered questions for you; have we lived up to the expectations of our founders? Are we doing justice to our potential? Don’t we deserve to be a global economic and political power?

About the Author: Aditya A Choudhary is a second year CSE student at
Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal and a nation’s enthusiast.

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