Bhama to Obama, Hanuman Ready For Flight

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Bhama to Obama, Hanuman Ready For Flight
25 Jun 2008, 0306 hrs IST, Swati Roy,TNN

NEW DELHI: The endearing and much revered Hanuman is apparently one of the ‘charms’ behind Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate for 2008. The Hanuman connection now has Obama striking a chord beyond US borders. On Tuesday, All India Congress Committee member, Brij Mohan Bhama, presented a two-foot high, gold-plated idol of Hanuman to Carolyn Sauvage, chairperson of Democrats Abroad India, a gift that he hopes will finally reach Obama himself.

Bhama’s gift for Obama was given at a special prayer performed by 12 priests at the Sankat Mochan Dham on Pusa Road on Tuesday afternoon. The prayer, arranged by the Sankat Mochan Dham Trust, was also a show of support for Obama’s entry into the White House as it invoked Lord Hanuman for his blessings for Obama’s victory.

Bhama claims that while he has always been a supporter of Obama, the Democratic candidate’s devotion to Hanuman has strengthened his backing. “Barack Obama is a Hanuman devotee and so am I — hence I thought I should gift him the idol,” said Bhama.

Carolyn Sauvage was herself presented with a garland and made to wear a decorated turban by Bhama. Ovewhelmed by the gesture, she presented Bhama with two American flags and a badge that read ‘Obama ‘08’. While Sauvage thanked “Bhama and this community (referring to the Trust)” for the gift, she graciously reminded the hosts that she would be in-principle unable to carry anything but good wishes back to Obama. “I can only carry good wishes, as any sitting US senator cannot receive a gift of over $10 from anybody.” The idol, as Bhama informed Times City, is worth a lakh.

In face of this news, Bhama and others from the Trust remained unfazed and enthusiastic. They clearly announced that “the idol shall reach Obama 11 days from now. Till then it will be kept in the same temple and worshipped everyday.” Speaking to Times City, Bhama said: “If the idol cannot go through Ms Sauvage, someone else will carry it. In any case, the idol will reach United States of America before the final elections are held, if not just after 11 days.”

According to news reports, among Obama’s good luck charms are “a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny Madonna and child, and a tiny monkey god” though the god is not identified. The ‘tiny monkey God’ speaks of Obama’s much talked about international upbringing, and a part of his childhood days spent in Indonesia, where Hinduism is one of the religions, dominant especially in Bali.




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