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Barack’s bugbear

US President Barack Obama seems obsessed with all things Indian. Yes, we’ve arrived at last.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2009 22:59 IST
Hindustan Times

Who would have ever dreamt that we Indians would someday give the US a mega scare? But it seems that our ‘yes we can’ moment has arrived. First, we Bangalored the Americans. This did not find favour with Barack Obama as he arrived in the White House, with promises of jobs for Americans still fresh from the oven. Were we doughty Indians shivering at Obama’s veiled threats to shut off the tap of outsourcing? No siree, we jumped into the ring with a George Bush-like ‘bring ‘em on’ war cry.

So, Obama has now come up with a new left hook. He has advised his nation’s children to look sharp as the competition is intensifying. And who might it be coming from? Why, little ol’ India. Said Obama, Indian children keep their noses to the grindstone while American children are busy playing video games. They are coming at us and they are coming at us hard, warned Obama. So it would seem that one fine day, we might just become the new imperialists, colonising the world with our IT savvy, our chicken tikka masala, Bollywood and, now, our superkids.

Now, before you get it wrong, Obama’s obsession with all things Indian is not all negative. He’s got quite a few desis on board in his administration. From Vivek Kundra to Sonal Shah and the latest entrant, Vinai K Thummalapally — who taught Obama how to cook daal while they roomed for a year during their university days — brown is a favoured colour at the White House. It’s a different matter that we can’t quite get our act together at home. But, by the time Obama gets to know that, we’ll be firmly entrenched in the beltway.

First Published: Jun 14, 2009 22:57 IST