Watching the Election in Richmond
By Arundhati Mukherjee
The dream started to blossom from October 23. We were given a fair idea about the American polls and related matters in Washington, D.C. After the preparation, it was the time for going into the field. I made my steps to the Richmond Times Dispatch with a small thrill and a lot more tension. Would they be nice to me? But the moment I went up to the second floor the smiles on their faces took all my tensions away. I was impressed by the practical banner in their editorial boardroom – “Think like readers”.
I started working under their political bureau chief – Andrew Cain. It was because of him that I could send my stories to Calcutta. He sent me to James Madison University to see the campaign of Obama, and other places to get a feel for the campaign. All who I met helped me a lot. When I was in Virginia I saw that the young generation was very excited by this poll. This, I think is a good indication for a country because they will ultimately lead the nation.
Finally, the D-Day came. The first news flash showed that Obama had three electoral votes and McCain, eight.
However, as Obama started gaining more every minute, the balance reversed and a large margin developed. At about 3 am, it became clear that the United States had made history. A nation founded by slave owners, seared by civil war and generations of racial strife finally proved that it believes in equality. It was a small step for man, but a giant leap forward for mankind. On the November 4, I became a witness to a moment in history for which I thank the ICFJ, and of course, The Richmond Times Dispatch.
The writer is chief of news bureau for Aajkaal in Kolkata, India.