Narendra Modi Brings Thoughtful, Personal Gifts To Obama

Pam WrightLife

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought gifts for Monday's state visit with US President Barack Obama.

Modi personally chose the thoughtful, personal gifts for Obama — keeping in mind the two people the president most admires, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. — including "Gita by Gandhi" in Khadi cover, as well as audio and video clips from King's 1959 visit to India.

"The prime minister has brought several gifts. At the personal level, he has brought a special edition of Gita by Gandhi Ji. This is Gandhi Ji's interpretation of Gita. The book was published many years ago," said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

"The prime minister had specifically ordered a special edition of the book and copies of it were specially done up with a certain getup as Khadi on its cover these were prepared in Delhi and were brought and were handed over to the president."

"Also, he has given some other personal gifts. He is aware that President Obama has great regard for Martin Luther King and there is a Gandhi link between President Obama, the King and the prime minister, so he (Modi) had looked up and asked All India Radio to provide a recording of Martin Luther King's speech which he gave in India in 1959 when he visited India. In addition, there are some other memorabilia of Martin Luther King," he said.

"There is a photograph of the King at the Rajghat, which the prime minister has framed and given to Obama. There is a small clip which goes back to 1959. The Photos Division was able to track back a video clip of Martin Luther King's visit to India. All these were prepared by the prime minister's Office in advance and presented to President Obama today," he said.

"These were personal gifts. Official gifts would be presented tomorrow," Akbaruddin said.

The prime minister also generously brought gifts for Obama's two daughters, Sasha and Malia, according to the sources.

Pam Wright