I was expecting a warmer day in Kathmandu today but it is not. Woke up at midday and read newspapers. Nothing new. One news report that I was eagerly waiting to read but wasn’t expecting in today’s Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post was about the American senator Barack Obama’s announcement of his candidacy for the president of the United States. I had seen him on TV last night when he delivered an electrifying speech. Every news article and report about him pulls my attention just like the news about Gmail used to do in mid 2004. I have been a great admirer and user of Gmail service ever since.
I strongly feel Barack Obama is in the race to win. I am thrilled by just the mention of his name. It creates energy. Hillary Clinton, whom I admire, is Obama’s key challenger for now but I think the senator from Illinois has the vision and capacity to do what needs to be done. He is young and energetic. He talks sense and he seems genuine. Leaders are those who come up with a vision and direction. Obama has shown that he has vision and ideas about new America. Because he is young, (at 45 he is younger than Hillary, 59) he has the potential to bring about the generational change in the United States. When Tony Blair was elected the Prime Minister of Britain in 1997 at the age of 44, his victory had some kind of psychological impact even in Nepal. I heard Sher Bahadur Deuba, former Prime Minister of Nepal, once saying Nepal needed a younger generation of leaders to lead the country. In the name of experience and unifying figure, we are still relying on octogenarians to run our country. I can’t vote for Obama because I am not an American but I will be closely following his campaign (thanks to the Internet).
Talking about the Internet, I should thank Nepal Telecom for providing free connection for a week (which will end tomorrow) on CDMA phone. I know the free lunch can’t continue forever but I really wish NT reduced the price so that people like me could be online as long as they wanted. Rs. 3 plus 14 percent tax for an MB of data is expensive. NT has recently reduced the corporate charge for Internet connection significantly after it started using fiber optic connection with India. Now it’s our turn, the consumers, to benefit from fiber optic line.
I was talking about the weather in the beginning. It’s raining outside, there is an Arnold Schwarzenegger flick on Star Movies (he has been cloned!), and brother is occasionally flipping through sports channels to follow three separate cricket matches that are being broadcast live. I have had two cups of tea (one milk and the other black) since I woke up. I am feeling lazy. I don’t want to go to work but I will go. Or may be I won’t. See, I am undecided, like many of those voters in the United States who make their mind on the eleventh hour! Yes, it is a cold day in Kathmandu not not as cold as it was in Springfield, Illinois where Barack Hussein Obama last nightsaid:
It was here, in Springfield, where North, South, East and West come together that I was reminded of the essential decency of the American people – where I came to believe that through this decency, we can build a more hopeful America.
And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.
I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness – a certain audacity – to this announcement. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change. (read the complete speech here)