‘Spent my childhood listening to Ramayana and Mahabharata’: Barack Obama

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In his new book Barack Obama traced India and his connection with India and Indian texts. A Promised Land is the first of two planned volumes of his new book released today. In the book Obama says, India has “always held a special place in my imagination”.

“Maybe it was because I’d spent a part of my childhood in Indonesia listening to the epic Hindu tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, or because of my interest in Eastern religions, or because of a group of Pakistani and Indian college friends who’d taught me to cook dahl and keema and turned me on to Bollywood movies,” he adds.

In the memoir, he also mentions Mahatma Gandhi as his inspiration. “More than anything, though, my fascination with India had to do with Mahatma Gandhi. Along with (Abraham) Lincoln, (Martin Luther) King, and (Nelson) Mandela, Gandhi had profoundly influenced my thinking,” Obama writes.

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