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"Obama Speech in Indian Parliament" - "American President visits India", "3 day schedule packed with Business meets"

Talk of emo-therapy. Early into his address to Parliament, US President Barack Obama thanked India for the hospitality extended to him by saying, "Bahut Dhanyavad". It set the tone for a speech that contained several flattering references to India and glowing tributes to Indian icons. Mahatma Gandhi was mentioned five times, India on 61 occasions. Even the Panchatantra got a mention. 

Obama stumbled a bit while pronouncing the unfamiliar words, and really struggled with 'Vivekanand'. But unlike previous US presidents who have always called it 'Pack-istan', he got `Pakistan' exactly right. As a wag present there remarked, "Perhaps that's because he hears about it so often." 

Still, despite the glitches, it was a masterful performance from a skilled orator who literally played to the galleries. The audience lapped it up, with no less than 25 rounds of applause in a barely 45-minute speech. The cherry on the cake, of course, was the `Jai Hind' with which he concluded. Here are some of his best heartstring-tuggers: 

Indians unlocked the intricacies of the human body and the vastness of our universe. And it is no exaggeration to say that our information age is rooted in Indian innovations -- including the number zero. 

India not only opened our minds, she expanded our moral imagination. With religious texts that still summon the faithful to lives of dignity and discipline. With poets who imagined a future "where the mind is without fear and the head is held high." 

Instead of succumbing to division, you have shown that the strength of India -- the very idea of India -- is its embrace of all colors, castes and creeds. It's the richness of faiths celebrated by a visitor to my hometown of Chicago more than a century ago - the renowned Swami Vivekananda.

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