Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on June 5, 2008
Last summer, before most people were paying much attention to the Democratic presidential contest in the U.S., Barack Obama had to apologize after a staffer issued a statement that tried to make fun of Hillary Clinton’s ties to Indian fundraisers by referring to her as the senator from the Punjab. But now that Obama has at last clinched the nomination, all is forgiven, at least based on what I can tell from the editorial pages of some of India’s major papers. Writes the Hindu: “Given the electorate’ disillusionment with the current Republican administration, Mr. Obama is on a good wicket when he portrays Mr. McCain as a person who is committed to George Bush’s policies.” The Economic Times calls Obama’s win “a monumentally symbolic event” and after taking a jab or two at what the paper calls “the Bush regime” adds “It is unlikely that the fundamental political paradigms of the US will change, yet the sheer symbolic import of an African-American occupying the White House is immense. And even at that level, a possible break with the Bush-neocon tradition of riding roughshod over international institutions, of overseeing worsening global strife, is welcome.
The Times of India has some misgivings, though. “Irrespective of whether eventually McCain wins or Obama does, there’s no denying that a page has been turned in America’s history,” the paper’s editorial page declares. But just before that sentence, the Times wonders about Obama’s policy toward the subcontinent. “As far as India is concerned, Obama is perhaps the least known for his views. McCain and Clinton have a clear position on where New Delhi fits in the emerging world. In that scheme, India ranks pretty high. Obama appears to share no such vision, at least not yet.”
We’ll see. In the meantime, this is a good excuse to link to the Barack OBollywood video on YouTube. So far I haven’t been able to locate a John Mc’Bollywood one. If somebody out there finds one, let me know.