Left charmed by Obama, but suspicious of America

November 4th, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) India’s Communist parties seem to have a soft corner for Barack Obama, who could become the first black president of the US. But they are not sure if his ascendance to the top post will change what they call America’s imperial policies. “A man of Afro-American origin becoming the president of that country is not a silly matter…It is a big deal. This is for the first time a black is becoming the president of the US,” C.K. Chandrappan, the Communist Party of India’s (CPI) parliamentary party deputy leader, told IANS.

“It shows the change in the mindset of people in a white-dominated country like America. Indians should learn lessons from the greatness of Americans,” Chandrappan underlined.

It is unusual for Communists to gush over an American presidential hopeful, but Chandrappan is sold on the charm of Obama. The Democratic presidential candidate is pitted against Republican John McCain in Tuesday’s poll.

“The charming personality of Obama helps him conquer the hearts of Americans,” said Chandrappan.

In the same breath, the CPI leader made it clear that Obama’s presidency would not necessarily lead to a change in the country’s policies. “We don’t expect a change in the US’ imperial policies, whether it is Obama or McCain,” he said.

Sitaram Yechury, politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), chose to be more cautious. “Our assessment on the US elections is on the basis of the policies of the winner, not on the basis of individuals,” said Yechury.

“We are looking for his (Obama) official reaction - if he wins - on various issues, including his foreign policy, and his view on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal,” Yechury said.

Forward Bloc national secretary G. Devarajan also does not expect a dramatic change in US foreign policy.

“Obama has not revealed his mind fully on the Iraq war. The Iraqi invasion by the US forces is a black chapter in recent history. And he has not revealed his policies towards third world countries. It indicates that there would not be a drastic change in traditional US foreign policies,” he said.

The Left Parties have vehemently opposed the India-US nuclear deal and withdrawn their support to India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance government in July over the issue.

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