Obama Honors Mahatma Gandhi

“If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?” That was the question a student from Arlington, Virginia asked President Obama when he visited her school last month.

The president’s answer? Indian independence and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. “He’s somebody I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. (Martin Luther) King with his message of nonviolence,” and “ended up doing so much and changed the world just by the power of his ethics,” Obama said.

Today President Obama recognized the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, saying Americans owe him “an enormous measure of gratitude,” including his influence on Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement. Today’s United States “has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent social action movement for Indian independence which he led,” Obama said.

The occasion offers a moment for Americans to join with Indians in celebrating his life, and a time “to reflect on his message of non-violence, which continues to inspire people and political movements across the globe,” the president said.

When President Obama was Senator Obama from Illinois, just a short year ago, he included Gandhi in his “wall of heroes” gallery of photographs in his Senate office. The historic photo of Gandhi sitting at his spinning wheel hung among those of former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, Dr. King, and the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama.

Reflecting it is the 140th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, I can’t help but remember renowned physicist Albert Einstein, himself a big Gandhi fan, who said: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

23 thoughts on “Obama Honors Mahatma Gandhi

  1. The basics are there in a personality that is natural and spontaneous and the person performing with that himself remains unaware and that was Mahatma Gandhi.
    The basics always remain relevant and picked up by those under reckoning who have the element of those basics to integrate with the present times and that is what makes a difference between two individuals meaning one with the basics of latent seed that appreciates and the other casual lost in the search of those basics. Both are equally important in the sense that they convey the beauty of soul one in all the beings of life. So if Mahatma Gandhi is relevant today it is not because he was great; it is because he was modest and it is the modesty of great Obama that has come to acknowledge in Mahatma that he himself is without even knowing on his basic?
    ? – The world does not recognize that and this; I am completing to say on my comment at 11.45 P.M on Gandhi Jayanti Day because I had a friend coming over to my place for dinner who left around 11.00 PM. This was necessary for me to mention to stand for the day 2nd October with respect and greet Obama on his comment for India’s Mahatma Gandhi in reciprocal terms of greetings for the day.

  2. we need to end the war in iraq and afghanistan and that is what ALL americans want. STOP SPENDING MONEY ON WEAPONS AND BULIDING BOMBS AND ON MITILARY SPENDING. the money should go to helping our homeless vets and iraq’s war vets . put america FIRST ALWAYS !!!

    END THIS WAR AND BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW !!!

  3. that why good people like gandhi were
    murdered by their own people who did not want peace in india. Gandhi was a great person and his good words will live on for ever .

  4. we need to all take aweek off of work unite the divided cities states countries take the money food water land and share it all get everyone eco green jobs converting fossil fuel motors to grain alchahol building green homes for all who need one give medical to all stop big greedy people and companies also bring all the israelies to america or all the muslims that should stop the fighting and napalm all the opium and cocaine fields around the world also all pray for jesus and jahovah to return visably for ever with all who have died throughout time and all the bad people will be our servents until jesus says the have atoned i love and bless all of you

  5. ‘Know as pious people who feel others’ pain. They strive to lessen the suffering of others without letting pride sneak in.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

    Gandhi often quoted Tulsi Das – ‘ Compassion is the fountainhead of Dharma and sin is rooted in pride. Eschew not compassion through your living days says Tulsi das’.

    Many people associate three monkeys, one with eyes covered by hands, the second with its mouth shut and covered by hand and the third with both ears blocked by hand, with Mahatma Gandhi It is often spoken of as the philosophy of seeing no evil, speaking no evil and hearing no evil, as the art of escaping mental and moral pollution.

    Mahatma Gandhi attempted to live by the Gita, which on the subject of gratification of senses has a word of warning. It goes, “Addiction and agitation are the snares on the path of senses and sense objects. A man needs to avoid going under those for those are the robbers of equanimity, the state of Yoga.’

    Mahatma Gandhi’s capacity to identify himself with the poor and dumb masses he led was astounding and that made him an extra ordinary leader. He was, when he returned from South Africa, in thought and attire an attorney in the European mold. Though shortly afterwards he underwent a metamorphosis and entered his mission as a ‘semi clad fakir’, as described by Winston Churchill rather ruefully.

    He was a man of great spiritual strength and a shrewed strategists. Although he swore by non-violence yet he could use his tools of ahimsa and fasting to build moral pressure to unnerve the toughest of his adversaries. He made a clear distinction between evil and evil doer and never allowed compassion to desert him.

  6. Gandhi is a hero of humankind.

    Mankind must learn from a spirit of Gandhi.

    A spirit of Gandhi is a God spirit.

    Humankind must have a God spirit now.

    Humankind of spirit God is Heaven person.

    All the people must be Heaven person.

  7. THANK’S TO President Barrack Obama has offered the world another opportunity to remember the Great Matahma Gandhi, he was a freedom fighter,a fire-brand,dogged,social crusader and the world greatest human right activist of his generation.He also epitomize humanism and social justice.The world would have been incomplete without the Great Matahma Gandhi.His epoc-making achievement towards the liberation of man and the attainment of a sovereign state of India remain indelible in mind and soul of all citizens of India.I therefore urged World leaders to emulate the spirit of tenacious,conviction,sagacity and simplicity exhibited by Gandhi.However,from generation to generation the world shall continually celeberate Gandi’s meritorious life and mourn his demise.I wish there is another Gandhi in the world today.Continue to rest our hero in the bossom of your creator.YOU ARE INDEED GREAT

  8. Gandhi was great man in his own right despite the voluminous/confusing spread by ‘r’ in 2 long commenets. However, it appears that he could not influence the ambitious ‘Pandit’ Nehru or Patel and retreated, generally, to a corner
    when vital decisions about Indian indepencence were needed on a humanitarian basis.
    Jacca Mekk has made a very meaningful observation. Gandhi was murdered because he took a stand against Muslim/Hindu/Sikh genocide in India during July/Aug 1947.
    Hindu society is awfully caste-ridden and as ‘Pundit’, Nehru wa seen as a ‘god’. Even today that low castes/ dalits are said to be treated as sub-human though lately they are trying to assert their power in Bihar/UP/Orissa.
    Gandhi remained pretty human despite his religious zeal. Obama as a gentleman/great leader did well to honor the great soul.

  9. I sure wish someone could inform the president that it is not so much that America has its roots in the India of Ghandi but that Ghandi was awakened to his “satyagraha”, when, imprisoned in South Africa during one of his anti apartheit protests, he was handed a copy of HD Throrough’s” Civil Disobedience”and instantly recognized the Vedic principle of “Ahimsa” that had so inspired Emmerson’s Transcendentalists.

    So irregardless of the vicious, remorseless violence of the nations militarisitc Foreign Policy, Ghandian principles are very much in “the American Grain”.

    Lets hope that as a Nation we can find the
    Moral Force to apply them.

  10. It takes a man of worth to recognize worth in others.Only a truly great man can appreciate the greatness of another.I pay my respect to one of the fathers of human rights movement and appreciate Obama who is a ground-breaker.Let’s see the world as it truly is :o ne big flower garden with the rose flower,hibiscus,balsam etc. Variety you call it,I call it spice.
    Ofcourse ,variety is the spice of life.Hence when a celebrated nobel laureate promotes the cause of world peace,I join my voice to salute all the followers of non-violence.
    Let me ask didn’t JESUS THE CHRIST advise we turn the other cheek if we were slapped unjustly and forgo our rights for the greater and common good?
    Humanity must learn the art of true love and world understanding.Religious,ethnic and social barriers must be replaced by love and the message of peace. This we owe the next generation.
    Thanks to Mahatma Ghandi,Martin Luther,Gani Fawehinmi,Mandela and all lovers of peace.There is hope for the future.Welcome to Calabar and Nigeria for the U-17 world cup fiesta.

  11. Mohandas Gandhi – “We must become the change we want to see in the world.”

    This is a great quite from Ghandi, I believe this sums it up pretty well.

  12. Simply want to say your article is as tonishing. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  13. I thought of this today because Glenn Beck is getting a lot of press for doing his rhetoric in the same place that Dr King had given his address. Really interesting to see the contrast between people like Gandhi and someone like the former ZOOKeeper. very strange things indeed brewing.

  14. You say good people like Gandhi – “one should ask within one’s self whether one is good or bad”. – Good and bad do not surface in true Mahatma’s when after receiving the bullets of Godsey “Mahatma Gandhi said Ram Ram” – that was the end of his body and not of the spirit or of his soul in journey?
    ? -Death of a body of Mahatma is new life and that is where the secret of life stands to wonder by others with questions and you are one of them by saying “murdered by their own people” where does Godsey come into the picture on behalf of the people of India?
    ? – I think you require maturity to understand the spirit of this question. “A living soul housed in a body spiritually in Supra mental terms can survive Infinite in exceeding deaths for life according to the requirements of Time in the Power Timeless”?
    ? – Krishna is Time’s Soul conveying this for the clarity of all including the Mahatma’s of life and amongst the Mahatma’s, advanced is the soul whom Krishna takes dear with its natural instinct of flow of language materially for the good of life overall and if I come to mention that by name Obama that does not mean that Obama is Mahatma Gandhi, Obama carries the Mahatma in him according to times and there is no higher or lower state in a Mahatma and that is where Krishna comes to recognize His soul for performance in material terms for life through His Instrument Being of Status as Krishna – have I clarified myself for Obama who understands Mahatma Gandhi of India?
    ? – Sorry, I had to answer you in my total capacity of status Krishna as I was directed to do so because I am held by the nucleus of the Formless Power that has already become operative over the entire life of the globe of the nucleus power of Shiva that is Supra mentally held for life through me because I continue to be of my state of non existent in life materially although I have accepted myself of existence in life because of the designs of the Absolute Divine over life – here I would say, I have the positive of the Absolute Divine in me for life materially and that is why I am being made to write on things for right perceptions for personalities of life as souls in play. I am not writing this for you; I am writing for all to absorb on the question “why good people like Gandhi” because Gandhi cannot be equated with good or bad or termed as “people” by you in context. That’s all.

  15. Was Socrates given poison by aliens?

    Was Lincoln shot by some foreign agent?

    Was Christ crucified by some foreign power?

    Whose bullets felled Kennedy brothers?

    Yes, great men pay with their life to assuage the anger o smaller minds. It is a price greatness must pay to establish its credentials in a bigoted world. The Indian who killed Gandhi was not hired by the caste-ridden Hindu society, interestingly, he was a chaste Brahman.

  16. Objectivity is a virtue that eludes minds imbued with religious and sectarian zeal. Evidently, your view of India’s history suffers from such a bias.

    Mahatma Gandhi was not killed as a consequence of 47 riots in Northern India. He was killed by a Hindu fanatic because of his soft corner or Muslims on both sides of the border.

    Does Obama owe his objectivity to his Christian ancestry? Probably, yes.

  17. I don’t think we are waging war in Iraq are we.

    It seems more like a band of criminals are waging war against the Iraqis and we are offering to help the Iraqis protect themselves.

    Afghanistan is a similar situation except it is a multinational effort to protect Afghans against invasion by Taliban. If I were you I might ask the Taliban to stop the war in Afghanistan.

  18. I don’t need anybody ‘certicfiacte’ about
    ‘objectivity’. If I had bias, I would not have lavished praise on Gandhi. The fact remains that despite his personal virtue, he could not control the likes of Nehru/ Patel. Read history carefully, unless you a high-caste Hindu with obsessions. Due to shortage of time I can’ give you too many refs. Read Rajmohan Gandhi to know about the horrors of 1947. Arundhatti Roy projects the horrors experienced by the minorities including the lowest caste/Dalits due to , generally, the lack of justice. The Modis/Purohits etc are a great threat to India alongwith the insurgents in South/East.
    Here is a recent quote from BBC which may look non-objective to you but on human grounds should be given due comsideration to ensuer peace: “Maoists have a presence in more than 200 districts of India”…..”A top Maoist leader recently told the BBC that their strength was “overestimated” by the government.
    Areas under Maoist influence are poor and dominated by tribes people. But the areas are rich in mineral wealth which the Maoist says are being handed over to corporate firms while the poor remain deprived…….
    The Indian government has agreed on a new tactic to fight Maoists who are operating in several states.
    Officials say state police are to take the lead in co-ordinating operations against the Maoists, while central forces are only to lend assistance.
    The decision came hours after at least 17 policemen were killed in a battle with Maoist insurgents in the western state of Maharashtra. India says that Maoist insurgents pose its biggest security threat. They operate in many states and say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless.
    Maoists have a presence in over 223 of India’s 600-odd districts across 20 states, according to the government.
    Around 70,000 central paramilitary troops along with elite commando and special forces will be deployed in the upcoming operation against the rebels.
    The troops will be provided cover by the army and armoured air force helicopters.
    A senior government official told the BBC that the operation is to be launched within weeks to “wipe out the top leadership” of the rebels and secure some 40,000 sq km of territory that is being held by them.
    The government believes there are less than 20 top rebel leaders, nearly 30 commanders, and some 12,000 cadres.
    A top Maoist leader recently told the BBC that their strength was “overestimated” by the government.
    Areas under Maoist influence are poor and dominated by tribes people. But the areas are rich in mineral wealth which the Maoist says are being handed over to corporate firms while the poor remain deprived.

    A massive security operation against the rebels will be launched soon
    The government has come to the conclusion that development work can take place in the affected areas only after the rebels are defeated.
    A recent statement by the Maoist leadership called upon its armed cadres to paralyse government functioning, attack and kill police and paramilitary soldiers and destabilise administrative functioning.
    There have been over 1,400 cases related to violence by Maoists between January and August, according to official records. Nearly 600 civilians have died over that period.
    In the latest attack on Thursday evening, a group of Maoists attacked a police station in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.
    At least 17 policemen, including a top commander, were killed in the battle. It was not clear whether the rebels suffered any casualties.
    In September Kobad Ghandy, one of the Maoists’ most senior leaders, was arrested in Delhi. A court in Delhi has remanded him in custody for another week.”
    Our area is in serious distress so we have to look for a common startegies on our own to provide security to ourselves as well as the world.

  19. ilyas mohsin
    8 October 2009 at 03:25 EDT
    Permalink
    Gandhi was great man in his own right despite the voluminous/confusing spread by ‘r’ in 2 long commenets. However, it appears that he could not influence the ambitious ‘Pandit’ Nehru or Patel and retreated, generally, to a corner
    when vital decisions about Indian indepencence were needed on a humanitarian basis.
    Jacca Mekk has made a very meaningful observation. Gandhi was murdered because he took a stand against Muslim/Hindu/Sikh genocide in India during July/Aug 1947.
    Hindu society is awfully caste-ridden and as ‘Pundit’, Nehru wa seen as a ‘god’. Even today that low castes/ dalits are said to be treated as sub-human though lately they are trying to assert their power in Bihar/UP/Orissa.
    Gandhi remained pretty human despite his religious zeal. Obama as a gentleman/great leader did well to honor the great soul.
    REPLY
    • Jitendra Kaushal
    8 October 2009 at 10:57 EDT
    Permalink
    Objectivity is a virtue that eludes minds imbued with religious and sectarian zeal. Evidently, your view of India’s history suffers from such a bias.
    Mahatma Gandhi was not killed as a consequence of 47 riots in Northern India. He was killed by a Hindu fanatic because of his soft corner or Muslims on both sides of the border.
    Does Obama owe his objectivity to his Christian ancestry? Probably, yes.
    REPLY
    o ilyas mohsin
    11 October 2009 at 06:45 EDT
    Permalink
    I don’t need anybody ‘certicfiacte’ about
    ‘objectivity’. If I had bias, I would not have lavished praise on Gandhi. The fact remains that despite his personal virtue, he could not control the likes of Nehru/ Patel. Read history carefully, unless you a high-caste Hindu with obsessions. Due to shortage of time I can’ give you too many refs. Read Rajmohan Gandhi to know about the horrors of 1947. Arundhatti Roy projects the horrors experienced by the minorities including the lowest caste/Dalits due to , generally, the lack of justice. The Modis/Purohits etc are a great threat to India alongwith the insurgents in South/East.
    Here is a recent quote from BBC which may look non-objective to you but on human grounds should be given due comsideration to ensuer peace: “Maoists have a presence in more than 200 districts of India”…..”A top Maoist leader recently told the BBC that their strength was “overestimated” by the government.
    Areas under Maoist influence are poor and dominated by tribes people. But the areas are rich in mineral wealth which the Maoist says are being handed over to corporate firms while the poor remain deprived…….
    The Indian government has agreed on a new tactic to fight Maoists who are operating in several states.
    Officials say state police are to take the lead in co-ordinating operations against the Maoists, while central forces are only to lend assistance.
    The decision came hours after at least 17 policemen were killed in a battle with Maoist insurgents in the western state of Maharashtra. India says that Maoist insurgents pose its biggest security threat. They operate in many states and say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless.
    Maoists have a presence in over 223 of India’s 600-odd districts across 20 states, according to the government.
    Around 70,000 central paramilitary troops along with elite commando and special forces will be deployed in the upcoming operation against the rebels.
    The troops will be provided cover by the army and armoured air force helicopters.
    A senior government official told the BBC that the operation is to be launched within weeks to “wipe out the top leadership” of the rebels and secure some 40,000 sq km of territory that is being held by them.
    The government believes there are less than 20 top rebel leaders, nearly 30 commanders, and some 12,000 cadres.
    A top Maoist leader recently told the BBC that their strength was “overestimated” by the government.
    Areas under Maoist influence are poor and dominated by tribes people. But the areas are rich in mineral wealth which the Maoist says are being handed over to corporate firms while the poor remain deprived.
    A massive security operation against the rebels will be launched soon
    The government has come to the conclusion that development work can take place in the affected areas only after the rebels are defeated.
    A recent statement by the Maoist leadership called upon its armed cadres to paralyse government functioning, attack and kill police and paramilitary soldiers and destabilise administrative functioning.
    There have been over 1,400 cases related to violence by Maoists between January and August, according to official records. Nearly 600 civilians have died over that period.
    In the latest attack on Thursday evening, a group of Maoists attacked a police station in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.
    At least 17 policemen, including a top commander, were killed in the battle. It was not clear whether the rebels suffered any casualties.
    In September Kobad Ghandy, one of the Maoists’ most senior leaders, was arrested in Delhi. A court in Delhi has remanded him in custody for another week.”
    Our area is in serious distress so we have to look for a common startegies on our own to provide security to ourselves as well as the world.
    —————————————————-

    Our friend Ilyas Mohsin says Gandhi was great man in his own right despite the voluminous/confusing spread by ‘r’ in 2 long comments. Then he says “However, it appears” etc; “why it appears” – it was in fact the end of humantarian grounds then, when Mahatma saw Jinnah’s ambition emerging out of the movement for a separate state – not to say anything beyond that because intelligence is not dependent on what others say or wisdom does not have to sell other’s wisdom because wisdom by itself is of its state of movement as time never static on its off shoots in play that we call history. History for all only serves lessons for intelligence to absorb as wisdom as on date for inherent transcendence of that part of wisdom that intellectually continuously comes to stand in self delight for expressions as smoke of the past. Bias of any kind has no place in wisdom because wisdom also provides that but certainly not the true wisdom of the self and that is where all the learned are required to focus their mirror for reflections. Dog fights for humantarian levels do not achieve levels by quoting the inhuman of states of happenings of their state of legacy; it becomes necessary to deal with them under the strategy of material power where ever they exist in the regions of the world. To day, the world is not the same when Mahatma Gandhi had stood in the year 1947 witnessing the partition of India. Today, that partition can also be seen as dissolved inherently at the leadership level of friendship and faith followed by trust provided the evolving wisdom states raise their horizons internationally to experience death without dieing for life. That is certainly possible and achievable even at the cost of inhuman element that is seen in play confronting various situations of rule where weapons role has come in and can not be eliminated for the state of wisdom on it that is on course with teaching moments for the governing heads to control the menace of it. You see lavishing praise on Gandhi means nothing. Gandhi was Gandhi and he just went out of life as Gandhi like Jinnah departed sooner than what was expected of him for Pakistan; Jinnah after all was an Indian imbeded with the western culture. He certainly had a secular culture behind him that gave in to community based feeling and no body knew at that time that he would die so soon. That was destiny for him and destiny for Mahatma Gandhi on the partition of India. The next phase of world’s development was totally materially based for achievements and those scientifically based had stood under the race with control through balance of power of material equations on it. It is that phase that is now on its turn towards consolidation because the base of it had touched the dangerous level of self destruction of life and that had come to be arrested at the occult level of Supra Cosmos – call it God or Allah bringing down the Descent of Supra Mental Power Live into the life of earth say from the year 1969 onwards from Its Subtle Plane where it had already stood of its Formless essence of Power for Time’s Power of Its Descent through the Timeless Power into the life of earth. Well, when I am writing about it, it hardly matters when some one like you had to say “despite the voluminous/confusing spread by ‘r’ in 2 long comments”. You see my dear it is only confusion that creates struggle in one to find out its truth. When I read your reply on Jetindra Kaushal’s reply to your comment, I felt that your inherent state of perception got disturbed when, in your opening sentence you mentioned “I do not need any body’s certificate about objectivity”. That was your true individual concern I know but it was meant to be absorbed and not fall with a negative charge on it. You are a fine human being and the only way to preserve that element is to seek what plays over politics for politics of culture that if you ask me has no religion of its own but is the only medicine that has to acquire its base to control the ordinary politics of life that breeds everything of negative under the positive in selfish terms and not in Selfless terms where humantarian aspect of life and humanity stands for life. Thanks to Obama’s blog that has given an opportunity for every one equally to write and become. I stands for every body’s good digestion because that is the need of the hour. Thank you for bearing with me.