Why can’t our ‘leaders’ speak like Obama?

VIKRAM MUTHANNA writes: Barack is back, and what a victory speech he gave us!

I say ‘us’ because the speech had something for all of us, in India too.

Like many of us Indians, as I watched Barack Obama’s victory speech on Thursday morning, I was left feeling envious — envious of Americans for having elected for themselves such an inspiring leader as their President.

I was left asking, “Why can’t I have a Prime Minister like him? A Prime Minister who inspires me, makes me feel like I matter, arouses a renewed sense of patriotism even in this severely fractured democracy that is India?”

Just a few days before Obama’s victory speech, our Prime Minister and our future prime ministerial candidate also spoke at a Congress mega rally. What a disappointment it was. No one on the dais could connect with the people they were addressing.

Rahul Gandhi’s ‘screech’ was full of sound and fury, at one point it seemed like he might collapse under his own vocal ferocity. But in spite of all the sound, in the end he shed very little light on any issue.

Instead, he showed us how dim he sometimes can be when he compared support for Kargil war to FDI! Neither did he inspire nor did he inform.

The only good thing about his speech was its timing. It was short.

Then our Prime Minister spoke. The content was repetitive, and like all his speeches, uninspiring. At best it could have inspired a few ventriloquists. Probably Robocop would have done a better job of connecting emotionally to us than our PM.

It is unfortunate. What use is intellect, if it can neither save us nor give us hope or produce words that will inspire us?

More importantly, what most of us would have noticed during the American presidential elections is the role of the family. We Indians never tire of saying that Americans are very detached from their families and add how we are such a family-oriented culture.

But every US President is judged by his family life. Every US President brings up his family in his speech, and never fails to mention the family values they imbibed in their formative years.

On the victory night, Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden both had their families on stage.

In fact, Obama said:

“and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more.”

Then he acknowledged his children saying:

“You’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I am so proud of you.”

In fact, not only did Obama thank his family, he also thanked and praised his opponent Mitt Romney’s family when he said:

“The Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honour and applaud tonight.”

Now we have to ask, for a people who claim to be so much more ‘family-oriented,’ how many of our leaders have ever brought their family to the public fore to feel one with the people?

How many of our leaders have thanked their wives for their success (may be they don’t want to create ripples by picking one over the other)?

How many politicians have thanked their children for tolerating their absence?


Even if they do, it is a display to garner sympathy and not family values.

Every Indian politician’s family life is shrouded in secrecy and when their children join them in politics, it is for personal gain, or when they have learnt the dirty tricks of the trade. Or even worse their names surface only when their illegal property is unearthed or a back door deal is exposed.

So political families get involved to stay in power and loot together. It makes us wonder, is there any true patriot among Indian politicians? It seems more likely that they love this country like one would love their goose that lays golden eggs, that’s all.

While we were in envy, Obama’s speech also made us feel miserable, because he made us think about our own nation when he said:

“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world.”

We were left thinking, what do our leaders want to leave behind for our children? A chaotic mess, that churns out black money and mediocrity, over which their equally greedy children can rule?

American Presidents care about legacy. But our leaders care only about power. And the only legacy they worry about is passing on their constituency and seat to their children. So they are either in power or forever in pursuit of it.

No wonder that yesterday Vijay Kumar Malhotra at age 80 won his 40th term as President of the Archery Association of India. It’s astounding that in 40 years, the members could not find anyone better than him.

When this is the case, it’s power that drives our leaders, not the vision of a better India or patriotism. That is why our election is based on promise of freebies, caste and money.

Not on agendas such as social justice, equality and prosperity.

Obama made us cheer for an otherwise arrogant America, when he said:

“We believe we can keep the promise of our founding fathers, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”

Can any of our leaders say that?

Have we ever heard our leaders say “no matter whatever you are, North Indian or South Indian, no matter if you are rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim, abled or disabled, if you are willing to work hard and be sincere, you can make it in India?”

No. Instead, our leaders have created an environment where you have to be born rich or be crooked to make it in India. We have to be a certain vote bank to avail basic facilities and must be able to mobilise a mob to get justice.

Obama probably is the best thing that happened in recent times to the very idea of democracy. Because when we heard Obama’s speech, we felt inspired to be part of a democracy.

We felt we needed to be part of nation-building.

We felt we mattered.

We felt we had to vote.

We felt we had to be responsible citizens.

In contrast, our leaders have left us feeling deceived and helpless, so helpless in fact that we want to flee this nation the first chance we get. The only ones who are staying back are those who cannot leave due to financial or family constraints; in some cases, the inability to adjust to a new culture.

That is why so many of our young, unappreciated minds go there. They almost always do better than they would have here in their own country. They go there and become whatever they want. Some may disagree, especially our neo-rich, real-estate barons and corporate honchos who say that India is shining and no one wants to leave.

Well, then how come there is still a line outside the US Consulate offices all over India even today and there is no line in sight anywhere near an Indian Consulate in any part of the world?

That’s because India does not harbour an environment to facilitate the development of a decent and dignified citizen.

Instead we are engulfed in the smog of corruption, crony-capitalism, casteism and a lethargic justice system that has only helped the development of a crooked, greedy and self-centered citizenry.

When Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister with Rahul Gandhi waiting in toe, we assumed there was hope. Instead, in these ‘hopeful’ hands, our nation has become hopeless.

And so today while we watch in envy the American President’s inspirational and touching address to his nation, we are left orphaned with no leaders to inspire us or lead us. The only thing holding us together is our collective sense of greed and insecurity.

We have no hope.

We have only God.

But he too seems to have given up.

(Vikram Muthanna is managing editor of Star of Mysore, where this piece originally appeared)

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44 Responses to “Why can’t our ‘leaders’ speak like Obama?”

  1. Ramanath Maiya Says:

    Very True!!

  2. SB Says:

    I am betting that there will be one comment to this blog saying that Muthanna is really not patriotic and should emigrate to the US, then another comment that reasons how people like Muthanna simply talk, yet take no action to ‘rectify’ the situation. Let’s not forget the rambling 400 word rant from the self-anointed culture cop who will talk about how we excel in the world. Next up, obligatory chest thump about IT/software industry achievements.

    The author was expressing his heartfelt opinion, and so will the readers. It is nice to see that freedom of speech still works; Muthanna’s and others’. I love my country.

  3. 4thaugust1932 Says:

    Fast-unto-death/roaming half-naked in streets is a cheap tool/trick used by Gandhi to insult (not defeat) British.
    “If you can’t defeat them, insult (Fasting/roaming half-naked) them” – Gandhi

  4. Sapna Says:

    A very well-written piece!

  5. Deepak Says:

    Obama is a glib, smooth talker. One must remember that almost 49% of voters rejected him. So it is not that he was a super leader who won a landslide win. All American Presidents spend money and time in personality development and are all excellent orators.

    IMO the author has got carried away with oratory. Obama’s performance as President was nothing to write home about. He won because the Republican campaign failed to attract voters. Remember our own Outlook had a cover story on him being an underachiever.

    And if the author had such high hopes on MMS and Yuvraj, then it reflects poorly on his political judgement.

    India doesn’t need a talker like Obama, it needs a performer like Lee Yuan Kew who made Singapore an Asian Tiger. We should stop gawking at the West and look closer for role models.

  6. the colonel Says:

    will someone write about the travails of usa 60 years into their independence.

  7. vaidya Says:

    Its like evolution. Watch NGC. The main traits of any species are those that help it survive and adapt. For us, the PM is one who gets ‘chosen’ from the party that wins. He doesn’t even have to impress voters. Voters go by their MPs, who need to cater to the LCD. Based on caste, vote-bank etc. Giving rousing speeches doesn’t help at all. At the most you can impress the news-channel watching middle class, but they know that it’s of no use and they’d never vote.

    But the last orator we had was ABV and his speech when he couldn’t get the vote of confidence after the 13 day rule is a classic. I still remember scenes of people standing by TV sets at shops as if watching a cricket match, and people crying when he rushed off to give his resignation to the Pres. The last few years has seen politics degenerate to abysmal levels. At least PVN and ABV used to greet each other like normal folk. Even that level of basic courtesy has gone. Where will you get speeches? In India democracy is now: of money, for money, by money.

  8. Ashok Kattimani Says:

    Muthanna Avre Namaskara,

    Being in NJ, USA and being part of this election system, I agree with every word you have mentioned and you have brought the exact contrast between US and Indian democracies.

    One of the most important point in American elecatios is the candiadtes’ debates. Romney did an exceediingly good job in the debate. Both the candidates had a detailed agenda, data, in depth analysis and their view points. The way each one treats the opponent is unbeleivable. Can we compare it in India where the politicians fights with slippers in the parliment !

    Please, keep writing Sir.

    With best regards
    Ashok Kattimani

  9. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Looking at yourself in the mirror should give you the answer.

    Compare yourself with an average American person. No comparison right? Then why do you expect your politician to be like an American politician?

  10. Rahul Says:

    Obama is nothing but a spineless fart. He only
    won because his opponent was seen as a venomous toad by 52% of the people who voted, not because he was greatly admired even by those who voted for him.

  11. Dhiren shah Says:

    It is not in the Indian DNA to do what you saw in the USA elections. Do not blame the politicians. They are a product of the society. Fix yourself as a society before you blame indian politicians. There is too much of religious nonsense and if you do not get it under control, only fictitious Rama and Krishna help you!

  12. Faldo Says:

    While one would agree that Obama’s speech was great, there is no need to run down Indians or unfairly contrast the two democracies. One should remember that India is still a very poor country and has far more disparity with a much larger population, yet is somehow functioning as a democracy, however flawed. It is wrong to expect first world standards with third world conditions.

  13. Barbara Ross Says:

    Please dont think that because President Obama can give a rousing speech, that he is a wonderful choice for President, because he IS NOT. However, your article did make me realize that I should be thankful for our democratic process. Although there have been a few claims of voter suppression, by and large our system is one in which all have a vote and generally an honest process. However, my heart is heavy because four more years with Obama means that his socialistic health care plan will be implemented. In addition, he will more than likely be nominating a supreme court justice for confirmation, which means there will be further genicide of millions of tiny babies. Small businesses will be overtaxed and our financial well-being will be compromised with further escalation of the national debt. I blame our citizenship, who either dont know what a shame this is, or dont care. In any case, I am hoping these four years go fast, and that 51% of the electorate realize what a mistake they have made.

  14. shiv Says:

    Churumuri, good observation,instigate the dimwits hogging your webpost to start questioning..How can Obama be so articulate?
    Obama comes from a system where debates/orations/speech writing/ delivery have been inculcated in children from very young age.Obama thinks acts feels in English, he is inspired by the english literature/shakespeare where as in our case we think in our mother tongue and speak in english.Our grip on both languages are weak,feeble and the words come out without any conviction.Our school system practices mugging,nothing else.Our best political speakers have all been in their mother tongue.Who can forget vajpayee when he was young and energetic.People used to go to parliament just to hear him speak.Unfortunately we are all bastardised in education speaking a language we don’t have real feel for.The generation till now and for some time in future will be like ships without a sail.Our mother tongues will have to be the route towards learning but then do we have enough quality linguists in each language to set standards?Future educationists in India will have to work out what is the best way forward. Lastly we don’t cherish our culture, our history.We either have disinterested or jingoistic kind both are useless to improve our society.

  15. chidu22 Says:

    Mr Obama’s speech did contain certain good points and was straight from the heart. I don’t blame the author for having swept away by the rousing speech. Also it’s worth remembering that part of the speech which the author conveniently forgot to add that America is a nation of what you can do rather than what nation can do.

  16. the colonel Says:

    Barbara Ross :

    you have spoken well like a white-anglo-saxon superlative white trash

  17. jayashree Says:

    We listened to Obama’s speech,, but would our PM and leaders?

  18. v. Sreedharan Says:

    Good article but we should not compare and project a hopeless / dismal picture of our great nation. Ours is a young evolving nation, we have talented people, we have reasonable resources, our democracy is in the process of self correction and it will not be long before the wheel turns and will see our country in all splendour and emerge as a great nation that it was in the ancient past, once again.

  19. Nastika Says:

    Lee Yuan Kew? A dictator vs PM? Turning around a vast, diverse & populous country like India is different from turning around a small city.
    On performance of Obama: Granted Obama is not superman, but his performance in last 4 years has been good. Is he an under-achiever? In What?? If you were taken by the Outlook article then you were taken on ride by the Congress mouthpiece.

    @Anonymous Guy,
    I have seen an average Indian & an average American, at different levels in the society. The main differences are,
    1) An average Indian is happy if he is made to feel that he is important (eg by making him jump queue etc).
    2) An average American markets him/her-self better.
    Other than these, I have found no other differences.
    You seem to suffer from inferiority complex that they are better than us.

    There are plenty of Indian who speak English better than Americans :) BTW, debate need not happen in English. In India, not many politicians can give great-good speeches in their mother-tongue.

    Spot-on. The American election process places emphasis on TV debates. Hence the candidates polish themselves on their looks & oratory skills. Same can happen in Karnataka too, if HDK (JDS) & BSY (KJP) agree for a debate on live TV, moderated by H.R. Ranganath.


  20. Vinay Says:

    Anonymous Guy:

    I look at the mirror and see nothing very different from the average American. I have no idea what you see when you look at yourself, but stop extrapolating your inferiority to the whole nation. Your needless white-ass worship in post after post is getting tiring.

  21. Rajarshi Roy Says:

    Like many other commentators, I think the author got carried away by Obama’s eloquence. He is essentially arguing a moot point, a non-issue. Nation building doesn’t happen through speeches. While we know that Obama’s win is not necessarily an endorsement of his policies given how deeply divided America is today, his achievements during past 4 yrs is at best questionable. (When I say divided I mean divided on some of the key issues ranging from economy to gay rights).

    The fact of the matter is inspiration is only one part but a lot of things need to be done (with dollops of good luck) to ensure that the inspiration doesn’t turn into a damp squib. Remember, Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech. It was inspirational enough to give goosebumps even today. That generation of Indian leaders were inspiring, eloquent, led by example, set standards of probity and honesty in public life, right? What happened? Within 2 decades, all the hope turned sour. All the inspiration from our greatest leaders couldn’t bring the hope to fruition.

    Middle class has always played a big role in transforming a country. That was also the case with the US where at least a generation or two of people (and here I mean the quintessential mango man) ignored or shelved their narrow self-interests to build a more just and equitable society (They may or may not have been consciously aware of this). In short, nation building requires sacrifices and hardships by atleast a generation and more often than not, it is the middle class which is at the forefront of nation building. Today’s Indian middle class (the kind of people who will nod their heads in agreement with every line of this article) is too happy with the sedatives of materialistic life, lapping up the story of “India Shining”, blaming politicos for all ills plaguing the country and “liking” Anna Hazare on Facebook.

    Now, why we are the way we are and Americans are the way they are? I am still figuring out reasons for this but I guess there is something fundamentally wrong with our race. No notions of superiority or inferiority here but probably thousands of years of subjugation has ensured that we are inherently indisciplined and unprincipled and risk averse and are incapable of thinking beyond our narrow self-interests. Plus that very important institution of family which breeds nepotism and sycophancy.

    Finally, the leaders in any country are just a reflection of the larger society. So, there is no point in blaming MMS or Rahul Gandhi when we ourselves are happy with crawling malls and think that farmers’ suicides will end as soon as Walmart sets up shop.

  22. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Vinay, Hard reality, not any complex. Look at India and look at US. You can delude yourself as much as you want to. What is it that India or Indians have done on their own which merits an equal footing with America and Americans, or the West in general? Same goes with you personally. Why don’t you shine a light on your mirror a bit. Tell us. You can start with your work and the IT industry, you seem to be an expert in that area. Or is it only hot air you are made of like some other deluded Indians braggarts?


    Let us start with the basics, instead of speaking about marketing.
    Average Indian: malnourished, illiterate, unhygienic, no civic sense. We can use numbers and data, but I dont think you want to go there. Or do you?

  23. Shridharaswamy Says:

    I have worked in US, and working part-time in an well known engineering college here in Bangalore.

    In the US it is usually meritocratic, but they want to bend rules they will. Till I was there, Money matters as far as funding etc was concerned would be considered was easy, things have changed.

    Because of their history, Western countries have had a lot of problems economically, socially, racially, and have brought about government policies to counter-act their ills. I would say it is Mostly “Merit based”.

    I read, and have observed, why Indians are preferred in US. I caught a phrase somewhere ” Indians are the good black people”. Present IT crowd may be changing that.

    At my present job in Bangalore, its purely ” Nepotism, Castesim, Regionalism, sub-castesim, Languagism” practiced out-right blatantly. Our Department is a micro-cosm of India. “Very Little Merit”. “politics, back-stabbing” etc.

    I dont think it will continue for very long, I think there are internal correction measures, which are intrinsic to everything Organic.

  24. Vinay Says:

    Anonymous Guy:

    The problem with you is, you are talking about “India” vs. the “US” as countries and extrapolating the results to every individual “Indian” and “American”.

    Modern “India” as a nation has not achieved even a fraction of what the West and far-Eastern nations have in the 20th century. That does not automatically mean every Indian is “inferior” to every Western or Japanese man. Only a person with a thorough inferiority complex will have an attitude such as yours.

    What do you want me to talk about? The IT industry in India, or my role in it? See, you make the same mistake again and again. Just because the IT industry in India by and large does “coolie work”, does not mean every Indian who works in IT is a “code coolie”. Anyway, since you have been asking me about my work for four years now: I work for a small consulting company, and I have a traveling job. When I am in Bangalore (around 30% of the time), I work from home. I work with one of our business/functional consultants, and the two of us perform implementations for various clients in the manufacturing/automotive/defense/aerospace industry. I have a massive degree of autonomy and flexibility in my job, though I work for a salary – for instance, I make my travel arrangements (airlines, hotels, etc.) on my own, with my personal credit cards, and get it reimbursed end of the month.

    During the course of my work, I have interacted with East Asians, Americans, Europeans, Arabs, even a handful of Pakis. I do not see myself as different from any of them. I have worked with a significant number of people (American and non-American) whose work ethic and work quality is much worse than mine.

    Looking at your posts, you’re probably a frustrated code coolie who was “given an onsite” for a few months and got enamored of the US. Ponder over the fact that Indians in the West are considered “model minorities”. They usually do much better than the average national of their host country. The system and environment is what makes the difference, not that Indians have a “predisposition for inferiority”, as you keep saying in all your posts.

  25. Nastika Says:

    @Anonymous Guy:
    1) Malnourished: A good indicator of undernourishment is body weight. How many Indians are under-weight, or their under-weight is matter of health concern?

    2) Illiterate: What education got to do with the difference? 50 years back a guy with diploma engineer could be the chief engineer in the R&D. Now, a PHD & years of experience is a must. Literacy helps in getting job.

    3) Unhygienic: An average Indian keeps his home as clean as it is possible. Nobody spits in their homes. It is the public place that is not clean. Blame the Govt, not the average Indian.

    4) No civic sense: You need infrastructure, rules & punishment to enforce civic sense. That is the job of the Govt. Hope you have seen any Indian airport. The civic sense is as good as any airport in the world. That is because a body enforces civic sense. Let the Govt provide infrastructure & define the rules. An average Indian, like an average American will comply.

    PS 1: You are mixing poor (people with some money) & rich (people with more money). What is the difference between rich & poor? Nothing except the money and the rich can eat more food & can pay for higher education.

    PS 2: Is there any other parameter between citizens of USA & India?


  26. shivanand utlasar Says:

    so tree my friend i wish for all that you said happy diwali — dr shiva

  27. SnowWolf Says:

    Of course his victory speech was impressive, but the way he has tagged and attacked Romney using Negative ads will make us ignore his Victory Speech and say that “He is doing it cover his track and prove that Americans are always united”.

    But in fact they are not. Wait for decision on FISCAL CLIFF.

  28. jayashree Says:

    Every Indian should listen to this!

  29. Vinay Says:

    Nastika is perfectly right about a body enforcing things. The economy is also a big factor – try to enforce “lane discipline” and such stuff with the traffic mix we have. It is easy to enforce lane discipline when 97% of the vehicles on the roads are cars. Try it on a road with 6 cars, 12 autos, 7 cyclists and 21 motorcycles/scooters!

    Basically, I have a problem with people claiming that people of “nationality X” or “race Y” are “inferior”, and destined to remain inferior, because there’s just “no comparison” between the average person from “X” and the average person from “Z”.

    Systems and processes matter, not the person. The individual does not matter.

    Look at East and West Germany. Same people, same destruction after WW2, same everything. Why such a vast difference? Look at North and South Korea. Same people, same destruction after WW2, same everything, why such a vast difference. Look at Taiwan and China (before economic reforms, and even now). Why the difference?

    Why does the same white collar professional in a Desi company in India perform pathetically, and does crap work, but starts doing well the moment he goes to the US and works there?

    Some months back, a Chinese troll on some forum was saying that Indian subcontinent can never develop because of the brown skinned crowd, just like Africa never can, because of the black skinned crowd. It is only whites and yellows who can develop. He conveniently forgot how pathetic China was before economic reforms, compared to their yellow cousins in Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

    Anonymous Guy is providing the same argument wording it slightly differently. One has to have a remarkable inferiority complex to think that way.

  30. Renu Says:

    Please wait another 04 years. After that you can make him Indian Prime Minister…!!

  31. Goldstar Says:

    Obama’s speech was really eloquent and inspiring. But then he is known for his arousing speeches. His earlier acceptance speech in 2008 and his speech in the 2004 Democratic convention were better, in my opinion.

    But that’s not what Indian leaders should be learning from the US politics. What’s to be admired and learned are:

    1. How after a bitter nomination fight, all the republicans rallied around Mitt Romney. How after another bitter wrangling, Hillary Clinton served under Obama and was a very successful and admired Secratary of State. How President Bill Clinton unstintingly supported Obama.

    2. How they conduct their primaries and how the leaders are chosen in an open and transparent way. Compare this with our politics where BJPs infighting and back-stabbing is out in the open. Or with the sycophantic Congress where anybody else apart from The Family members expressing some sort of ambition is considered seditious.

    3. How they conduct their Presidential debates and the preparation that goes into it. Of course, our apologists will say that India follows a parliamentary form of governance and the PM need not be a good debater and all that blah…. But the sheer amount of preparation and the depth to which the candidates go for that does make them more prepared for administration than our annointed PMs.

    4. How during the Sandy Hurricane crisis, both parties came together to work for the affected and how Gov Christie was not averse to praising the President for his contribution. Just contrast this with our politics where any even indirect praise for NaMo/Gujarat by a Congressman is considered a sacrilege. Gujarat itself is treated as “untouchable”. Ratan Tata who has invested in Gujarat or Amitabh Bachchan who promotes Gujarat Tourism are pilloried by a section of the “secular” press.

    5. How both the parties are successful in creating younger leaders ( Barack Obama, Paul Ryan etc) and that too from non-political families.

    6. How the US is able to ensure efficient registrations and heavy turnouts. Contrast: Bangalore’s recent electoral count has REDUCED by 10 Lakhs from the previous count. Yes, you read it right, and you thought Bangalore’s population is increasing.


    You can almost read the headlines after the next elections:
    “Urban middle class not bothered to vote”

  32. the colonel Says:

    “At my present job in Bangalore, its purely Nepotism, Castesim, Regionalism, sub-castesim, Languagism” practiced out-right blatantly. Our Department is a micro-cosm of India. Very Little Merit. politics, back-stabbing etc. ”

    Thank you, Shridharaswamy

    Thank You

  33. Dayanand Says:

    I fully agree with you.It was an inspiring speech.That is what leaders should be made of.I dont see any on the Indian horizon…..Dayanand

  34. Barbara Ross Says:

    By calling me white trash, are you insinuating that my comments were racially motivated? That is not the truth, and I am not superlative nor am I white trash. I deeply care for my country, and am convinced that President Obama is taking us down the wrong path. However, I also know that God is ultimately in control, and that He has allowed President Obama to be re-elected as part of His ultimate plan. Some of you who have commented seem to be impressed by our system, the transparency, the way we rally around one another. Sorry to say, but the politics here somewhat sicken the general public. What these comments have made me realize is that our system, with all of its problems, is not nearly as corrupt as in other countries, and that we as Americans should be thankful for that.

  35. Sanjeeva Says:

    It is childish, illogical and ridiculous to compare US and India. Why should we draw parallels between two entirely different systems?!

  36. Ravi Katari Says:

    I thought the Colonel made a very valid point when he asked how the USA was 60 years into their nation, and I amsure we are doing quite well after centuries of occupation, colonialism, suppression. The fact that we can have thisdialogue and that such large numbers of us are doing so, really is good news. Sadly, the colonel then made a very unnecessary ‘white trash’ comment about someone who was merely expressing a point of view.
    I would like to toss in a couple of thoughts – when fellow countrymen from the NE were being terrorised there wasn’t a single leader in any of the affected states who had the guts or stature to step out and face the mobs. We humiliated fellow citizens. The other fellowcitizen whom we routinely shun and ignore is the ubiquitous beggar who comes to our cars at traffic lights. Fact is that they are Indians too.
    THE USA Was run by robber barons for over 150 years before they found a form of equilibrium, and it took more time to enfranchise women, giveBlacks their rights etc, so as someone else said in these responses it is still early days for the Indian Nation and all of us need to give ourselves a chance by getting more engaged.
    Ravi Katari

  37. sunil Says:

    Good talker….but not a performer. 4 years back(2008) he said he will CHANGE the countrly….4 years later (2012)he is telling best is yet to come. After 4 years(2016) he will say TATA BYE BYE….

  38. the colonel Says:


  39. Deshmukh Says:

    American politicians have the gift of gab. Indian politicians have the gift of grab.

  40. Shantharam Says:

    I always refrain from comparing USA and India, Manmohan singh policies as finance minster under Rajive Gandhi brought India out of poverty and set a path for its current sucesses, most of his policies are barrowed from west particulary USA, However Obama is trying to undermine the core values of capatilism and trying to inolve government in every aspect of life which is tried and failed in India.

    You need a president who can walk the talk, if India needs charasmatic leader with good voice I have few names Amitab Bacchan, Rajani Kanth, Nana Patekar,

  41. Nastika Says:

    it seems you are out of touch with reality for past 15 years.

    Let me give you a quicky:
    1) Instead of Rajive Gandhi, you must be mesmerized by P V Narasimha Rao. (unless if you are one of those congy who want to ‘erase’ PVN’s name).

    2) India isn’t yet out of poverty.

    3) Obama is involving in private enterprise because it has failed. Hence is the Govt is bailing them out. The hope is private enterprise will return the loans when they are up on their feet.

    4) Amitab Bacchan, Rajani Kanth, Nana Patekar are not leaders. They just say what director wants in good voice.


  42. Barbara Ross Says:

    Very astute observation.

  43. Kesi Says:

    @Barbara Ross You are given a taste of what Indians are by @Colonel: very rude, jealous, and downright racists-yes racism can be coming from a brown person. India has a long way to go before it joins the civilised nations.

  44. Abhishek Says:

    I agree with every single word you wrote…and I feel the pain….I cant even imagine how disastrous would it be to have a premier such as the Baba of congress…who cant even speak his mind, who was thrown out college and declared unfit for higher education…but in the end what can we do about this, how can all this end…at the end I just feel defeated.

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