Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama = The New Mahatma

... followers willing to wait for hours on end to hear him speak have been crowding out huge concert halls and sports arenas to get a glimpse of their new progressive avatar and drive long distances to obtain the Obama darshan or to simply be in his presence. One can just imagine what the peace and flower-power concerts in the 60's might have been like. Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama. Clearly, people are hungry for a change and want an inspirational leader who can serve up some hearty 'chicken soup for the soul'. ...

Like the Mahatma [Gandhi], Obama is becoming a global symbol of the 'hopes and dreams' of millions around the world. Those who look up to the American ideals, consume American media, and dream American dreams are tuned into this historic election. While Gandhi marked the end of the colonial era, Obama with his multicultural background and upbringing represents the age of globalization. Obama is in an unprecedented historical position to not only be the first African American president, but the first 'global president' of America. Obama's images on T-shirts, magazine covers, and TV screens around the world may be a harbinger of the next American century, if the American people are willing and able to lead it.
Obama's Satyagraha: Or, Did Obama Swallow the Mahatma?. June 27, 2008. (Dinesh Sharma is a marketing science consultant with a PhD in Psychology from Harvard).