Yes we can resounded the world over as Barack Obama was elected as the first black President of the USA ending a journey that had taken over a century! What is truly astounding as the results show is that everyone came together: black and white, yellow or brown, gay or straight, disabled or not -- all voted for him to create history in America.
At pwhy we too followed the elections in our own special way and little Koko was undoubtedly the most fervent and vocal Obama supporter as she reveled in repeating his name over and over again. Somehow she liked the sound of it! I must admit I was an off and on follower of the campaign tough when it came down to the wire I too wanted history to be made. But nothing could have prepared me for what lay in wait.
We had a visitor on the fateful morning . Mary who had come all the way from the USA to fulfill a long cherished dream entered our office at the very moment Obama's victory was announced. Mary is a spirited 68 year old African American woman and to be able to have shared this moment with her was priceless. She broke into a jig and danced around, hugging everyone. She then sat down to savour the moment as tears streamed down her cheeks. Some of those present could not fathom what was happening, as to them America is a promised land where nothing is wrong. The plight and history of black Americans is unknown to them. And somehow having Mary with us at that moment was truly special.
We sat a long time sharing thoughts and then the spell broke and life took over. Later when I switched on the TV, I fell on Obama's victory speech and sat mesmerised and listened and as his words filled the room I realised that the world had changed in more ways than one. From shackled slaves to president of the USA what a journey it had been. What was truly moving was the expression on the faces of those listening, black and white, many weeping unabashedly.
Electoral rhetoric will say the cynics. I do not know but what I felt at that moment was that if there was will anything could be possible. My mind wandered to our own reality, to India preparing for an election, to the political slandering that we are witness to each and every day. I searched for the one individual in our political firmament who could stand and talk to all of us and have us listen and sadly found none. Everything in our political arena seems to be soiled and tainted by hidden and selfish agendas.
We too have our dark alleys and they are the same colour as we are. Will there be a day when we come together and elect a Dalit leader in one voice and wash away not centuries but thousand of years of slavery and say with pride: yes we can!