The speech that blew away an entire nation

The spectre of Barack Obama hangs heavy over young Indian politicians. Can they talk as well? Can they be as spontaneous? Can they inspire as many? Can they strike a chord as well as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee without sounding too smart and supercilious?

Or will they just turn out to be a chip off the old block?

During the two-day special session to discuss the trust motion, only Omar Abdullah among the genuinely young pols held his own. Squeezed for time and drowned by the din, the National Conference president called the left bluff on secularism and the right bluff on communalism, refused to view the Indo-US nuclear deal through the Muslim prism, and voted for the motion.

“I am a Muslim and I am an Indian, and I see no distinction between the two. I don’t know why should I fear the nuclear deal. It is a deal between two countries which, I hope, will become two equals in the future. The enemies of Indian Muslims are not America or deals like these. The enemies are the same as the enemies of all those who are poor — poverty, hunger, lack of development and the absence of a voice….”