Election Style: American and Indian

Posted on November 4, 2008

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The US presidential election is typically a test of “How color blind are the Americans yet.” This is really the time when they need to prove that racism no longer exist in that country for no matter what promises these two candidates made in their campaign and no matter what the credentials are, if Obama loses, the whole world is really going to view that loss as a racist decision. “America can’t vote a colored man to power”- That’s what everything would boil down to. And with that failure in future they would never again take risk with a coloured candidate, the chances of a black American president would be lost forever with the loss of Obama.

Back home interestingly we have shown it time and again that caste, color, creed, religion, race nothing really is a prejudice for us. We have had all kinds of them at the top since Independence. But that proves nothing, after all our elections are nothing like the US elections.

There they have to sweat it out so much to get that one vote from each citizen. Look at the the presidential debates and you’ll know. The candidates are so much more answerable to the citizen. They need to actually engage in an intelligent debate, which the whole nation watches, and prove their stand, hold their ground and impress the junta. Here in India though all it takes is sliced bread, a blanket and a 100 bucks or so and of course some blood shed. You can’t help feeling the US democracy is so much more superior compared to India.

Also interesting is how they don’t do any blood shed before elections to win votes. Isn’t that cool. I mean can our politicians ever think of reaching the top without it.

It also pleases me much to see the amount of humour that goes around the campaign. The caricature and  spoof on Saturday Night Live, the music videos on Youtube, makes me feel, wow the country is so much more sport than their Indian counterparts, the US politicians are so much more fun and harmless.

Not just that, they are even available on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. They blog and what not. Makes them so much more close to the people. How close are our politicians? Only as far as the loudspeaker sound reach when they address an illiterate crowd in some remote village. Where the crowd hardly knows the reason behind their presence except the the bread and the blanket they are gonna get.

We always thought family values are better in India than US. I mean we have less divorces and all and then our children stay with their parents as long as they are married and the sons stay even after…and things like that. It’s funny then that while the family members of the US presidential candidates, particularly the wife play such important role in the campaign but in India we hardly even get to know the family members of our politicians. I mean I don’t even know if Mr. Manmohan Singh is married or not. Alright he is married but I really have never seen his wife or daughters.

So what does this signify really? There could be two very opposite conclusions – (a) US represents a more patriarchal structure where the wife has no life of her own, nothing better to do than campaign for her husband. OR (b) India represents a more patriarchal structure where the wife isn’t even allowed a participation in what her husband is upto outside the domestic boundaries. She better keep within her home and handle the kitchen, she has no business in her husband’s professional life.

I think its the later, what do you guys think? Any thoughts?

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Posted in: point of view