Obama asks Indian youngsters to get into public service


Mumbai : Stating that he was aware of the “healthy scepticism” about electoral politics in both US and India, US President Barack Obama Sunday said he nevertheless hoped more Indian youngsters would get into public service because that is what the country needed.

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Answering a question by a student of the HR college of Commerce and Economics at the St. Xavier’s college in Mumbai on materialistic approach to life, Obama said: “I don’t want any young person to be dismissive. A health materialism is good. But if all you are thinking about is material wealth then that is poverty of ambition”.

“I think this is something that the US and India share, that is a healthy scepticism about electoral politics. In some cases in India the private sector is moving faster than public sector. I hope some of you will get involved in public service which can be frustrating and slow,” he said.

“But India will need you not just as businessmen but also as leaders who will make government more responsible and is as important. Otherwise there will be an imbalance,” he added.

Obama also gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi in the context of materialistic wealth.

“When I was at Gandhi’s room (Mani Bhavan) it was telling that the only objects in the room were a mat, a spinning wheel, sandals, a few papers and this man changed the history like no one else did in the 20th century in terms of the number of lives he effected,” the president said.

Obama arrived in India and headed to Mumbai Saturday. They will go to Delhi Sunday afternoon and will head to Indonesia Tuesday.