Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:25:17 GMT | By Swagata Sen, India Syndicate

The Barack Obama- Mahatma Gandhi connection

If the world’s most powerful man looks upon someone as a hero, think the power that hero has on the minds of people. That’s the power of Gandhi. And President Barack Obama is a self-confessed fan.

The Barack Obama- Mahatma Gandhi connection

Obama is such a fan that he prefers Gandhi's company to his other hero, another former American President, Abraham Lincoln.

In 2009, when Obama was visiting the Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, a ninth grader had asked him a tricky question. The student, named Lily had asked the president: "And if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?"

Obama chuckled and answered: "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 went on to say: "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."

The Obama-Gandhi connection goes back a long way. When he was contesting for the post of the US president, Obama's slogan, that won him votes as well as hearts, was "Be the change." It was inspired by one of Gandhi's most famous quotes, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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