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Obama has never disappointed when the nation needed him to address an issue. From school shootings to the Orlando terror attack to incidents of race-related violence, President Obama has visited the sites of crimes, condemned the killings and comforted the relatives of the victims. Modi’s track record is not so impressive.
This May, Barack Obama became the first American President to visit Hiroshima, which was ravaged by the world's first atomic bomb attack in 1945. While Obama did not apologize for America during his speech, he did call for a "world without nuclear weapons." This, ironically, was also the eventual dream of the man who was known as the "father of the atomic bomb." But when Robert Oppenheimer found himself questioning the effects of the bomb he was making, it was the Gita that gave him the impetus to carry on.
<em>The Man Who Knew Infinity</em> is a film based on the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan, and was released in India last week. The film -- written, directed and produced by Matt Brown -- is a fairly authentic portrayal of the genius, and is based on the eponymous biography by Robert Kanigel.
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Most of the US and the international press and leaders have expressed fears about the chaos that might ensue if Trump is elected President. They are worried he will follow through on his outrageous pronouncements. But there's another question: Will Donald Trump change if he's elected President? The search for this answer warrants a closer look at home, where Narendra Modi won a decisive mandate against a discredited and corrupt Congress party in 2014.
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We in India have watched this drama unfold in the US with some fascination, a fair bit of trepidation and a lot of amazement. We usually see American political debates and campaigns as civilised and academic, a far cry from the political campaigns fought here, but the fracas ensuing in the US today seems like new territory for them, and rather familiar for us.
Narayana Murthy, the doyen of Indian IT, drew both praise and criticism for his address to the graduating students of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), in which he correctly pointed out that Indian universities have not produced any "earth-shaking" inventions in 60 years. But we can also question Infosys, TCS and other computer companies which employ some of the best students from Indian universities. Why have no great inventions or original products come from them?
Sharad Yadav's comments were debated for a week on the news and in the papers. Soon after this, I saw an interesting programme on NDTV hosted by Prannoy Roy where undercover actors in real-world settings raised awareness about racism in society. As expected, it became clear that skin colour is given a great deal of importance in Indian society. But it isn't that different anywhere else, is it?
India's Constitution is regarded as one of the sturdiest and most comprehensive in the world, and we are hailed as a truly secular democracy. But a few critical questions need to be posed: Are Indians obsessed with religion? Are politics and religion connected?