USA: How Mahatma Gandhi Inspires Obama

Oct 5: Barack Obama, who scripted history by getting elected as the first black President of the United States, has always seen Mahatma Gandhi [Images] as an inspiration who reminds him about the 'real message of life'.

Obama also flaunts his love to the apostle of peace by having a portrait of Mahatma at his Senate Office. The Democrat, who favours US having close links with India, has told an Indian magazine that he was fortunate to have close Indian-American friends and recalled about the rural development work his mother did in the country.

"Through the power of his example and his own unshakable spirit, Gandhi inspired a people to resist oppression, sparking a revolution that freed a nation from colonial rule," the Democratic Presidential-elect had said.

"Gandhi's significance is universal. Countless people around the world have been touched by his spirit and example. His victory in turn inspired a generation of young Americans to peacefully wipe out a system of overt oppression that had endured for a century. And more recently led to velvet revolutions in Eastern Europe and extinguished apartheid in South Africa ," the 47-year-old Senator from Illinois had said in his message on October 2, the birth anniversary of Gandhi.

Obama had said that he always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things.

"That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office; to remind me that real results will not just come from Washington, they will come from the people," Obama, who won the historic presidential poll, had said.

Barack Obama, in his own words

He had said that while formulating his strategy to free India from the clutches of the then British rulers, Gandhi had a choice. "He (Gandhi) chose courage over fear," said Obama.


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Comment on this article

  • K Punja, Mangalore/Los Angeles

    Fri, Nov 07 2008

    That Gandhi inspired so many leaders as an apostle of peace, showing through example that the means of achieving a goal is equally or more important than the goal itself is remarkable. Countless are the number of destiny makers that have been influenced by him - Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandella, and even in this day Barack Obama to name just a few.

    History will judge how Obama puts this example to use. But I could not once again help thinking how a great personality like him was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was apparently nominated, but did not win it. Gandhi's stature is so great that in a way no award is worthy of him. So in a way it is better this way. The Nobel Peace prize will forever be tarnished beacuse of this oversight.

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