New Delhi : Many found him merely cute but many others sensed that something momentous had taken place with the US voting in its first African American president in Barack Obama. As the world celebrated Wednesday, so did students in the Indian capital who realised the import of the day even if they did not understand the nuances of American politics.
The news of Obama’s landslide victory was flashed at a time when many of Obama’s young supporters in India were in their classrooms.
“Thank god!” shouted Pooja Batra, a Class 12 student of Delhi Public School in R.K. Puram in south Delhi.
“Another Bush-like administration would have been too much,” Batra told IANS.
Her friend Richa was equally happy. “Obama is cute. I saw him live on a TV show. He is light-hearted and so I guess I can relate to him better. His speeches too were about what seemed to matter. He didn’t blow his own trumpet.”
Many students said they had lost respect for America in the past, because of its “sad” representation.
“Bush was always making absurd comments. He would go on and on and still make no sense. Every country’s image depends on it’s leader, and America was in urgent need of an image face-lift,” said G. Siddharth, also a Class 12 student of the same school.
“McCain and Palin didn’t really stand a chance. They always banked on their past work as a former military man or senator. Obama on the other hand seemed to know what he was talking about,” he said.
Calling Obama’s speeches apt and clear, Apoorva Singh, Siddharth’s classmate, said: “He had done his homework.”
“The cute Obama has personality. That’s important for making your country believe in you as a leader.”
Sahil Agarwal of Mother’s International School said: “Obama, throughout his campaign, maintained he would change the American stand on issues ranging from economy, to food (crisis) and more importantly on equal opportunities to all. He sounds like he believes in what he says.”
To a question about American elections, Siddharth, a student of Class 11, said he rather liked “the long scrutiny period”.
“In India, nobody cares what candidates say in their distant constituencies. But what goes on in America is out on international TV. Everyone watches how the leaders debate and fight. Here, it’s just mud-slinging and that’s no fun.”