Speaking about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on Tuesday, former US president Barack Obama invoked Mahatma Gandhi again. Obama has often talked about the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on his life and he did it once again at an event, Goalkeepers 17, which was held in New York. He referenced India and Gandhi when he called for people to listen to stories around them to develop empathy. The former US President said that ‘mobilizing movements starts with a story’. He was quoted by Times of India as saying that it was Gandhi’s understanding of India’s stories and traditions and his attention to the marginalised voices in Africa, that helped him gather a movement that drove out the world’s most successful empire.
Earlier too Obama had invoked Mahatma Gandhi and US Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King to inspire the youth as he asked them to not take things for granted and also to ask more questions because that is what drives human progress, reported PTI. While on his visit to India in 2015, Obama had replied to a question on who would be his most favourite personality, dead or alive, to have dinner with, he had then said it would be Gandhi. “He’s somebody who I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr King (Martin Luther King Jr), 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,” he had said.
Last year, while welcoming India’s ratification of the Paris climate agreement with Barack Obama had said that by joining the pact Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian people have carried on Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy.