Cliched, I know! I couldnt resist a post on this one…
Obama! Obama! I was getting a little tired of seeing Obama 08 t-shirts around and am glad it all got over finally. I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to the USA and hence, don’t want to make too much of the excitement. All my American friends have been terribly excited, some have been even organizing fund raising events. But what is curious is the level of excitement I see among people here (Mick etc) – and I really wonder why they think it matters so much. A Black president for USA has some significance for their domestic matters, I would think.
But how much? South Asia is a prime example – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have all had women heads of government, from way back in the 1970s – how much have we progressed in improving the status of women? Nothing impressive there, I feel. India has had a Dalit president; and then a Muslim president. I don’t see any remarkable change there too.
Coming to foreign policy, US policies have been quite US-centric. And with the financial crisis, there is realistically not much we can expect from Obama in terms of initiatives for international development. In one of the VP debate, Biden clearly mentioned that US would have to go slow on increasing international aid in view of the financial crisis. But of course, the excitement all around rubs off a little bit. So I am curious. Lets see how things turn out.