Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama's middle name.A fodder to hatemongers?

Obama's middle name.A fodder to hatemongers?

The full name of Barack Obama, the USA President elect is Barack Hussein Obama Jr. He is so named because his father was the Late Barack Hussein Obama Sr.
Barack Hussein Obama Sr was born in Kenya to a family who followed Islam as religion.But by the time he fathered our President elect,Obama Sr was an atheist.Obama hardly know his father as the couple separated when he was 2 years of age.
Obama Jr's mother was born to a white Christian family.She did not had any firm belief in any religion.Obama says she had the Bible, Koran and Gita on her book shelves.

Obama baptized in 1988 while he was working as a community organiser for Black Churches.

By now I think every one know that Obama's middle name is Hussein, as it was given wide publicity by the Pro Republican bloggers and media in USA.In USA among the Conservative Whites anything related to Arabs or Muslims is considered bad.That is why when McCain was asked if it was appropriate to use the Senator Obama's middle name,[while referring to him in campaign speeches] McCain said, "No, it is not. Any comment that is disparaging of Senator Obama is totally inappropriate."
It should be noted that instead of coming out boldly saying you can use the middle name Hussein,Obama's campaign thanked McCain's for his apology, claiming a victory.
John McCain supporter Gayle Quinnell told the crowd at a McCain Rally in Minnesota that "Obama is an Arab." McCain took away the microphone but failed to address Quinnell's unabashed bigotry or the incidents of anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-African American bigotry that has become an increasingly regular feature of GOP rallies as the election draws near. "No ma'am," he says. "[Obama's] a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."

The part of Sen. Barack Obama's biography that gets the most attention is not his race but his connections to the Muslim world.

Since declaring his candidacy for president in February, Obama, a member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago, has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim or that he had received training in Islam in Indonesia, where he lived from ages 6 to 10. While his father was an atheist and his mother did not practice religion, Obama's stepfather did occasionally attend services at a mosque there.

Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama is a Muslim, a "Muslim plant" in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran, rather than a Bible.
All this shows how calling some one a Muslim is a slur in USA among a large section of people.

In India, another country like USA with rising hate-Muslim rhetoric orchestrated by Sangh Parivar the middle name of Obama was much of a talking point in right wing Press and Blogs.

B. Raman who once headed the Counter-Terrorism Division of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) wrote in SIFY.COM:

It is said that as a student he had more Pakistani friends than Indians. He felt more comfortable in the company of the Pakistanis than Indians. It was his choice and nobody could grudge it.As I read about Obama’s visit to Pakistan in the 1980s, I could not help thinking of dozens of things. Of the Afghan jihad against communism; of the fascination of many Afro-Americans for the jihad; of the visits of a stream of Afro-Americans to Pakistan to feel the greatness of the jihad; of their fascination for Abdullah Azzam, who came to Pakistan in the 1980s and started teaching in the International Islamic University in Islamabad.; of the fascination of some Afro-Americans for him; of the frequent visits of Cat Stevens, the pop singer, to Pakistan and of his fascination for Islam and the on-going jihad; of his conversion to Islam.
See how quickly Obama was linked to the Jihadi movement because of a visit to Pakistan.
When Obama was asked about South Asian situation in MSNBC interview his comments on Kashmir caused a furore in some section of Indian media.

What did Obama say?
He said we’ve got to work with the newly elected government[in Pakistan] there in a coherent way that says, terrorism is now a threat to you. Extremism is a threat to you. We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants.”

Both Bill Clinton and George Bush had said similar things especially at the beginning of their Presidency,but those statements did not cause such a furore.

It seems that Obama's middle name will always remain a fodder for the hate-Muslim campaigners especially if he try to resolve the situation in Muslim dominated countries like Palestine,Iran,Afghanistan,Pakistan and of course Iraq.Any change in the USA's stand under Obama in comparison to Bush policies will be considerd a climb down attributed to his so called Muslim roots. Presence of such strong Right wing hate-mongers may hamper the functioning of Obama as President. If Obama try to circumvent it by trying to be more tough against Iran, Ha mas,Hezbollah and Taliban he will find it difficult to resolve any of these issues.The purpose of those who highlight the Obama's Muslim sounding middle name is just that.Try to prevent resolution of these issues.

Let us hope that Obama can rise tall above all these and be a true World Statesman.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama Mania

The impulse for this post is the Obama Mania seen in the Indian blogosphere. Many bloggers [pareltank,IHM] are trying to find out 'Obama' among Indian political leaders and choices range from Omar Abdulla to Priyanka.

What is so great about Obama?
He just won US presidential election. He won with Democratic party ticket.
After 8 years of Bush and the state of US economy so bad any Democrat would have won the race.
Obama have proved to be good orator.He may have some vision, but how good will be his administration, we have to wait and see.Let us judge him after 4 years.

Looking for Indian Obama is the typical mainstream Media ploy of trying to make the irrelevant relevant.Some channels already did that.Why should the bloggers who represent alternative media toe the same line?

How can we compare Obama with Indian political leaders?
By his looks?
By his race?
By his oratory skills?
By his vision for US foreign policy?
By his vision for his people?
The only relevant comparison can be in his vision for his people.[I wish the media do that] By that I mean we can compare Indian political leaders and Obama by their policies for their citizens[Indians and Americans] that they claim they will implement when they get power. Any other comparisons will be like comparing Sachin Tendulkar with Manmohan Singh, an absurdity.

So let us see what is Obama vision for the citizens of his country.I have only included those policies which I feel is relevant to Indian citizens.
All taken from Barak Obama's official campaign website
1.Economy and Jobs:
a.Windfall profit tax; Taxing the super rich [oil] companies to give energy rebate to middle and low income families
b.State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education,and housing expenditure to ensure there wont be job lose.
c. Tax cuts to 95 percent of working people.
d. Invest in the Manufacturing Sector and Create 5 Million New Green Jobs
e.New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment
f.Increase in investment in Science and research.
g.Support small business by giving tax breaks
Strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. Will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.Will ensure that his labor appointees support workers' rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. will also increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation to ensure it rises every year
3.Protect Home ownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud
Will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. Will also make sure home buyers have honest and complete information about their mortgage options, and they will give a tax credit to all middle-class homeowners.
4.Reform Bankruptcy Laws
Will reform our bankruptcy laws to protect working people, ban executive bonuses for bankrupt companies, and require disclosure of all pension investments.
5.Work/Family Balance
Will double funding for after-school programs, expand the Family Medical Leave Act, provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules.
a.Zero to Five Plan: Will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
b.Make Math and Science Education a National Priority
c.Address the Dropout Crisis
d.Expand High-Quality After school Opportunities
e.Support 'Make College A Reality" initiative
a.provides affordable, accessible health care for all.
b.Lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programs and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market
c.Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data

d.Reform the insurance market to increase competition by taking on anti competitive activity that drives up prices without improving quality of care
a.Expand Access to Jobs
b.Raise the Minimum Wage
c.Expand Paid Sick Days
d.Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing

All these are his electoral promises.Let us see whether he can do justice to these promises.
Also when we look for Indian Obama please look for some one with similar policies or vision and is able to win votes.Only such discussion is relevant in Indian context.