CNN is talking about the impending presidential runs by the two heavyweights of the Democratic Party – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And sooner or later, the question had to come up and it did. Is America ready to elect a black man or a woman as the President. Or worse, something that can very much be a reality – Is America ready to elect a presidential combination of a black man and a woman. And the analysis (atleast by the venerable CNN political analysts was that noone knows)
Which led me to writing this post. Isn’t it ironic that one of the most educated, industrial and arguably diverse societies in the history of human history is not really sure whether a woman or a black man can lead it? Especially, if you think about it – India elected Indira Gandhi way back in the 70’s and the 80’s multiple times. Or currently, India has a Muslim president, a Sikh prime minister and a Roman Catholic of Italian origin as the head of the majority party. And this from a country where the literacy rate is 55%. Why is it – is it because literacy means more bigotry. Or is it because, when there is so much poverty as there is in India – most people don’t waste any time thinking about mundane issues as religion, gender and ethnic background – because they feel who they elect can have a tangible impact on their lives ( though that, more often than not – is an entirely optimistic thought in India).
I am not sure I know the answer definitively. But it did led me thinking – the same India where sometimes women are not given her dues, would at the same time, vote for a female head of state without too much thought. Maybe it is because our leaders are often perceived larger than life whereas Americans like to think of their leaders in a much more personal relationship with themselves.
Whatever it is, it was rather funny to see all the serious debate about the issue.
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