Obama Moment for India’s youth: American dream still burns bright

It was the ‘Obama Moment’ for India’s young and restless dreamers. Barack Obama knows the power of oratory as he spoke in crisp, luminous sentences infecting the overwhelmingly young audience with his mantra of ‘The Audacity of Hope’ which made him the first black president of the US in a country which only a few decades ago discriminated on the basis of the colour of the skin.
In his parting shot before he wrapped up a three-day historic trip to India, Obama sang a full-throated song of India and spoke about the intertwining of the Indian and American dreams, and what the world’s oldest and largest democracies can do to make the world a safe and secure place in which women are respected, diversity is the way of life and religious tolerance is the clean air you breathe in.
At the town hall-style meeting at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on a wintry morning, he spoke warmly and eloquently about the promise of India, cited Swami Vikekananda’s famous invocation in his hometown Chicago a century ago as he addressed his audience as “sisters and borthers of India” and injected some robust common sense into what he has called many a time “the defining partnership of the 21st century.”
But what struck a powerful chord with the young audience was his paean to the power of youth and the limitless possibilities of human achievement as embodied in the American dream. “If the grandson of a cook can become president, and the tea seller can become the prime minister, so can young people from the humblest of origins dare to dream big and realise their aspirations,” he said to ringing applause.

Read More