Everyone watched the Barack Obama inauguration.
I have begun to appreciate our netas a lot more. In India, the oath of office is not administered with hand on any holy book; the spouse does not stand there like an attendant; no one sings praises before the formal oath.
The Rs. 750 crore that was spent may not matter too much to America, and it is none of our business, but if Indian politicians have such expensive gigs, we do make a noise. When our leaders get donations from industrialists, we do not hesitate to tarnish their image.
What Obama said was a lot of feel-good stuff. When he spoke about how the United States would not be silent in the face of terror, I thought of Rajiv Gandhi and his “Nani yaad dila denge” speech. “Hope over fear” was such a silly phrase. But, then, Obama is dealing with xenophobia – so he went into every little ‘legacy’. He even acknowledged “non-believers”. This made no sense because being Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew you can still be a non-believer. Wonder what Tom Cruise felt since Scientology was omitted.
And that execrable poem in praise is now being published. For $8 and with a print run of 100,000, Americans can curl up and tossing marshmallows in the fireplace and think about how history was made, even as they must forget that long years ago a Black slave girl was exploited by a former President. That too is history.
God bless America…and Iraq and Afghanistan and whichever country it eyes next…