Politics is a strange game of “imagery.” There is no doubt that Show Business and Politics has a lot in common. On the silver screen, the movie makers have to have the right ingredients to keep the audience captivated for a few hours, or else their flick gets literally “canned” for ever. On the political scene, the aides and advisors serve that purpose and make sure that the persona of the leader, clicks with the masses or the leader is not electable.
In the Post 9/11 America, we live in a hyper sensitive world, which is nothing less than paranoid about any and everything Islamic or Muslim. It is sad that in a country like US, there are deliberate attempts by certain elements in the media to paint Muslim Americans as “Un Americans.” Pre and Post 09/11, thousands of Muslims, have called America their home and will continue to sing the “Star Spangled Banner”, with utmost devotion, in the years to come.
America is a nation of immigrants from all parts of the world, who bring their culture to add richness to its fabric. When President Barack H. Obama was sworn in, many eyes were wet with joy, that a glass ceiling was broken. A man from a minority, a class which was discriminated so vehemently, a few decades ago, had become the most powerful man on the face of earth. All minorities in America were equally proud of this landmark achievement of Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama faced an uphill battle here in the US, not only due to his African heritage, but the never ending rumors of him being a closet Muslim. A middle name of Hussein and his last name so closely rhyming with the arch enemy of America, getting him elected as the President by his aides, was nothing short of a miracle.
Mr. Obama’s speech addressed to the Muslims in Cairo, turned out to be more of a lip service. More people around the Middle East were optimistic with his election, hoping there would be significant break through in the Israel and Palestinian relationship. Two years, and there is still no significant progress.
His recent shift in plans to not visit the Sikh Temple in India, to avoid wearing a head scarf, is another poor move on the part of his advisors. All to avoid appearing a Muslim, that too in a Sikh Temple. Agreed that in Politics, perception sells much like the show business. But what comes to mind is, is Mr. Obama really getting sound advice.
A leader of free world, is truly the leader of the entire world. He is the leader of all religions, all cultures, all races and languages. He is a Uniter and demonstrates the skills and stature to build the bridges. Mr. Obama’s overly cautious moves of distancing himself from the Muslims, may cost him some votes, come 2012. If anything Mr. Obama should be visiting the Golden Temple, with his head covered to pay respect to the sacred shrine and demonstrate to the world that he is beyond “petty politics.”
As the saying goes that, “its the little things that matter in Politics, because big things rarely get done”, Mr. Obama should prove that saying wrong. He still has 2 years ahead of him. He needs to dig deeper in the energy that brought him to the White House and emerge as the “leader of real change” as he promised. As the “Hope” of the voters withers with him, they will be bound to make a “change.” Bring the Change to Washington Mr. Obama, you only have two more years to do it. Please move swiftly…..
Filed under: Pakistan