Barack Obama and the Indian flavour

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.


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