The Obama’s are having a field day in India.
Days before the Air Force One landed in Mumbai, there’s been a hysterical run up to the president’s first visit to India.
Broadcasters and Newspapers have been flooding the news space with milieu and menus for the US first couple.
From Barack’s body language to his Beast (the automobile that drives the US president) nothing was left to imagination.
Everything was being dished outs seemingly like a meticulously executed PR plan. Till this happened.
At St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, where the President interacted with Generation Next who were asked by his better half to pose tough question at him, the young minds didn’t disappoint.
A bunch of students managed to ask the president what hordes of scribes couldn’t.
They raised the so far forbidden ‘J (Jihad)’ n ’P’(Pakistan) words much to the delight of scribes out there bound by president’s press agenda and protocol.
One of the best orators in the business Obama found himself in not so preferred situation as one of the student Afsheen Irania asked, “Why is Pakistan not being called a terrorist state by the US?”
After a pause Obama said, “Let me tell you I was expecting this question.” (But to me it seemed a way to get away and engage the crowd which went into silence the question was asked. Given his skills and stature he managed to ‘beat around the bush’ as Irania told NDTV later.
But it will be harsh to just tie him down on this question; he was walking the tight rope.
Questions apart after acting as the Chief Sales Officer(CSO) for the United States of America on day one of his India visit, President Barack Obama had Generation Next of Mumbaikars eating out of his hands.
If the uproar that greeted Obama at the St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai was something to go by, it showed his immense popularity among young Indians.
There were quite a few things that the Indian politicos can pick from the president. Not only the way he gets crowds engaged and cares to ask them about their ambitions, aspirations and fears (some things that most back home give a miss) but he also told them it’s my people first.
Having referred him as CSO earlier he ensured that on day one while he proposed a win-win formula, it was more of a win America situation.
Deals worth USD 10 billion and 50,000 jobs being created in the USA made headlines.
Nothing of what India gains out of this was evident or discussed. While most business honchos I get a feeling were awed by the experience of being in the room with one of the most powerful man on the planet, no questions were raised.
The big futuristic plans were applauded, but for the outspoken chairman of the Bajaj group, Rahul Bajaj, who told NDTV, “It doesn’t look like win-win. Its deals from India, money goes from us to them. What about our win? I hope in days ahead our prime minister too shows similar resolve and put our case strongly enough.”
Having watched the frenzy unfold and symbolic gestures being over hyped I haven’t seen something that makes the common man feel benefitted.
As I conclude this piece the much expected formal announcement by Indian Prime Minister and Obama on Monday is coming up.
India will be looking up to the premier to stand tall and hold the flag flying high.