Pas d'Obama chez les intouchables indiens ?

NEW-DELHI – Le monde se demande si un phénomène analogue à la surprenante victoire d'Obama aux USA pourrait se produire ailleurs. Une personne de couleur pourrait-elle arriver au pouvoir dans un autre pays à majorité blanche ? Dans quel autre pays, un membre d'une minorité discriminée pourrait-il transcender les circonstances de sa naissance et devenir président ?

Un peu partout, mais surtout en Europe, les observateurs estiment que ce serait impossible chez eux, au moins dans un futur prévisible - mais l'Inde constitue l'exception. Depuis longtemps, des hommes politiques appartenant à des minorités y sont en position d'autorité, si ce n'est de pouvoir, à un niveau élevé. En 2004, une femme catholique romaine d'origine italienne, Sonia Gandhi, a remporté les élections générales de 2004 avant de céder la place à un Sikh (Manmohan Singh) qui a été intronisé Premier ministre par un président musulman (Abdoul Kalam) dans un pays à 81% hindou. “ Non seulement le "phénomène Obama" pourrait se produire ici ”, disent les Indiens, “ mais il s'est déjà produit. ”

Une telle autosatisfaction est prématurée. Ceux qui se rapprocheraient le plus des noirs américains sont les Dalits (ceux que l'on appelait les intouchables), les parias qui depuis un millénaire sont discriminés, humiliés et oppressés. Comme les noirs aux USA, les Dalits constituent environ 15% de la population, mais ils sont proportionnellement beaucoup plus nombreux à occuper les emplois les moins rémunérés au bas de l'échelle sociale, leur niveau d'éducation est bien moindre que celui des castes les plus élevés et ils sont quotidiennement la cible de discrimination qui n'a d'autre cause que leur identité de naissance. C'est seulement quand un Dalit dirigera le pays que l'on pourra dire que l'Inde est entrée dans l'ère Obama.

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