Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, is the Chief Guest of the 66th Republic Day Parade of India, that is Bharat. He is a popular person on both sides of the Suez canal. He has endeared himself to man in the street and gels well with both the common man and the high and mighty. He has a quality of making himself likeable to the person he meets notwithstanding prior reservations that either may have had.
Barack Obama carries no burden from the past, irrespective of whatever the past was. He always takes a fresh look at the person and the problem and that helps him solve even the knotty problems. Indeed how true it is in his approach to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. Under mistaken notions and wrong reports generated by some political bigwigs of the Indian political firmament as well as the embassy of the United States in India, Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, was denied visa to enter America. It goes to the credit of Narandra Modi that he did not take it to his heart and pursued the goal of India- America friendship in the interest of both the countries. It goes to the credit of Barack Obama that he realized the mistake of his own foreign office in demonizing a gentleman like Narendra Modi and took two paces forward to mend fences. Thus the damage done to the cause of friendship between the oldest democracy and the largest democracy was undone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while on a visit to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly was invited by President Obama to come to the White House in Washington DC for a face-to-face meeting to sort out problems, a legacy of the past. It was here that Obama and Modi had an opportunity to come close and work for a new equation. Obama was favourably impressed with the Energy of Narandra Modi. The latter was on a fast observing Navratri, Pooja of goddess Durga, when he ate no cereals, had only fruits and milk at the appointed hour and yet carried on with the onerous meetings, discussions and delivering lectures. At the White House state banquet held in honour of Modi ji, the fasting Prime Minister sipped lukewarm water only and ate nothing. Yet there was no tiredness visible on his mien nor reflected in his thinking or discussions with the US President , diplomats or other ministers of America. Commendable indeed.
President Barack Obama could fathom the depth of Narendra Modi's feelings, thought and proposals to carry India forward on the path of progress, peace and prosperity.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi INVITED President Barrack Obama to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day ceremonies in India, the latter was surprised but felt honoured and accepted with pleasure. The background bon-homie did the magic.
Now Barack Obama is affectionately addressed by admirers as OM BABA. He is quite used to such honorific names. As a student he played basketball and scored many baskets against formidable team taking advantage of his height and stamina. He earned the nickname O BOMBER.
There are ups and downs in the life and career of all human beings. He won many elections but lost some too. But never gave up. Perseverance is an asset of his. Once he tried to enter the calendar of Black Pinups at Harvard but was rejected by an all female committee of judges. As a lawyer he had joined a law firm in Chicago where Michelle Robinson was his superior officer and whetted his legal drafts. He courted her earnestly but there was little in return to write home about. On their first date he took her out to see a movie, DO THE RIGHT THING. Barrack continued to court Michelle Robinson for four years until she accepted his proposal of marriage, walked down the aisle as a bride and became Mrs Michelle Obama.
Narendra Modi has also patience and perseverance. When he was Chief Minister of Gujarat he undertook many projects for welfare of people of Gujarat and provided relief to farmers of the parched land. He brought water from the Narmada river to flow into Sabarmati river and thus improved the river view of Gandhiji's Sabarmati Ashram. When President of China, XI Jinping and his wife, Mme Peng Liyuan came to Ahmedabad at Modi's invitation, they enjoyed their walk by the Sabarmati side. Mme Peng Liyuan even sang a Hindi song as she was pleased with the environment. Narendra Modi never accepts NO for an answer to problems posed by projects of people's welfare. People are dear to him and people's welfare projects are close to his heart.
Perseverance until success is a common trait of personality of both Obama and Modi. Both are outward bound and both love common man. They are meant for the masses without ignoring classes. The glitterati, literati and folk artists are all encouraged by both Modi and Obama. It is a trait of leadership that both possess.
President Obama's State visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi will benefit both the countries economically, strategically and politically. It was a brilliant idea of Modi ji to invite Obama and it was magnanimity of Obama ji to not only accept the invitation but also say that he felt honoured to be the Chief Guest of the Republic Day Parade.
President Obama is the first President of the United States of America to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade of India. He is the first US President to visit India twice during his Presidentship. Indeed to sit on an open air platform in the midst of thousands of people for two hours or so watching a grand spectacle of India's military might, rich cultural heritage, women empowerment or NARI SHAKTI is fine for onlookers but it gave sleepless nights to the security personnel of both the countries. Indeed the Secret Service, CIA, FBI of USA were not too happy with the security arrangements made by the host organizations but sailed together with an amendment here and a change there. The threat to lives of both the leaders from Islamist terrorists, the neo-Rakshasas of the political firmament cannot be brushed aside. It has to be viewed with all seriousness that it deserves. Nevertheless, the State must assert itself and use its might to let the national events be observed with utmost reverence coupled with fun and frolic. In a social fabric every aspect of people's life has to be taken care of.
In the long run the sleeper cells of Islamic terrorism both in Bharat and Pakistan have to be eliminated. Indeed the terrorist threat is now as much a permanent fixture of social order as law and order aspect. Both the USA and India should consider destroying the terror training camps wherever they exist. Mere cosmetic treatment may be a patchwork that will not last long. It is an opportune moment to give a serious thought to global Islamist terror threat that has been growing unchecked like cancer. Cancerous part must be removed even if amputation is required. If elimination of terrorist training camps has to be done by aerial bombing, so be it.
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