Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dreams from My father, Barack Obama

           Yes, this is the book authored by the previous American President.  He wrote this book before he became the first Black President of the United States of America. Once you read the book you can understand how did he become the President of one of the most racial societies of the world. 

            He had a Black father, who was a intellectual from Kenya.  His mother was a white women.  Both were in Hawai when they fell in love.   At a very young age, his father went to Kenya, leaving him with his mother.  He was brought up by his mother, after his father left them.  His mother married again, this time an Indonesian.  Initially, he lived in Hawai, then in Indonesia.  Then his mother entrusted his care to her parents.  Then he moved to Chicago, thereafter in New York for studies and work.  He had experienced what it is to be a black man in America.  

           One of the most important decisions he took in his life was to become an organizer, after finishing his college.  This shows that he had committed himself to social work.   In my view, this made the man.  He worked as an organizer in Chicago, arranging for collecting people of an area for trying to settle civic problems with the help of the civic authorities.  The values he had imbibed,  from his family or from what he had learnt as a very young lad working in a community, has contributed to his becoming a political organizer in future.  Because he knew what the people want and feel.   After reading this  book, we can understand as to how he became the hope of millions of not only the Afro Americans, but also the american working class.   He taught or showed the ways to organize and struggle for fulfilling the needs of small communities.  I think this had given him the dreams of serving the people of the nation and also helped the American people to realize that he had the qualities of a statesmen to lead America. Political workers or people interested in political work can learn from his experience of first serving small communities that may propel them for greater responsibilities. 

            The second most important part of this book in which he narrates his experiences of visiting Kenya, in search of his father and his roots.  This would have definitely kindled the passions of Afro American people who have been without past history, in the sense that they may not know from where their forefathers came to America what was their authentic and original culture or history etc.  Obama travels to Kenya to meet the family of his father Obama, perhaps he also had the urge know about his ancestors culture.  

           He might have felt that Afro American have been stripped their own history or culture by historical conditions.   He gives a very detailed account.  But as an Indian, I also felt that I or any of us indeed choose to visit our native places, if we are residing in big cities away from the original communities, we would have experienced the similar joys, pleasures and distress that affected him.   However, I must state this account left me somewhat tired.  

            This was one of the books which I had read through very fast.  In fact I was very surprised that I could read so fast about a US President.  However, my speed slowed down a bit when reading about his experiences in Kenya.  The books has been named very aply, as it elaborates and traces the life of his father. His father was an academic, held positions in government of kenya and also by the time of his death had become unwanted for the Government of Kenya, as he was branded as opposing Keyatta, the then President of Kenya. This destroyed his social and financial status and he had become a recluse.   

            In some passages of the book, I felt so close to the emotions expressed by him.  particularly, when he describes his experience of the reactions of the community towards the mixed race marriages and what he really felt.  This I had also felt, as a boy/man born out of inter caste marriage.  The confusions I had about my identity, the insults I felt or the shame I was forced experience.  Ultimately, as in his case, I could come out of these feelings only after knowing that the world is not governed by the prejudices and divisions we create ourselves and there are many others who cross the limits, lines and live beyond and ultimately nothing matters except what you stand for.  

               Only now I recall that some people in America were saying that he is not 'black enough' to be a blackman or white enough to be a President of America.  But he has imbined his fathers intellectual capabilities and I suppose he had not committed the sins of his father in opposing the establishment.  

            A very excellent book.  Five Star. 

No comments:

Post a Comment