“Bharat Ka Gaurav – Obama”…….sounds ridiculous? Unlikely to be the headline on an Indian news channel? Well, not if you see the kind of hoopla beginning to build around Obama and his Indian good-luck charm.
Apparently, of the many good-luck charms the guy carries with him, one is a tiny statue of Hanuman. (Seems to me it’s a figurine of Kali rather than Hanuman, but what’s my keen observation against the numerical strength of uninformed journalistic opinion?) And have we started to go overboard! Prayers for his success have been organised at some Delhi temple, and some businessman wants to send him some books and Hanuman pictures.
I can see the beginnings of another Indian jamboree here. Come October, there will be havans, prayer meetings and the like for his success. Everyone will try to outdo everyone else in this game.
Some news channel will find some Indian who happened to be in Indonesia when Obama was there. Notwithstanding the fact that they lived on different streets, if not in different towns, this intrepid Indian will talk about how Obama was “a nice, well-behaved boy. Studious student. Even then he was to be showing focus and determination. Even then, I knew he is making it big someday.”
Then another (random) talking head – “you not knowing? He is the devotee of Hanumanji. He is carrying his idol in pockets. I am hearing he is fasting on Tuesdays and has become vegetarian only.”
Not to be outdone, another news channel will find some guy in Bhatinda whose second cousin, once removed, went to the same high-school as Obama’s mother. Out comes the yearbook, with the cousin’s picture on page 5 and Obama’s mum’s on page 13. The anchor calls the cousin in the US – “abhi sirf iss channel pay, live hum apke liye lay kay aayen hain Obama ki maa ki classmate, Satwinder. To ji Satwinderji, aap hame yeh batayen ki aapko iss waqt kaise lag raha hain? Kyaa Obama jeetenge?” (Only on this channel, live and exclusive, we have Obama’s mum’s classmate, Satwinder. So Satwinder, how do you feel about this? Will Obama win?)
Satwinder – “hanji. You know, woh bahut mature politician hain, aur unhe India kay liye bahut feelings hain. Hum sub bahut excitement main hain ji.” (Yes. You know, he is a very mature politician, who feels a lot for India. We are all very excited.)
Anchor: “Jee haan, bilkul. Accha Satwinderji, aap Obama ki mataji kay saath school main theen…” (Of course. OK Satwinder, so you were in school with Obama’s mother?)
And some more gems about how Satwinder and Obama’s mum regularly sat two tables apart at the cafeteria. Then Satwinder’s cousin, cut up at being ignored for the last 5 minutes, butts in and says how they are organising an all-faith prayer meeting in Bhatinda for Obama’s success and how he has managed to get 1000 schoolchildren to send “Good Luck Obama Uncleji” cards.
And then we have more of this tripe, with the other news-channels also doing pretty much the same thing.
Of course, the real circus will begin if Bobby Jindal decides to run for vice-president.
People in his ancestral village had a collective orgasm when he was elected Governor. We are going to have orgies of joy if he decides to be McCain’s running mate.
And then we will witness the miracle that 61 years of (splintered) Indian democracy could not achieve. Indians will be split down the middle between two political parties.
The hitch being both parties will be American.
But hey – it’s a start.