A few years ago, if someone had said that someday I’d be writing moony words about the American President I’d have rubbished it aggressively.
But here goes…
It was a real treat to watch Barack Obama on the David Letterman show. Besides his clarity of speech and thought, one couldn’t ignore his casual warmth and sense of humour. A willingness to listen and to converse. No shouting invectives or with-us-against-us insecurities here.
When Letterman brought up the suggestion that most of criticism on Obama was probably racially motivated. Obama retorts “I think its important to realize that I was actually black before the elections!” Letterman quips “How long have you been a black man?” Finally someone the world can laugh with rather than at!
The episode made me wonder about the accessibility of most politicians/ (some may say ‘leaders’) for the common public – when it NOT an election campaign period.
Sure we hear about Rahul Gandhi, three puris and the handpump shower at a Dalit home. But do you think if you had a problem you could go to the concerned official/department/ Ministry to speak to someone? Or do they run you around in bureaucratic circles and then wrap you in scarlet red tape until you’re asphyxiated?
Am sure not anyone could speak to Mr.Obama to sort out their mess, but there must be an effect that a President with such a demeanour has. To work together his action team right down to the nth subordinate and intern would in the smallest way be influenced by the tone that he sets. The kind of quality expected of any leader – in a family, in an office, in a department, in a government department (trust me, they deserve a special mention!), in a country.
Like the old peom “Abou ben Adhem… May your tribe increase!”
David Letterman too, demonstrates something most of our television presenters cant do … let the other person speak.