Obama appears a hit in India
Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) US President George W. Bush may have gifted
the path-breaking nuclear deal to India, but his successor
aspirant John McCain is no favourite here. Indians appear
to be rooting for Democratic hopeful Barack Obama and see
him as a harbinger of change.
he wins, he will be the first black American in the White
House. Black people will feel empowered not just in the US
but the world over," said Rahul Ram, the Cornell-educated
lead singer of the Indian Ocean rock band that toured America
he loses, I will be shocked," said Ram about the Nov
4 US presidential poll.
US elections with the charismatic figure of Obama at its centre
have fired the imagination of people in India where every
other middle class family has a relative living or studying
in America. The US is home to a 2.7 million-strong Indian
diaspora and 80,000 Indian students.
US presidential debates have scored high on TV ratings, especially
after the signing of the nuclear deal that promises to bring
India closer to the US politically and strategically.
unilateralism of Bush has destroyed the credibility and image
of America. The Bush gang, through its flawed policies, has
only ended up encouraging Al Qaeda and terrorism," said
echoed the feeling of a large section of Indians who despise
Bush for the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rehman, a US-educated graphic artist and photographer, sees
Obama as a harbinger of hope and change. "He is the only
hope of any shift in that country not only in foreign policy
but also in terms of international economic restructuring
in the wake of the global financial crisis," said Rehman.
Obama has a more nuanced and sophisticated world view, Rehman
said. His background is an asset: born to a Kenyan father
and a white mother from Kansas, lived in Jakarta as a child
before moving back to the US - all this makes Obama more aware
of what's happening in the outside world, said Rehman.
is also a big hit at university campuses in India.
are struck by the Obama charisma. He has the appeal of a Hollywood
star among students: young people find it easy to identify
with him," says Moinuddin Ahamed, an MPhil student at
Jamia Millia Islamia university here.
Mansingh, India's former ambassador to the US whose stint
saw the beginning of the turnaround in India-US ties during
the Bill Clinton presidency in 2000, feels Obama's world view
revolving around a pluralistic multi-polar world "is
more suited to India".
a recent interview to IANS, Obama underlined that building
a close strategic partnership with India would be "a
top priority" under his presidency.
believes in what is called smart power, a blend of soft power
and hard power. It's not that Obama will not use the military
option, but he will be less inclined to do so," Mansingh
Bush, McCain tends to see the world as divided into good guys
and bad guys. The bad guys include Russia and Iran, with which
India has and would like to have good relations, Mansingh
has rightly sensed that Iraq was a diversion of the war on
terror from sanctuaries in Pakistan and Afghanistan and that's
very important for India, the former envoy stressed.
that the Obama presidency will be smooth sailing for India
all the way.
bas strong views on non-proliferation and has made it clear
that the ratification of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty) will be his top priority when he becomes president.
India will be under enormous pressure to sign the CTBT,"
pointed out Mansingh.
that's not all bad news. If China and others agree and the
CTBT become universal, it will not be in India's interest
to resist it," he added.