The Man of the Moment: Barack Obama

The man of the moment could well be the man of the decade. The man of the America could well be the man of the world. Sorry Kenya, you can rejoice and claim him but no longer does he belong to you because you are just a date and a place in his past. He had in him to transcend the barriers and he did. While showering the utterly deserved encomiums on Barack Obama if I am taking risk then this risk is worth taking. Is he black? Yes. Is he Afro-American? Yes. Is he young but conventionally inexperienced on global stage? Yes. And most importantly, is he perfect?

Understandably Mr. Obama thinks of himself as far from perfect.

The very nature of the question eliminates the possibility of a profound yes but surprisingly and fortunately if the answer is not an absolute 'yes' then answer is not 'no' even. Does answer of this hypothetical question hangs in balance and waiting for Mr. Obama to grab it. I would say yes, he may have done drugs once but there is no denying that Mr. Obama will grab and then present the answer soon not only before those who voted him to the oval office but also to the world. The world which should not let it trap in the web that America and its President holds the antidote to every evil but at the same time should resist the egotism to believe in the hard fact that America is essential to its sake. World need not believe in American hegemony but letting the thought of arrogant insularity creep in would only be foolhardy and hazardous. Only recently the world couldn't preclude itself from what happened at Wall Street.

The image of America that came crushing down in Bush era to such a low that its every rhetoric about its being the oldest democracy rang hollow across the world is waiting to be restored. American hegemony which may be truth but gratuitous assumes an abhorrent shape when being told and shown as President Bush did. The tumultuous Bush era which saw America grappling with the terrorism in its most menacing form lost touch with the reality when the war on the terror insidiously turned into a hegemonic manifestation making the world apprehensive of the idea of America. Most Americans began to feel the heat and economic meltdown in the late stages proved to be a coup de grace. And in this imbroglio emerged a man with bright intelligence, cool demeanor, radiant visage and an enchanting personality voicing a slogan for 'Change'. He hollered, 'yes, we can' and America responded. The voice from deep down the heart of man with a middle class upbringing resonated and echoed in every nook and corner of the America and let me say, as the voice grew stronger, transcended the man made borders.

Bush era draws to a close and America breaths a sigh of relief to have a young and mega charismatic Barack Obama as their President-elect tipped to take over. The wave of change that this young charismatic leader commenced showed its first illustration when American people spoke and to quote John McCain, the rival Presidential nominee, spoke clearly. They spoke that Barack's being black doesn't matter to them. Barack's being son of a Kenyan Black doesn't matter to them. What matters most to them is an inconceivable need for a change. 

We saw Barack Obama conducting one of the most organized and clean election campaign ever in American history and if that is the trailer than we need not be skeptical about the picture. It's been 21 months since he had been, along with John McCain, on tenterhooks. Did we every get to see him loosing his cool, getting irritated and fumbling while regaling us with his inimitable oratorical skills? Answer is an emphatic no. Even on those occasions when the audience ran to 200,000, as in Berlin, the stoic silence and rapt attention in which he was heard gives credence to his being the leader with extraordinary charisma. Though more experienced, more mature and war hero John McCain did seem irritated and peevish at times. 

When Barack Obama announces to the world that he is an answer to those who question and doubt the extent of possibilities in America he is not just trying to offer his gratitude to a nation which helped him catapult to a status which transcend even his official status but also beseeching the world to leave behind the luggage of past and usher in with him into the new era: the era of change, the era of setting feet together across a new threshold and the era of not letting past sour the future of generations to come. He is offering us the example embodied in his own being to be learned and walk up to.

As Barak Obama puts it, 'if you are walking along the right path and you are willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress.' This is what this young man had been doing all along is life. In 1990 when at the age of 29 he became the first black President of the Harvard Law Review he had exhibited only the signs of what was in the store. Despite being a black and from minority he never hid behind the excuses of being discriminated against and kept treading the path he had chosen for himself. In 2000 when he couldn't get the flour pass to witness the Democratic convention he heard the speeches on a big screen in the parking lot and just four years after in 2004 announced himself to the America with a bang by making a soul stirring keynote speech in the convention. 

A President-elect of USA being greeted by not only the heads of states but even by the ordinary citizens across the world, an incomprehensible euphoria around the Presidency of Unites States of America and a world wide television audience glued to the tubes to listen Barck Obama. All these factors may have something to do with his being the first black President-elect but bestowing too much emphasis upon the colour of his skin would tantamount to inflicting an insult on his intellect and leadership. Yes, there was something unusual about this American presidency election but this unusualness also flows from the way Mr. Obama has inspired the new generations of America to the politics of their nation and the cause of unity. So it is not only the colour but the hysteria that Mr. Obama managed to create solely on the basis of his intelligent marching along the way that has rightly proved to be historic. I have heard that last time America got so elated and excited at the result of the Presidential election was way back in 1961 when John F. Kennedy took over but this time as we are witnessing, the 'call of change' seems to have transcended the national borders. Sometimes it appears that in today's times the word 'transcend' belongs only to Barack Obama.

When Barack Obama will take over as 44th president of America he will have his task cut out. 'Yes we can' was the slogan with which he had kickstared his campaign but now the campaign time is over and begins the real business. A monumental burden of expectations awaits him. The tremendous air of change that he himself has brought is waiting to be blown and pushed in the right direction. The inspiration that he percolated down single handedly now hollers to be realized. The weight of legacy of Bush will not be easy to handle but great men are destined to come over only when they are most needed. Abraham Lincoln came when America was being torn by civil strife, Franklin Roosevelt took over when The Great Depression had its way, Kennedy rose to the highest office when civil rights movement was at its pinnacle and now Barack Obama will adorn the White Office when America, along with the world, is bearing the burnt of a massive financial crunch. But as we saw him handling the campaign for 21 months (campaigns may not be true indicators of governance but can't be ignored) with flawless tact and dexterity there is no reason to doubt that he is not the answer to the questions that awaits his magic touch.    


More by :  Pramod Khilery

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