Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's inaugural address

I have just finished watching the live coverage of Barack Obama's oath taking ceremony. Like I mentioned, Obama brings a new world of anticipation (I will not use the word 'hope' lest I be mistaken to be a Democrat supporter; I am merely an interested bystander) to the international stage.

I really liked his inaugural address. Some highlights:

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
I loved the fact that here is a leader who doesn't just ask his countrymen to stand and ponder over what's wrong and what's right and worry about what is possibly the correct way ahead. Action is the need of the hour.

There was plenty of talk about co-operation; no talk about dividing the world into 'axes of evil'.
And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity
Sceptics and critics would've been waiting to pounce had he left an ambiguous message to the Muslim world. Obama never game them a chance.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
Imagine the pride he must've felt when he said the following words:

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
Reminded me of the opening statements he made immediately after the election results were out ("If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer").

My favourite part of the speech came when he spoke of the founding values upon which ANY success, let alone American, depends.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.
All said and done, the United States of America is still one of the most prosperous and powerful nations on Earth right now. Let's hope that God gives its newest leader the gifts of wisdom and courage.

[Full text of Obama's speech here]


Shalini Gowrisankar said...

I was glued to the T.V as well waiting to catch up with the happening of the historic moment. Loved his speech :)

Shekhar said...

Shalini: Yeah. :)