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Obama surprises and delivers
On the strategic front -where India thought America will not deliver - Obama proved many, including journalists, common people and the society at large, wrong by actually pledging resolute support to India.
IT IS quite surprising that the entire nation stayed glued on to their TV sets as US President Barack Obama gave his historic speech in the Parliament. The President of United States made unambiguous statements in favor of India’s rise as a global power. While he made no bones about his obvious aim of cashing in on the India’s rising economic prowess, he made it a point to ensure that it was a two-way street, as promised. Proving that he was a man of words, he rose above expectations. And as articulated several times in his speeches here in India, indeed he made it a win-win situation.
 
On the strategic front –where India thought America will not deliver – Obama proved many, including journalists, common people and the society at large, wrong by actually pledging resolute support to India. By candidly speaking in favor of India’s bid for the UNSC seat, Obama drew applause from all the Ministers in the central hall, and the millions watching on TV.
 
But the direct recognition and support for India’s aspiration to be on the UNSC as a ‘permanent member’, was indeed momentous. By naming Pakistan as the nation that acts as the breeding ground for terrorists, and by declaring that perpetrators of 26/11 must be brought to book, Obama surpassed hopes and anticipations.
 
He even mentioned the perilous Afghanistan-Pakistan border while referring to terrorism. Mahatma Gandhi always finds a place in his speeches, but his reference to and quoting of stalwarts from Indian history like Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and Dr B.R. Ambedkar was matchlessly noteworthy. His oratory was always admirable and stirring but his true intention of befriending India became all too obvious in the speech, wherein he connected directly to the hearts of a billion. His bringing up Indian religious texts and spirituality spoke of his pacifism.
 
Nonetheless he reminded India of its duties as an international player. Obama, the upright man that he is, directly implied that India had shied away from criticizing human right violation in Burma, something not befitting a global player. This was actually an endorsement of Amartya Sen’s articulation a few months back that India should condemn Myanmar’s tyrannical ways.
 
As Obama’s speech was beamed live across the world in BBC and other global media networks, along with all Indian channels, a billion hearts cheered Obama for his overly pleasant surprise. He surely is taking much from India this winter but as much sure is the fact that he really hasn’t retreated from genuine bilateralism.

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