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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


It is almost definite, unless McCain follows his predecessor's tactics and steals the election, that Obama will become the 44th US President. I cannot recall any US Election where the whole world was so involved. For many of my generation Obama's win will be a great leap forward from the tales we read of The Scottsboro Trials, from the KKK lynchings we knew of in our childhood (Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit still sends chills down my spine), from the backdrop of Missisipi riots as James Meredith was escorted to class, from MLK's I Have a Dream and his assassination ... and more ... But, for me, there is also a sense of sadness: The fact that the USA did not get that other first that was possible, a WOMAN President. Some will, no doubt, state that it was Hillary - as a result of her own doings and views and personality - who lost, but I contend that no woman, regardless of qualifications or stature or vision, could have won! America, like the rest of this male-run world, is just not ready to face the practical sides of Gender Equality. Last week I was asked by a TV show host (off-camera, since the show had to be postponed for other reasons) why a modern and 'enlightened' USA was so edgy about a female Head of State when "we" of the Asian 3rd World, with all our conservatism and even more visible signs of the Male Supremacy Syndrome, had elected Indira Gandhi, Mrs Bandranaike, Benazir Bhutto, Hasina Mujib, and Khaleda Zia (the last 3 in Muslim countries!) to power with little fuss. "Let's not take undue credit. Think again!" I said. "With the possible exception of Indira, who could lay some claim to having been active in her Party while being groomed for a political career by Pandit Nehru (though being his daughter helped with the votes, too) in all the other cases cited we did not vote for women. We voted for the dead men in their lives." Peace!

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Blogger Farrukh Ahmed said...

Rightly put!!

Obama, McCain, Bush!! does it really make a difference to us?

Animals within alone ensure we remain a 'developing' nation!

05 November, 2008 11:14

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

I would have still rooted for Obama if he was, in fact, a 'she' and Clinton was a 'he', for the very simple reason that Obama was the better candidate.

I believe Hillary got a lot more votes in the primaries because of being a woman, than she would have got if she were a man.

If competence is to be the criterion for selection, factors like race and gender have to be left behind. Fortunately, America's voters appear to have realised that very well.

05 November, 2008 19:20

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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05 November, 2008 20:01

Blogger Vic said...

Re Indira Gandhi, aside from the American Who's Who that listed her as Mahatma Gandhi's daughter, it is an oft-repeated (come election time) story from Indian rural areas that her (and now her descendants') lineage is from him. That also possibly accounts for some of her popularity, in terms of her ability to garner votes from the electorate.

That would give her twice the vote gathering attraction of the other strong women in the region.

But now you have, of course, the opposite phenomenon in Pakistan - a man riding on his deceased wife's 'legendary' popularity.

05 November, 2008 22:52

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Your take on Mr AZ is only superficially true, Vic. He is actually riding on the wave of his deceased wife's deceased father ... as will his son Bilawal, who has altered his surname to become a Bhutto.

11 November, 2008 02:51


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