With a little over an hour to go for the Oath of office of America's 44th President, Barack Obama, the deep significance of the moment, does indeed deserve a thought or two. The weight of the post of the President of the United States, need not be described. Suffice it to say that it is THE MOST COVETED POST in the World. And when a quiet, unassuming man who has a Kenyan parentage actually undertakes the journey and makes it to the end, it seems like a fairy tale. Abraham Lincoln was the father of the Civil Rights movement. He took the bold steps for slave emancipation, an thus earned himself his rightful place in history. Martin Luther King wanted equal rights, the right to vote and be called equal citizens of a variegated America, to be treated with an ounce of respect at least. And from that modest request, America, in an astounding way voted for her first non-white President. In a country where affirmative action begins from refraining the use of the term 'Black', in a highly progressive manner, even predominantly 'white' states voted hugely in his favor. Such were the times, such were the circumstances. America, and indeed the world have been witnessing the gory side of capitalism that borders on and at times is engulfed by greed. Job losses keep rising by the minute. Years of gnarled banking and finance have started a painful tailspin, wherein the Big Daddys of Wall Street are wiped out, without a trace. Billions are being lost at the same time on a war that is globally perceived as being wasteful.
At such a time, Obama offered change. The chance to break free from the current methods and herald in a new beginning. In a very smartly designed campaign that reached grassroots and literally enfranchised the citizens of America, Obama promised the dawn of a new beginning. Not just for the millions of African Americans, but for the everyday common man American, who was afraid for his job, afraid for his ballooning mortgage, tired of the war, and desirous of change.
But even in his wildest of dreams, the reluctant Democratic nominee would not have imagined the toxicity of his inheritance. He would never have imagined the depth and breadth of the mess he was getting to manage. And he has a very difficult task cut out for him. Look at the nearly 2 million people gathered on Penn Avenue chanting the Obamanthem - YES WE CAN. Obama, through his measures and policies is answerable to these million hopes, to the billion hopes watching worldwide. People have traveled from California, Atlanta and even Bahamas, to watch this man take office. They stand braving -20 degrees in cold, with the flame of hope in their eyes. And therein lies the unease. My most memorable dialogue from the Spiderman movie was 'With extreme power comes extreme responsibility'. That holds true here, with the only difference being that in this case, with extreme responsibility comes extreme scrutiny and the burden of matching up to expectations is a daunting task indeed.
So for this uneasy head, the billions of citizens of the world wish Mr Obama THE VERY BEST OF LUCK.... Less than one hour to go.............