An Indian Obama?

Could it happen in India?

Ever since the election, the media has been full of stories about Obama, and editorials about whether it might be possible to have such a thing happen here in India– a minority elected president.  Perhaps a Muslim, or a Dalit.

In today’s Times of India, there is a very interesting opinion piece by Ashutosh Varshney about why he thinks it won’t happen:

  • “First, party establishments cannot easily be challenged until there are open intra-party elections for the leadership of political parties.”
  • “Second, the US has a presidential system, India a parliamentary one. Since a US president is elected by the whole nation, a presidential system creates a national political arena.”
  • “Third, to mobilise citizens for vote, one has to speak in a language that the citizens can understand.” The India electorate is multilingual.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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