The world’s first truly globalised president-to-be?

Mukul Kesavan on Barack Obama in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“The more I read about him, the more he seemed like a mythical creature constituted out of a politically correct wish-list. Here was a Christian whose father had been a lapsed Kenyan Muslim, whose middle name was Hussein, who had had a white American mother, an Indonesian step-father and who had grown up in places as distant from the American mainland as Hawaii and Indonesia, and people were talking him up… only the fifth African-American member of the US Senate… as a plausible candidate for the presidency of the United States of America!

“Sitting on my sofa in Delhi, I had no real insight into how Americans of different colours and sexes saw Obama. All I knew was that I’d be happy to see a tale like this unfold in India. It’s unlikely to happen (not least because India is a parliamentary democracy and therefore doesn’t stage nationwide elections for a single post), but think how rousing it would be to see an Indian equivalent of Obama, someone as far from the ‘mainstream’, as mixed in his (or her) origins, with no inherited political patronage and no readymade party machine at his disposal, make a real, credible run for political office.”

Read the full article: A man called Obama

Also read: Shashi Tharoor: What is globalisation?