The coming of Obama and his wife to this region was a great occasion. They represent a dream: travelling from America, a black President representing the world’s leadership is just unimaginable. Why so? As I have seen first hand, the segregation in American society is an enormously difficult problem to overcome, but to do just that and emerge as reality from the dream of Martin Luther King (the infamous 1960’s ‘I have a dream’ speech) adds a new and unique emergence.
The first nation to host the President, India, as a whole has still to come out of race and caste segregation. A Dalit or indeed a person from a lower caste leading India is still a dream. The speech given by Michelle Obama at St. Xaviers college illustrates how difficult it was for the First Lady and President to overcome extreme odds especially coming from the south side of Chicago. To achieve the goal they have is still impossible in most of the rest of the world too, but her speech showed the face of new America and the dream that can be achieved in time.
The visit on the whole was very well received by the Indian media although the significance and views amongst people may vary. We as Sikhs lost an opportunity for them to visit Punjab and our Harimandir Sahib. Security apparatus and our the weak leadership representing Sikhs is partly to blame. I as a Sikh wish that we might learn from this quickly. We too must form a dream; I have no doubt that an orator like Martin Luther King might emerge more rightly on the world scene from our midst and then we too could achieve our goals.