Thursday, January 22, 2009

No awe..... some shock

Obama disappointed me during his moment of glory. It started with the double fumble while taking the oath (Michelle's face was worth watching during those tense few seconds), and carried on from that point to a weak finale. Of course, the well -rehearsed speech had its moments (come on, if the President of the United States of America, with his team of speech writers can't get it right, who can?), but his crucial bhaashan lacked dum of the kind expected on such a historic occasion. I thought his rousing 'Yes, we can..." address right after his nomination, was far more effective and stirring. Deconstructing this one, what was my take away?? Frankly, I don't really know. Apart from mentioning world religions (okay Hindoos, you count - but Buddhists and Sikhs obviously don't) and stressing on diversity (current buzz word internationally), I really don't understand what he was pushing. The only time he touched my heart was when he paid a tribute to American servicemen - that sounded genuine. But the ominous words , "America in decline '' right at the start of the speech, were negative, even though they are true. Americans don't need to be reminded of that scenario at this point - and certainly not by a brand new President. His reference to his ancestors was not required, either. Did our former Dalit President keep harping on his roots? Never! Did Abdul Kalam talk about being a Muslim in a predominantly Hindu country? Never! Obama personalised his status by bringing his father into the speech ("60 years ago, he would have been refused service at a restaurant"). These sort of reminders cause pain and the world needs positive reinforcement rather than an opening up of old wounds. Obama resembled a sharply dressed news anchor, an Oscar's host, a show biz moghul.But that apart, I felt let down by his content. Now... let's see him in action. His time begins now!
**************************************
My jaw dropped listening to Sanjay Dutt - and more so - listening to Maanyata - holding forth on their political ambitions. There is a limit to the public's tolerance in such matters. Or ought to be. If Sanjay can claim with a straight face that he sees himself as a 'leader', not a politician, and insist he wants to 'serve the people' (pray tell us, how?), and those statements go unchallenged by an awestruck anchor (really Mahrukh!) sorry, but we disgrace ourselves in accepting his words at face value. Not just Sanjay, but any convicted individual must be debarred from contesting the elections. Ditto for illiterate candidates. Citizens have the right to push for these basic reforms before it is too late. As for sati savitree Maanyata's virtuous admission that she seeks her husband's permission before going out for coffee with her friends..... wow!! she's come a long way - from pole dancing to political shamming. Shades of Eva Peron?? Maybe we deserve them both. Shall we distribute a few jadu ki jhappis in their honour?

36 comments:

hitch writer said...

Obama : too much hype before actual action !! lets see how it goes ....

Sanjay : Well, Amarsingh must be a charmer !! I just dont know what is going on in Sanjay's mind !! also again a lot of hype !!! why is he standing in Lucknow ?? does he stand any chance to win !!!???

Not only should he be barred for standing because he is convicted. There should also be a rule that a person who wins an election from a consituency must then spend so many days in the consituency and perform his work...

People like govinda stand, win and then disappear !!! why do people vote for these people is really beyond me !!!

Paper N Pencil said...

Absolutely agree with you, on debarring Sanjay Dutt from contesting!

What kind of law makers are we looking at? Somebody who has been CONVICTED under the ARMS ACT???? And, still worse, the thought that if he can't contest, his wife Manyatha should....huh....

UP Politics cant stink any further!

Adding spice the this drama, is the daily statements exchanged between Priya & Sanjay Dutt!!

Yes, we all loved him in Munnabai:-). That does'nt anyway even remotely mean, he is fit to be a LAWMAKER!

Cheers....Viji

Nazish Rahman said...

I think to much is expected from Obama..as its nothing new that one expects a lot from U.S President, but much more from him. Yes the occasion seemed to to get over him as it was easy to make out. One must not forget that he is a new President with some new policies and with a different background but one thing is for sure the same...he is a POLITICIAN. There he had to press this political button and again win the confidence of those who voted for him to be the President of U.S. Yes one should not go by what he says as his actions will be the evidence of his work as how successful he is in his job.
***************************
Blame media for all this, as they are the ones who give platform for all this...even someone like Maanyata. Comparing to all the political leaders Ssnjay is far better than them. He has the right to contest elections as the system provides it, change the system and you cant have people who are convicted contest for elections. We need to change the law and also implement it. It does not matter whoever contests elections its the people who choose their leaders so leave it in the hands of the public to decide if they want to choose Sanjay or not. Its such a sorry state of our political system that nine out of ten politicians are somehow booked under some charge or even convicted. Its the youth of India that needs to raise its voice and bring a positive change.

Jai Hind

Hobo ........ ........ said...

Why so much talks about president, I am unable to understand.
Hope - Lets see.

We distribute jadu ki jhappis or not but he is/will for sure.
Democracy hai bhaiiiiii...
:)

meghna said...

give obama a break... the whole world had descended to national mall for his swearing in ceremony--... a few fumbles are only pardonable...when millions of people are watching you.. and all the eyes are on you..

Shobhaa Hater said...

You are never happy with anything, right?? You always have problems, always have something to say against everything.

All you like is food, and cricising everyone..... Grow up Shobhaa..... or a "DE" will come when no one will be reading any of your articles....

I just came here following soem link, and i must say, i will never visit again. .. . . .

Kannan Kartha said...

1 post ... 2 different contexts ... interesting way to post.

Obama has a tough task at hand and has biggest challenge of living up to the expectations of god knows how many people in various countries. So, I guess, these slight slips should not even count. His step to close Guantanamo Bay detention center is, I think, very bold step in the midst of "fight against terrorism" hysteria.

Regarding Sanjay Dutt, you are spot on and same with any other politicians. Now Azharuddin wants to contest.
I do not think you need leadership skills, education, clean criminal record or a background of community service to get into politics in India. We talk about "VOTE". I say, with no eligible candidate worthy of a vote, we boycott elections.

Deepak Rajanikanth said...

@Obama: Yes Shobhaa! I completely agree with you. The speech had a negative tone and also reminded people that he was an afro. As for remmbring the past heroes, I liked that he is floowing on the paths laid upon by Lincoln & others!
I just want see what hard measures he was talking about?? and also the thought of defeating the violent people or asking them to unclench their fists to shake hands was the cream!!!!

@Dutt Jr.
Not to worry. janata is NOT-SO-BLIND to believe an actor who was convicted! FAIL!

Regards,
D33pak

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Crowscious said...

I don't understand why the President should not emphasize his Dalit background... i think it would have been a good thing. Obama has a long road ahead and deserves all the support he can get. The man is trying. :)

M.A.Sharma "सेहर" said...

Lets see what this bindaas banda will do??

Count down started .....:)))

Anonymous said...

Whatever obama is or isin't , he's one great public speaker, As for the fumble, thanks to the chief justice. obama did try to give the guy a chance to correct himself. but does it really matter. and as for his speach , i thought it was awesome, so what if it has a bit of negativity to contrast the positive, that's the way it should be done. An acceptance speech and an address to the country are 2 different things he cannot jump arpound claiming "yes we can" at the slightest chance..As for naming the religions, c'mon do you really expect the president of USA or any president for that matter to go down a long list of obscure religions populating this world :-) some sense please. As for being first black president, i take offense he's as black as he's white more white than black i would say. Born mixed race and raised white makes you more white than black.. I know it's yoru column and you cn critisize, my only advise would be to temper it a bit with logic , you have a sound mind why waste it with mindless rants .

As for sanju and his wife. less spoken the better.

Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

Shobaaji,
Obama's speech had its bad moments..but mind you even if there is an array of speech writers available for him...he needs to deliver...he is an excellent speaker an orator of bill clinton's class. We really cant compare Obama and APJ, coz one is an aggressive young man (pukka politician) and other is a humble-reserved scientist(never meant to be a politician). On the funnier side if our 'behenji' or 'lalu' becomes the next PM, i am 105% sure they will speak of their 'roots'. I adore sanjay dutt but him in politics?? Only if he guarantees me to arrest dawood ibrahim (his old pal) i may even think of voting for him. After all Mumbai,Delhi, Malegaon, Ahmedabad etc blasts..our political parties still thrive on bringing these corrupted individuals to the fray. Only clause of escape is bring back Vajpayeeji from retirement , i feel thats the only way to stop the Battering Ram of Manyata-Sanjay-AmarSingh.

Miss Cynical said...

a few jadu ki jappi.. for the love of God, people should squeeze the crap out of him!! legendary bollywood after retirement opts for the political order.. it might just prick the janta on the one last nerve left.. but UP is the perfect place that stands complementary to his choice!!
a time will come when people would get confused between bollywood and "pollywood" :P

ch33rz

Ashutosh Didwania said...

I was actually surprised that the normally over-active Indian media let the fumbling incident pass off without much hype. Anyway, on a more serious note, I guess we shouldn't be making too much out of those fumbled moments. After all even the best of the lot are subject to buckling under pressure. As far as the Sanjay Dutt-Manyata 'naatakbaazi' is concerned, it was all too evident the very first day when Sanjay Dutt adressed Amar Singh as his 'bada bhai'. A sure shot thumbs down for this shitty act and jodi..

Uma said...

He's going to screw the outsourcing industry and I will lose my livelihood. You rock on, woman. Keep kissing ass in exchange for free food and entertainment.

NAT said...

Shobha
Why don't you become the second woman President of India. Gosh, it will be a record second woman from Maharahtra. Then you can at least open your mouth, and the world will know what one should expect from the most upright and PERFECT personified Ms De that you make yourself out to be.
You can also guide the Election commisioner on who is eligible to stand for elections.
I guess you will then cast all the poor to the hills and have a Haven for you and your cronies who time and again you blow their trumpets for them. Remember they have also come up/made their money through.......means.
Agree with what Uma says keep kissing.......

NAT

aryakid said...

It wasnt't Obama who fumbled!!! The chief justice did. The word "faithfully" was jumbled up by the chief justice and hence obama waited to see if the chief justice wud get it right.
Obama is right:) I guess we Indians judge very soon, you are wrong here in saying Obama made a mistake, you too made a fatal judgemental error here

citizenoftheworld said...

Actually Mrs.De, you're incorrect in being disappointed in President Barak Hussein Obama for fumbling on the speech. In America, the President's Oath has been written in the consitution by the founders of the country and it upon the Supreme Court Judge to administer the speech. Justice Steven Roberts messed up in reciting the oath from the constitution to President Obama(not the other way around). If it's any conciliation, Obama retook the speech today.
Also, Obama brought up the recollection of his father because America still struggles with the issue of race and equality and he wanted to acknowledge the historical signifiance of him being the first president of color and from an immigrant father, especially since it was the day after Martin Luther King's Birthday. I admit his speech didn't live up to people's expectations, but then his speech wasn't terrible either. People just expected too much from his speech. Also, I do believe his speech was a positive reinforcement. The plight of the American economy is getting worse day by day. It would be nonsensical for him to paint a happy-go-lucky message to the public. The American public elected a president that would face reality not pretend like everything is okay and make a big mess out of it like Bush.

Nandini Rao said...

Ya... ur absolutely right Shobhaa. I'd rather fall for a braggart...What's with all the nagging about the difficult past...come on! Every step forward is a challenge. I cannot dismiss the sacrifices made...but then who hasn't? It was just not inspirational enough. U do not count on ur past to move forward...it's like this awkward weapon u choose to use everytime u prove a point.
And that 'Yes, We Can' notion never showcased without a hint of the tragedy that had struck years ago....
Hoping for a more cheerful outlook at what needs to be done...in an already sombre atmosphere.

Nandini Rao

Ankit said...

"come on, if the President of the United States of America, with his team of speech writers can't get it right, who can"



After all they are human..they can make mistake feeling d pressure of such big occasion....u hv prblem wid everything...get life aunty :D

Balvinder Singh said...

The only thing i like about these westners is that they don't read out their speeches from a paper as our politicians as intelligent and as well read as Dr. Manmohan Singh do.

But frankly speaking Obama's speech sounded like he was still in the election campaign.

As far as Sanjay and Manyata Dutt's utterings are concerned , it is all the fault of media. To get a scoop they just call some controvercial people in the studios ask them few controvercial questions and there you are with new controversy into which the country errupts.

Anonymous said...

your words seem to point that you have some personal grudge against sanjay and manyata. agreed he is not the ideal person to be a politician, but why dig out the graves from manyata's past by saying that she was a pole dancer or whatever.

you were a model and i am sure you were definitely not chaste then and even now you are not.

first see yourself before pointing fingers to others.

there is a limit to everything.

*Aham* said...

I suppose De, I was so overwhelmed about Obama becoming the president that I didnt actually objectively look at things. I will need to you tube it tonite for a relook.

Broadly, Yes, I agree with you, Prezzos should not be speaking about skin tones and religions in their speech. there are certain issues that have to be acted upon without being hammered. Discrimination or bias is one such thingy.

Regarding sikhs and buddhists etc, for them it could all be hindus.

********************

Manyata bhabhi??? ohhhh i hate to speak about it. if sanjay dutt gets voted in. then it would be a real slap on every indians face. Priya must have denied him a seat. Rightly so.

Anonymous said...

I think you were watching some other inauguration. Or maybe, Palin like- not listening. Obama being black is a big deal MM Singh being a Sikh or Abdul Kalam a Muslim not so, because after Obama blacks in the USA can dare to be as big,presidents even. Muslims or minorities in India cannot- still. Indira Gandhi was a woman PM- women are still the secondary citizens in our great nation- that is the difference.Negativity, well, it seemed like reality, unlike the empty rhetoric Indian politicians are full of- inded the very fact that a fraud like Sanjay Dutt with his archaic views on women can be listened to and not shamed for holding them- says a lot about how far as a nation, despite our "minority" leaders and "women" presidents we are. Perhaps Ms De you need to view things in perspective- coming out of a South Mumbai "we are so privileged" bubble.

KimyaShafinaaz said...

"Obama personalised his status by bringing his father into the speech ("60 years ago, he would have been refused service at a restaurant"). These sort of reminders cause pain and the world needs positive reinforcement rather than an opening up of old wounds."

I agree with your sentiments, Ms De..
While I think that Obama being an African AMerican is a huge deal, I also think that personalising the issue in his inauguration speech and seeing it as a personal victory is a marketing ploy to engender the sentiments of the Third World...
But no, we don't need reminders of his ancestors slavery; we know. Obama has not been plucked from the heart of Africa; He is an American. And from what I remember, 'colour' is purported to be a non-issue.

Lets get on with the bigger issues now. Theres wars raging; children are being slaughtered; innocent people are dying, in Gaza, in Mumbai, in too many parts of the world...

We're a bunch of people forgetting what it is to be human. There are bigger issues.

S. South Africa.

milidb@yahoo.com said...

great piece Shobha!!!
The Obama mania is in full swing here in the US. Lets hope he's not only sound and fury.
You have to admit, Manyata is a real sharp one, manipulative to the core, now that Sanjay Dutt has taken off his mask, he looks sinister.....they are one crooked pair!

Angel's Flight said...

U r supposed to be a journo right? then get ur facts right...it was the chief justice that messed up, and Obama was trying to him him along

Really woman!! u spew a lot of crap without even knowing what is right and what the facts are...

And I bet you published this same crap in the name of a column!

Rhett said...

His speech has been interpreted more accurately in serious newspapers like NYT. For eg., he kept mentioning past leaders because he believes America needs to return to old values and ousting the constitution like was done in the Bush years must not be done anymore. Read: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/opinion/22cohen.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss and http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/opinion/22kristof.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

sydney said...

Oops I just noticed that I posted my comment in reference to THIS post in the comments section of Jan 20, 2009's post. Sorry.

No offense, Shobhaa-ji, I admire you for saying what is on your mind. And it is rare to come across someone with such a strong sense of self and enough confidence to say more than what is simply "politically correct". However, sometimes, I think you tend to be a bit too picky. Of course, he didn't mention Sikhs and Buddhists in his speech... but that doesn't apparently imply that they don't count. Obama cannot stand up at the podium and rattle off all of the religions in the world. There are so many.

So please, never stop speaking your mind, but go a little easy on the criticism. Most of the things you say are grounded and credible, but when you get so nit-picky - it's just illogical.


I will admit that I am skewed in my perception, perhaps that is why I am so prudent to feel that your criticism goes overboard when Obama is concerned.

I am OKAY with the fact that he got nervous and messed up while taking the oath.

His humanity was apparent in that crucial moment.

Obama was and is hailed for so many things on his famous, successful track to the Presidency. But the fact that he messed up shows that he is human.

And it was a memorable moment in my eyes. Not a let down.

It's OKAY to mess up.

We are all human.

It's great to have high standards that drive us to greatness, but at the same time, let us acknowledge that is OK to stumble. Without many many stumbles, the world would have lost many many success that owe credit to previous failures.

cheers,
- sydney

Anonymous said...

Damn! Even If Obama (a mortal human being) does err or jumble up his oath, Why should it matter so much!!! It is just a trivial matter, and he did retake the oath (needlessly).
What a fuss over a single jumble.
God, when will ppl grow up?

Sidhusaaheb said...

Considering the fact that Americans of Indian origin comprise a large number of Sikhs, not too far fewer than Hindus, the omission was glaring. The same applies for Budhists from other Asian nations. Thanks for highlighting this!

As for Sanjay, he appears to be an angel as compared to those like Bihar's Syed Shahabuddin and U.P.'s Raja Bhaiyya and other such 'Mafia Don-Politicians'.

Anant said...

Sarcastically calling Manyata as sati savitri does not befit you .Shobhaala he shobhat nahi.

Piper .. said...

you`ve got your facts wrong, I`m afraid. Obama didnt fumble with the oath. The Chief Justice did. Obama knew the oath by heart, which is why he stopped/waited for the Chief Justice to word the oath correctly. The perfectionist that he is, he insisted on taking the correct oath, as its worded in the constitution, the day after.The Chief Justice of course has been severely criticized thereafter.
Secondly, totally agree with you on the Sanjay Dutt and his wife(read leech) drama. Wonder if they`ll get away with this. Did you know that Manyata thinks that those who havent adopted their husband`s name are not really married but in live-in relationships?!!! :) wanted to do a post trying to persuade people not to vote for them. But then again, are the other candidates any better? Its like having to choose between the devil and the deep sea!

maha said...

great writing....

Work from home India

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