Shame on You, Hillary Clinton

Shame on you, Barrack Obama, yelled Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, while addressing her supporters in Ohio on February 23. The crowd cheered approvingly fully knowing that the whole world was watching them on the television.

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SOROOR AHMED

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Shame on you, Barrack Obama, yelled Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, while addressing her supporters in Ohio on February 23. The crowd cheered approvingly fully knowing that the whole world was watching them on the television.
No, she did not use the expression ‘Shame’ for Osama, but for one of her most respected partymen now in the Presidential race with her.
This is democracy at work in the land of free speech, liberty and equality. You can hurl choicest abuses on anyone – even your own party leader – and yet be proudly called as the most civilized, most democratic and open-minded society of the world.
Can we ever imagine Sonia Gandhi using such an expletive for Manmohan Singh or vice versa in public speech or Lal Krishna Advani using foul language about Atal Behari Vajpayee on an open platform? In private they may have differences but it is against our democratic ethos to publicly abuse own party leaders in such a way.
Even in the less politically matured and fledging democracies like Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh we never witness leaders of the same party indulging in public spat. True our leaders are no less foul-mouthed but even then they seldom use such expressions even for their political opponents. Even in the backward democracies of Africa or South America one can never imagine this thing to happen.
Hillary is not just a Senator from New York, the largest city in the world, but is in the race for Presidential post. She is not only an attorney but also the wife of former President Bill Clinton. In the capacity of the First Lady she visited many countries and met all sorts of international dignitaries. She got full eight years to learn manners and etiquette.
Is she not aware of Obama’s complexion and b(l)ackground. Obama’s father is a Black from Kenya who married an American woman. Obama is the first African-American to aim for the top post in the country.
India might have a very poor record, as for treating Dalits is concerned, but in the recent memory none of our leaders ever hurled any abuse in public life on Mayawati, Kanshi Ram, Ram Vilas Paswan, R.S. Gavai, Sushil Kumar Shinde or any one else. Had anyone done this he or she would have been immediately thrown out of his party.
But that is not the case with the United States of America, which boasts of being the champion of democracy in the world and relishes in exporting it through means fair and foul – even war.
No-hold barred speeches and debates are not the only specialty of the American democracy. The rampant corruption in politics there is not only condoned but is even glorified. They have a very good synonym for corruption: lobbying. US Congressmen are often paid by different lobbies for raising issues related to them. In India the Members of Parliament who indulged in such an act were disqualified but in America it is not considered wrong at all.
Similarly, like the feudal lords and kulaks in the past, big capitalists of today not only influence the powers that be but also control them. Big multi-national companies, oil-giants and construction firms have right political connections. Often President, Vice Presidents and other Secretaries are big business tycoons and the country’s policy is shaped by them. Since these policies affect the foreign countries more than their own country, these practices are not considered immoral. The fact is that the members of the American plutocracy are no less corrupt than leaders of Third World countries.
True, politicians in the Third World countries are seldom punished. But the society never spares them. They are often dubbed corrupt as is the case with Mr 10 Per Cent. In America these practices are wholly justified and considered as a part of healthy democracy. The western multi-national companies have mastered the art of corrupting the ruling class all over the world. They pay bribes and call them kick-backs and commission. Bofors is one such example.
In the name of fund-raising all sorts of games are played in that country. Besides, they use different sorts of machinations to cheat voters in a very subtle manner. For example, there is a strategy on the part of the ruling Republican Party of George Bush to facilitate the victory of Black Obama in the primaries because it would be easy to defeat him in the November poll. If White Hillary Clinton emerges as a candidate from Democratic Party she may pose a bigger problem to the Republicans, who are already on the back foot. A large number of White Anglo-Saxons still do not like to see a Black on the top of the country.
It is for the scholars and political scientists of the Third World countries – who often shower praises on the American democracy  – to bring forth these ugly realities related to democracy in that country. Shame on you, Barrack Obama has given them an opportunity.