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The power of ‘yes we can’

india Updated: Nov 14, 2008 22:30 IST

With reference to Barkha Dutt’s article A star-spangled banner (Third eye, November 7), it is natural that in the euphoria of Barack Obama’s victory, there was a tendency to overlook the fact that it was never a one-man sprint but a group event. The party went meticulously through a fair Democratic primary and stood steadfast behind its Afro-American candidate. An emancipated primary voter then passed the baton on to the star-runner Obama, who ended up in style by his virtuoso performance. Finally, the great American democracy reinvented itself by electing the best man suited to the need of the times, irrespective of extraneous considerations. It had risen, as Obama would often say, to meet the ‘pressing urgency of now’ and thus recorded a historic win in every sense.

R. Narayanan, Ghaziabad

II

Barkha Dutt is right in saying that Obama believes in the old cliché, that be true to yourself and that is the reason he has spoken about his weaknesses in public. It isn’t easy to confess your past publicly and that too when you are in the race for the most powerful position in the world. A person must be courageous enough to reveal his past and leave it to voters to judge his work and his dream. He left the decision to people and they have reposed their confidence in him.

G.K. Arora, Delhi

III

The crux of Obama’s historic victory has been his ability to bring back humility to American politics. Through his passionate yet firm ‘we can’ victory speech, Obama could instill in the huge gathering at Chicago a sense of pride and confidence that was on the wane in the average American. Further, Obama’s declaration that he would always consult the opposition in different matters, more so for the controversial ones, speaks volumes for the democratic ethos of the country.

ROBI SHOM, via email

We should learn from McCain

There has been a lot of coverage in the Indian media of Barack Obama’s rise to Presidency. But some space could also be devoted to John McCain, whose concession speech was one of the highlights of election night in the US. Rather than being sullen in defeat, McCain showed the rare ability to laugh at himself. A couple of days before election, he was on a late night comedy show calling himself a true maverick, a Republican without money. While much has been written about whether India can produce a Barack Obama, I would be quite content if Indian politicians could learn from the innate decency and good humour of John McCain.

Sapna Arun, New York

Defensive about being Hindu With reference to Khushwant Singh’s article Saffron has a go at history (With Malice Towards One And All, November 8), it is surprising that in India, anyone who fights for the rights of Hindus is marked as communal. Some minor changes in the syllabus under the NDA government was termed as ‘saffronisation’. What is wrong with Hindus running their schools? Are Sikhs and Muslims not running their own institutes? Why is it that if someone has a different opinion about Gandhiji, he is termed anti-Indian, whereas we keep raising a hue and cry over freedom of speech. If universities can maintain departments for Oriental studies, African studies etc, why can’t we have a department of astrology?

Dhirender Sharma, via email

Tribal faith is unique

Vikas Pathak in Conversions in currency (November 13) is right in saying that tribals have a religion of their own, which is different from Hinduism, Christianity or any other religion.Tribal religions believe that God is best found in nature and not in artificial structures. The RSS cannot claim to know otherwise.

Gunjal Ikir Munda, Ranchi