Alright, the results are in and the good citizens of the United States have elected their next Head of State and Government. Congratulations to you, Sir!
It was their decision to make and to live with. I do not live there, I do not have vote in the country so I shall refrain from giving my take on it here, because it’s not going to be possible to contain in one blog post.
The good thing, although in a lighter vein, is the flurry of memes. The jokes are never-ending.
There are two things that bother me though. Let’s get into that.
Here‘s a look at a list of all the billionaires in the world. There are so many rich people aren’t there, and so rich too! Anyway, the list has some impressive names. All have their names on the list due to their own hard work and perseverance. Even people like Mukhesh Ambani, who took over his father’s empire is there somewhere. But you must admit that Mukesh Ambani has added to what he got. He has diversified the business and added his own flair to accumulate more wealth.
One thing that these people have in common is their philanthropy. On the very top of the list, Bill Gates. We know how he got there and what he has done from the top spot. Not to mention the Giving Pledge. They are concerned about how they live and how their fellow human beings live. They strive to make a better world for the generations to come, irrespective of any of the man-made distinctions.
But, here we have a person who has openly called the concept of global warming a hoax created by China. What will be his policy with respect to famine, drought, and floods? Will he be able to contain the carbon footprint or ignore the threat and add to it? Of course we know he isn’t going to do anything about hunting or poaching in any part of the world. For more on the topic of global warming and the President Elect, read this.
The other thing that is bothering me is this list, a list of women who have been elected or appointed as head of government.( Also this, a list of women who have been elected or appointed head of state.) The United States has been an independent country for so many years (240 years since July 4, 1776). Over two centuries, unlike my country, India, which has been independent for only a few decades (69 years, since August 15, 1947). And so has Pakistan.
We may have blatant patriarchy all around us. We may have atrocities against women that have had us hang our heads in shame. But, we have had female Presidents and Prime Ministers! (FYI, recently Tamil Nadu announced a 270 days (9 months) maternity leave policy. Of course, Tamil Nadu is governed by a female Chief Minister.)
Why has a nation that prides itself in having its women be independent and self-sufficient not yet had its first President? When you complain about the treatment of women else where in the world while you haven’t yet had this small step in equality, it is time to introspect. Surely you know some women who are capable of leading your country. And really, it doesn’t have to be Hillary! But over 200 years of independence and not one female President yet, that is really something to think about.
For a country that sets a trend in everything from technology to movies; from art to television; from Literature to hash tags, you are now going to set an example for a lot more. Whether you, as a country, will do it responsibly, with the grace and poise that you were once known for is what the world will be looking for.
PS I will really miss Michelle Obama. That’s the only regret I had with respect to this election, and that was a given, no matter the outcome.