Twenty sixteen was a crazy year, a year that would be etched in the minds of millions. Many events can be documented in this year including the appalling results of US elections. A racist, misogynist’ fear mongering; (by the way I could use other superlatives but I fear the Secret service may be lurking around and my student visa may get cancelled) got selected to lead the ‘greatest’(have serious doubts about that) nation in the world.
Wide spread protests, demonstrations were held not only in the country but all around the world and being a woman and a feminist ( presently a status symbol) my heart and soul goes out in full support to all my sisters out there.
The one thing that I have failed to understand is the social media craziness that followed in the last year of Obama’s presidency specially by my fellow Indians.
Barack Obama surely has been a remarkable President, to the dismay of many, to the UNITED STATES and not to the entire world. The new found love of home-based Indians towards Barack Obama reminds me of some mushy teenage love story where one’s beloved could do nothing wrong.
I secretly hoped that with the announcement of demonetization and the financial woes that followed would be a major distraction, but again my countrymen proved me wrong and there was no love lost. What surprised me the most is that I have not seen my American friends fret so much about the Obamas as my Indian ones do.
The eight years of the Obama administration was indeed been the better ones after a long time with no scandals, no impeachments and everyone seemed to laud the strong marriage of the first couple. Then again we Indians shouldn’t be surprised at seeing a long lasting marriage, we have them all around us.
What confused me was the adulation and affection, tending towards creepiness, coming from people who were never directly affected by his policies; people who earlier never bothered to know what was happening in the far west of the world. Anything that bore the slightest of resemblance was considered a threat to Indian ‘sabhyata’ (culture).
The wide interest in the American politics continued well after the election results. We, as a country, forgot to respect the verdict given by a nation and some even went to the extent of questioning the common American intellect. I am no fan of Donald Trump and his campaigning was not only sore to the eyes but the ears too; shockingly the reactions to the results within India was one of few firsts in my life.
How many Americans or for that matter American media houses talked about the most trying times for Indian economy? The world’s largest democracy completely scrapped off two major currency notes and I hardly saw any ripples in the international media.
I understand this is no competition and USA being major world player commands much more significance on the world stage than India, but not necessarily at the behest of its own country.
In the past couple of years, India and USA have forged some strong strategic and diplomatic ties. So much so that a prominent Indian media house reported that Donald Trump would be making a phone call to Mr. Narendra Modi making him one of the five world leaders that the US President contacts.
I couldn’t help but construe a disturbing image in my head of our prime minister standing by the phone waiting for a call from a long lost lover.
Before the scary verdict of being a ‘nationalist’ is pronounced for me, let me clarify I am not even close. My past actions of not standing up for the national anthem when played in the movie halls in protest against the forced waved of patriotism in the country should be sure proof.
Lastly, the one thing that I have been wanting to say out loud during this entire hullabaloo was Barack Obama was never and Donald Trump will never be our President. We are still stuck with Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in case someone needs a memory nudge.