A Lesson from Americans

We are in USA at a time when the campaign for presidential election is at peak. A close observation helps me to firm up some views about this democracy and its people. A very clear uniqueness of American leadership is its emphasis on America as nation. In speeches of the presidential candidates or senators, one hears only about America and Americans. “This is a crucial moment in America’s history and that’s why we need to reverse the trend from 2004 when millions of young Americans opted out of voting on election and making history.” The campaign appears to be pretty negative. Both John McCain and Barack Obama are running negative ads and sniping at each other. But it addresses to American public not to any specific community or region. “We need a plan that gives hardworking Americans relief instead of using taxpayer dollars to reward CEOs on Wall Street… Well that might be true for the profits of a few CEOs, but it’s certainly not true for America’s….. That’s the America idea…I promise you – we will change America together.”

It is so different from how Indian leadership speaks. We keep on hearing ‘Marathi Manush’ ‘Gujarati Greatness’, or ‘Sonar Bangla’.

I keep on reading the books written by Americans, be it Tarun Khanna’s ‘Two Billion of Entrepreneurs‘ or Thomas Friedman’s latest ‘Hot, Flat, and Crowded’. The theme rotates around what America can do to keep up its lead as superpower or largest economy with challenges from the emerging economies of China and India.

In every passage one reads, America and the concerns for America is the main theme. See this: “Yet beneath the gloom, economists and business leaders across the political spectrum are slowly coming to an agreement: Innovation is the best-and maybe the only-way the U.S. can get out of its economic hole. New products, services, and ways of doing business can create enough growth to enable Americans to prosper over the long run.”

I wish we Indians talk more about India and Bharat and identify everything with it rather than stick to the same old politically motivated attachment to the regions. The regionalism gets manifested when I talk with Indians working in US too. In the era of a bigger world where Indian business leader and CEO of Arcelor Mittal or Pepsico are setting role, Indians must shake off those regionalism at least in public statements and writings.

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