Word count: 550 | Estimated time to read entry: 7 min
In the midst of the US presidential elections, I was incidentally reading Mark Twain’s novel ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. Readers who aren’t familiar with Mark Twain’s works might be interested to know that he describes a pre-Lincoln (readers who aren’t familiar with Lincoln might want to switch over to Britney Spears’ blog instantly 😛 ) era in the US where Afro – Americans were slaves to the “racially superior” whites and could be bought and sold in open markets – yes, women and children too.
Mark Twain portrays aspects of American life beautifully through the eyes of an adolescent, Huckleberry Finn in the eponymous novel. His constant companion is Jim, a runaway slave. Now had Jim been white, his running away would have been inconsequential. The fact that he was Afro-American was the only thing that made this otherwise trivial act a great crime.
More than a century has passed since Twain wrote this classic but the American mentality hasn’t altered much. Barack Obama was in the news not for all his achievements and embellishments (tell me frankly, how many do you know right now??) but because he is an Afro-American contesting for the post of the US president. From this viewpoint, I see no difference between Jim running away from his owner and Obama running for President! This aspect was most hyped by the US media. If I am wrong, then this election should have been like all other previous elections without any mention of race – which it certainly wasn’t.
America has imposed the ‘third-world’ country tag over India – a country living under the flimsy armor of technological advancement over a country that is eternally protected by its philosophy; a country that is not yet open to the idea of a woman President over a country that has had a woman Prime Minister decades ago; a country that wreaks immediate revenge on the innocent civilians of its enemy state over a country that tolerates and forgives daily misgivings on its innocent civilians by its enemy; a country that meddles with the internal affairs of other countries and hangs their ‘dictators’ after a ‘fair trail’ over a country that is perhaps a member of more mutual peace related committees than any other; a country that has enough and more nuclear power to destroy this galaxy over a country that voluntarily signs pacts against nuclear disarmament; a country that claims it has come a long way by electing a partially black President who is after all an American over a country that voted to power a non-Indian citizen naturalized by marriage; a country whose newly elected President’s principal aim is to nab Osama bin Laden despite an ailing economy over a country that is opening frontiers with its enemy by creating more direct buses to each other’s capitals and openly inviting them to singing competitions.
America is perhaps under the mistaken impression that technological advancement is the only advancement to be ever attained and having more guns and lesser tolerance qualifies it to brand itself as a developed nation. Countries that do not conform to this all-American notion are ‘third-world’ countries, however open-minded on other political, philosophical and humanitarian issues.
And by open-minded, I don’t mean Playboy or Naughty America!! 😛