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Indians hail Obama taking over as US president


New Delhi : Obamamania gripped India as people hailed the historical inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s first black president and expressed hope that he would have a positive approach towards India.

“I think Obama is the best man to occupy the US highest office ever. I followed his every speech since the campaign for the US elections started and he really has a new vision to change the world by keeping in mind everyone’s concerns. I am looking forward to his approach towards India,” said Preeti Verma, a Delhi University student.

Most Indian TV news channels telecast the inauguration ceremony live from 9 p.m. Indian time Tuesday and as Obama was sworn-in at 10.35 p.m. Indians joined countless millions around the globe in hailing the change.

“It is a really important moment for the world and I really liked Obama’s inaugural speech and commitment to put a united fight against terrorism – the biggest challenge before the world,” said Saurabh Gupta, a financial consultant in the Bank of America.

At several restaurants in the capital, giant screens were put up and people remained glued to the inauguration ceremony.

“Obama’s charisma has increased the expectations of Indian public from its own leadership here and we want more committed leaders ready to work for mankind,” said Rohit Sharma, a US national visiting India.

“India and the US have a lot in common as both the countries are multicultural and multi-religious. As Obama said in his inaugural speech, our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We must unite together to face all challenges in the world,” said Emily John, a US national in India.

Obama’s swearing-in has also brought hope for most of the software professionals working in outsourcing companies.

“I hope Obama will be able to bring necessary changes to stabilise the economy,” said Anupama Mishra, an IT professional in Bangalore.

The members of the Barack Obama Fan Club in Bangalore were awake through Tuesday night, watching their hero taking oath as president.

“We had a plan to visit Washington DC and witness the historic moment of Barack Obama taking the oath as the first black president of America. But unfortunately all of us are held up with our latest assignments and could not make our trip to Washington,” said Balaji S. Venkat, the president of the Barack Obama Bangalore Fan Club.