Atrocitynews Special: Rise of Obama and Democracy
From the editor of Atrocitynews..
The rise of Barak Obama Obama represents the flowering of the American Democracy. The nation whose existence was challenged by European nations, survived all odds and became the most powerful nation on this planet. It was also the first democracy that had strong roots in the local areas in what was called the United State of America then occupying majorly the states on the east coast. The slave trade and American history are intertwined and the African Americans then constituted one fifth of the America without any say in voting and representation. Though there were many progressive groups like the Quakers and reformists and also progressive laws enacted very early on, they made a little impact on the slavery. The slavery continued in South as Jim Crow Laws and North as the Racism of the worst kind. The south saw leader like Martin Luther King, Jr and the north saw Malcolm X, both in early 60s representating the Civil Right movement and the Black power movement. Obama was born in 1961, and his parents marriage was not accepted by some American states. His parents would have jailed in some states for this interracial marriage.
After 47 years, Obama is having a sure chance to become the President of USA as the earlier trends showing today. There are several lessons to be learnt from the Black movement in America and as such Democracy in America. India is the largest democracy and America is the oldest democracy. Both have the similar societies in terms of diversity, discrimination and some other factors. Of course there are many factors that might not lead to direct comparision between India and America. But as Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote to the father of Black movement, WEB DuBois in 40s that the study of Black movement is natural and necessary for the people fighting for civil and political rights in India. In fact Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the student of the Black movement, the fact acknowledged by the famous Black Historian in America.
Legally and constitutionally, the discrimination is outlawed in both countries. However the mindset of the people has not changed, or is changing over the period of time. This is not to say that the mindset or the attitude remained the same, because like all other qualities, it is subjected to change and dynamic. The Blacks in America have made in roads into many fields and organised themselves in areas like politics, Businesses and civil society organisations. Though there is a racial discrimination in USA and it has a long way to go before rooting it out completely, but the Black assertion has certain and very important influence on the American democracy as such. It has more or less led to democratisation of the American society.
Barak Obama however stands for something more than just rise of Black power, he definately benefitted by the social movements that preceded him, but his new outlook, his approach and more importantly his all inclusive politics has given his an edge over, in the democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton and in the Presidential election, John McCain. What is so new about Barak Obama and his politics?- is a very important question. First of all Obama is classified as the Urban, Northern Democrat and he can be put in the categories of the Elite and educated Americans. He is highly educated. But that is not the point about Obama. The most important aspect of the Obama politics is firm faith in the Constitution of America. He believes in the constitution of America. He thinks that only constitution can unite people who are divided into so many diverse groups. In a way, Obama politics is not new in one sense, but it is new in terms of taking a new look at the emancipatory constitution that was built by the likes of George Mason, Adams and Madison. These are the giants who were pro-federalism, pro-humanism, pro-democracy. The American constitution is also influneced and grounded in Rights of Men and Women, stressed by Thomas Paine. The Federalist Papers are the very important documents to understand the intention of the founding fathers of the American constitution and hence American nation.
Similarly in India, we have an enlightened constitution, drafted by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who was very well trained in Constitutionalism and was a student of comparative constitutions. He was not only the student of Law, but was very much trained in Economics, Political Science, History and Relgion. Thus in India we have the recipe for the revolution readily available, which is the constitution of India.
Another important aspect of the Obama politics is alliance building. He built successful aliances with different groups and in the process did not compromise his integrity, which is reflected in his speech where he raised the issue of racial discrimination in America. Though he differed from his Pasture for his remarks on White America, he did not disowned him completely. His bid for presidentship encouraged Blacks to vote in big numbers keeping in tact his core support. He encouraged people to go to the polling booths to cast their votes. He did not play the divisive card even when he was placed against Hillary Clinton and also talked about United force. He did not rely on the funding from the lobbies in America, but raised funds from the grassroot. He even did not resort to public funds for funding his election campaign, something which is very extraordinary. He created a chain of activists all over who not only gave their financial support, but also created their own campaigning material and advertisement for Obama Campaign.
It is an unbelieable story of a man who gave up his lagel career and worked as a community worker and generated such a campaign in the history of the world. There is so much to learn from the Obama Politics for discrminated people in India. Though the form of Government is different in America and India, the method and the principles remains the same. We have our own models in India and Bahujana Politics has become the buzzword in the Indian politics. How we use the time tested methods and learn from the American experience is very important. In a multiparty system, Parliamentary form of the government and regressive caste system, we have to have teh different models which might work differently, but have the same principles that can work and used for Changing the society and create more just and free society. Of course, this is just a beginning for Obama and we dont know whether he wil carry on with his agenda of change, but what has happened in terms of Obama’s rise is a great hope for the world.
THUS HE SPAKE..
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