An old thought. When Obama became President of America, I was astounded by calls of a similar Obama for India, some even referring to Mayawati being that Obama. Yikes! Get real! Which world are you living in? India has done this, done that, long before America despite the fact that it’s more than 150 years older than us as an Independent nation and much more mature. We don’t need an Obama (in terms of the minority issue) though we may need one in on the issues front.
First things first. Why a Dalit PM? Why not a Muslim PM? A Christian PM? A Sikh PM? Or a PM from the North-East? Well the answer is that all of them should happen in time, but then it takes time. As long as people from minority groups—any minority group—keep making it big in public life, it’s enough. That’s why 2002 was a watershed year. We had a Muslim President, a Hindu Prime Minister and a Christian head of the Congress party. Then in 2004, we had a Sikh PM. So we are definitely on the right track.
Difference in perception in Obama’s and Rajiv’s parentage
Another quick question. Is Obama African American or is he White? If most point to the former, then what about his mother, who’s a white? Why this discrimination? Aren’t parents equal, which would make it 50:50. And what if you applied the same yardstick to Rajiv Gandhi? Wouldn’t that make him a Parsi, as his father was a Parsi? Then we had a minority PM in 1984 itself! The truth is that Obama looks like an African American and Rajiv is known as Indira’s son, so that has led to this perception. That’s the point I am making: It is nothing but a perception. In this world, I represent my mother as much as my father and I think the same applies to both Obama and Rajiv, no matter what the world thinks.
Equality in All walks of life
If you look at India then atleast someone from the minority community has been President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Bollywood superstar, cricket team captain, Army chief… We even had a woman head of state just 20 years after our Independence while America, after centuries, is still waiting to do so.
Another tidbit. When America completed 200 years, the President and his team and all the Governors were white males. Think over it. White males took up 100% of the top posts. And look at India just 60 years after Independence. Apart from the above mentioned examples, even the most populous state in India, Uttar Pradesh, is ruled by a Dalit woman. What more can one ask for?
Rahul Gandhi and the Future
The best bet for the future is Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. If you look at his lineage, then at least one of his great grandfathers is a Hindu, a Christian and a Parsi. He is the perfect melting pot.
But what would you call him once he became PM, as his most common association is with his mother Sonia, who happens to be a Christian?
© Sunil Rajguru