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.
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.