Grew up with Ramayana and Mahabharata, India has held a special place in my imagination: Shares former US President Obama

Former US President Barack Obama has revealed a lot about his political career and tenure in the office as the head of United States in his book, ”A Promised Land”. The former President had some very pleasant words about India, in his memoirs.

Obama said that India “always held a special place in my imagination”. As a child growing up in Indonesia, a country whose culture has a very strong Indian and Hindu influence, Obama said that Ramayana and Mahabharata were part of his early life.

“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 dal and keema and turned me on to Bollywood movies,” Obama writes.

He further alludes his interest for India to the country’s diverse nature. “Maybe it was its (India’s) sheer size, with one-sixth of the world’s population, an estimated two thousand distinct ethnic groups, and more than seven hundred languages spoken,” Obama writes.

In “A Promised Land”, Obama gives an account of his journey from the 2008 election campaign to the end of his first term with the daring Abbottabad (Pakistan) raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.