Media in India is abuzz with US elections news. Countries all over the world are inexorably linked and wired together. And, US being the power house that it is, the direction the country takes under a new President will have an enormous bearing on people in all corners of the vastly shrunk globe.
There are genuine concerns that Obama, if elected President will clamp down on jobs leaving the shores of his country directly impacting the strong software and BPO industries in India. His public stance regarding H1 Visas is also hawkish.
The argument offered by Obama supporters is that he has to allay the fears of middle America about their jobs going elsewhere. They opine, once the elections are over he will be forced by economic ground realities to switch gears and renege on his commitment.
We may be in for a surprise. There is a ring of sincerity about Obama and there is every possibility that he means what he says – to deny tax breaks to companies outsourcing jobs outside. If he does renege on his commitment, it will erode his moral authority significantly and he will no longer be the messiah of change and hope. It will be a betrayal of sorts if he turns out to be just like any other politician relying on rhetoric and empty words to win votes. Amid the gloom of depressing economic melt down, the last thing he would want to hear from Americans who voted him in is, “Et-tu, Obama?”
In spite of Obama’s stance against outsourcing jobs, why would it still make sense for Indians to plump for Obama? Because, a strong America which can reclaim the respect of the world is in the interest of India.
Obama has vision of a strong America and he has been very successful in articulating that vision. It is a vision that unites people grounded on the belief that color or creed is immaterial in a land where the core of its belief is that “all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
To a great extent, the idealism inherent in these words have served as the beacon steering America to a position of leadership based on enduring values and principles. Millions of people in America and other parts of the world desperately want Obama to win because they believe that the nation will again rock and bloom under an idealist, inspirational President who cherishes the ideals and values of the Founding Fathers.
Bush, McCain and the economic pundits who cry hoarse about capitalism, lower taxes, and free, unregulated markets and big-is-beautiful-attitude, have lot of eggs on their faces and all they have to show for their beliefs and actions is the mayhem in the market places everywhere. There are a lot of things right with capitalism and there is indeed a necessity to do away with too much of controls.
At the same time, there is also a need to listen to the cry of the down trodden and understand that small also could be beautiful. The way forward could be following the Middle Path as Buddha preached, without going far too right or far too left. Obama, more than McCain is more qualified to create a new world order paying attention to changing ground realities.
A McCain Presidency is likely to continue the same policy of a belligerent America hurtling down on “nations belonging to the evil axis” by brute force. As Bush has shown, such attitudes and actions can have very disastrous consequences, not just for America, but for the rest of the world as well.
McCain has demonstrated during the three debates and his election campaign that he can be nasty and intemperate at times. It is a fact of life that a leader leaves the residue of his emotions on the policies of government and the style of governance. And the older one gets, the stronger is the belief that he is the repository of all experience and knowledge.
So, where does that leave India? Apart from his professed intention to discourage outsourcing jobs, Obama seems to have a liking for India. Besides, Biden the Vice Presidential candidate is strongly and openly pro-India. Above all, India is on the ascent.
If we are able to sell Brand India – a land akin to America in several ways, with strong democratic traditions, different cultures living in harmony, depth of knowledge and expertise in almost every field, a huge consumer base and the ability to communicate easily with the West – then we will be talking to America as equals and not as supplicants. That will be the day and times when the idealism of America and India will meet and create a better world order.
America and the rest of the world expect the world from Obama because he has promised the world. Anything less from him will be a huge disappointment.
He better deliver!
- A Tale of Two Democracies
- America Elects A Black Man For The White House, Creates History
- US Elections- An Indian Perspective
- Of Narayana Murthy, Obama and Capitalism
- L K Advani’s “Change” in India’s next General Election