Obama and the Indian flavourBy IANS
Monday, November 8, 2010
NEW DELHI - From “bahut dhanyavad” to “Jai Hind”, US President Barack Obama Monday regaled Indian people with his knowledge of the country’s ancient wisdom, history and cultural diversity.
In his 45-minute speech at the Central Hall of Indian parliament, Obama referred to the visit of Swami Vivekananda to his hometown Chicago a long time ago and to the famed Panchatantra stories.
As the MPs applauded him repeatedly, in the end giving him a standing ovation, Obama spoke about Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar for penning the “words of the (Indian) constitution”.
There were references in his speech to a village in Punjab, to the bylanes of Chandni Chowk, an old section of Kolkata and to a high-rise in Bangalore.
The president did not forget Rabindranath Tagore, quoting the poet’s immortal words: “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.”
Obama recalled the name of his hero Mahatma Gandhi five times — and mentioned India 61 times.