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Barack Obama: A beacon of hope

By Himanshu Shekhar | Last Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 21:06
Himanshu Shekhar
The Compulsive Pilgrim

<i>Yet tonight, under the cold beauty of the Moon and Venus, something like hope begins, as if times can turn, the world change course, as if truth can speak, good men come to power , and words have meaning again. </i>

(Gillian Clarke’s verse marking Barack Obama's inauguration as US President.)

Come January 20 of 2009, and America’s anxious wait and that of millions of others across the globe will end, as they see that man assume world’s most powerful office, who promises to usher in the much needed Hope & Change in this hour of gloom.

The world today is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. It’s not the fear of Third World War, Cold War or a nuclear specter, but something more serious. Something which would decide what future we ensure for our children.

We all can hope today that the era of economic mistrust, misplaced hatred and aprehensions become a thing of past. As the world showers praises on his victory, it would indeed be a challenge for the man himself to rise to the occasion and lead the world into a new era. An era when wars are not fought on the flimsiest of grounds. An era when opponents are not just subjected to ridicule, but are respected for their opinion.

Our optimism is not misplaced, but it is born out of the circumstances which have engulfed not just America but almost the entire globe. Economy today is in a doom laden state and the man who has pledged to restore it has already made the right noises. Before he could even join office, Obama awaits his first ever victory with a USD 350 billion bail out package.

Its not just economy which is awaiting an Obama change; ask the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay how eagerly they were waiting for him to take his seat in the Oval office. Even if the President delays signing the papers to shut down the prison, the inmates can breathe a sigh of relief that no one would be treated in the manner again which would put the entire humanity to shame.

It’s not just Guantanamo, but a range of issues which would require his immediate attention. Be it economy, education, energy, ethics, racial discrimnation, health care, home security, security of seniors citizens, security in university campuses, equal pay for women, poverty, technology, urban policy, Afghanistan or Pakistan or for that matter the Iraq and the Middle East. The list can be long, but the solution seems to be just one – Barack Hussein Obama.

America on November 4 voted for change and since then the President has moved with astonishing and tantalizing pace to work towards put the new Washington administration in place. He has moved beyond rhetoric and has ensured that he adresses concerns, seizes every opportunity, defeating opponents on way and winning hearts, which rarely an American President did before.

John F Kennedy did promise that hope, but, fate had decided otherwise.

The world would now rate Obama’s every action, measure his every move. The pertinent question is will he really achieve all that he promises. To do all that Obama has promised, will require a change in people’s thinking. It would require a lot of heart to convince the family members of those who lost their lives on 9/11, that the Guantanamo Bay will be shut down- for good.

It is the trust in the man’s abilities which makes millions across the globe think that he is their, as some one called it, Mr Fix.

By picking Hillary Clinton in his high profile team he has ensured that when it comes to progress and development, there will be nothing stopping him. He believes that, “people generally want to do the right thing,” and differences in the past are not the sign of any malice.

Like anyone else, he is bound to make mistakes, but greatness will be in accepting them and ensuring that their recurrence is minimised.

TIME magazine, after declaring him as the Man of the Year 2008, wrote, “Washington’s three goblins- waste, fraud and abuse - are watching him with hungry eyes,” which is undoubtedly true. In early 90’s Mikhail Gorbachev tried ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’ but failed.

America and the world this time would sincerely hope that Obama proves to be their saviour and leads their future generation in an era where kids can be proud of being born in Obama’s America.


First Published: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 21:06

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