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'I would have liked to have dinner with Gandhi'

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 01:24:48 PM, IANS

President Barack Obama

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Washington: President Barack Obama, whose hero is Abraham Lincoln, said Tuesday that if he had the choice to have dinner with anyone, it would be with Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Talking to ninth-graders of Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, Obama was extolling the virtues of hard work, taking responsibility for one's action and not getting disheartened by failures when a student stunned him with a question.

 

The student named Lily asked the president: "And if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?"

 

Obama chuckled: "Well, you know, dead or alive, that's a pretty big list. You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine."

 

The president said amid laughter: "Now, it would probably be a really small meal because, he didn't eat a lot.

 

"But he's somebody who I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. (Martin Luther) King, so if it hadn't been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United States."

 

Obama, whose slogan during his presidential campaign was 'change', said Gandhi symbolised the power of change through ethical means.

The president, who had a portrait of the Indian leader in his senate office, said for Gandhi morality was the only means to usher in change.

 

As Obama tries to bank on Gandhian means to win over opponents of his highly divisive health care reform, he said Gandhi helped those "who thought they had no power realise that they had power and then helped people who had a lot of power realise that if all they're doing is oppressing people, then that's not a really good exercise of power".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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