Obama leaves Parliament spellbound

And he struck a correct political note in the beginning itself when he shook hands with Rahul Gandhi who was welcoming him with a namaste after he saw the young leader in the fourth row.

And he literally stole the show in his address to Parliament, peppering his speech with words like 'Jai hind', 'Bahut dhanyawad' and Panchatantra to connect with the world's largest democracy.

As regards the larger canvas, Obama sang paeans to his 'hero' Mahatma Gandhi.
"And I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today, as President of the United States, had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world," he said.

In his 35-minute address, Obama also recalled Swami Vivekananda's address in his hometown of Chicago over a century ago where he had said that "holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character".

The first African-American to become the US President, Obama also paid tribute to Dr B R Ambedkar. "We believe that no matter who you are or where you come from, every person can fulfil their god-given potential, just as a Dalit like Dr Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the Constitution that protects the rights of all Indians", he said.

Obama received the loudest applause when he said "I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member". Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi as BJP veteran L K Advani and others were seen lustily cheering the dignitary.

His reference to 'bylanes of Chandni Chowk' also saw wide clapping from members particularly Union Minister Kapil Sibal, representing the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency.

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