New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Other than the revelations on several Indian politicians made by Barack Obama in his book ‘A Promised Land’, the former US President also said that he has always held a special place for India due to his childhood years spent in Indonesia listening to the epic Hindu tales of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

“Maybe it was its (India) 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 on his fascination of India.

Obama says he had never been to India before his Presidential visit in 2010, but the country had "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,” Obama writes.

He has also said that modern day India can be counted as a success story in many respects, despite bitter feuds within political parties, various armed separatist movements, and corruption scandals.

“In many respects, modern-day India is counted as a success story, having survived repeated changeovers in government, bitter feuds within political parties, various armed separatist movements, and all manner of corruption scandals,” Obama writes.

Obama has said that his fascination with India largely revolved around Mahatma Gandhi, whose "successful non-violent campaign against the British rule became a beacon for other dispossessed, marginalised groups".

However, the 44th US president, in his latest book, rues that the Indian icon was unable to successfully address the caste system or prevent the partition of the county based on religion.

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.

"A Promised Land" is the first of two planned volumes. The first part hit bookstores globally on Tuesday.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta