President Barack Obama
seeks new beginning in ties with Muslims:
President Barack Obama called for a "new beginning" in relations
between the United States and the Muslim world Thursday, addressing
grievances over the Arab-Israeli conflict, two U.S.-led wars and
tensions over Iran....Read
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
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
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