Obama turns teacher, tells daughters about Mahatma Gandhi

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Bangalore, July 1: The US President turned a teacher as he taught his daughters about 'Satyagraha', spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi. This happened on his visit to the prison where his hero-Nelson Mandela was jailed for about two-third of his life.

In many of his public speeches, Obama has often been heard mentioning about the influence of Mahatma Gandhi's ideas on the Americans and Africans.

"It is here that the great leader started his activism. He was a lawyer in South Africa. It was actually here that the concept of political non-violence took shape," said Obama, according to a White House Pool report, as he visited the Robben Island premises with his family.

In Robben Islands

The first family takes a walk through the prison cells where the national hero-Nelson Mandela was held.

In Cape Town

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, with Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, left, visits a student at the Demond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Center on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Robben Islands

U.S. President Back Obama walks from Section B, prison cell No. 5, on Robben Island, South Africa, on Sunday, June 30, 2013. This was former South African president Nelson Mandela's cell, where he spent 18-years of his 27-year prison term on the island locked up by the former apartheid government.

In Pretoria

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, toasts with Thobeka Madiba-Zuma during an official dinner hosted by the South African President Jacob Zuma at the Presidential Guest House on Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. The visit comes at a poignant time, with former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela ailing in a Johannesburg hospital.

In Johannesburg

U.S. President Barack Obama greets the public as he arrives to deliver remarks and takes questions at a town hall meeting with young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus, South Africa, Saturday June 29, 2013.

In Pretoria

U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama, left, waves with South African President Jacob Zuma, second right, and his wife Tobeka Madiba Zuma, right, on the steps of the Union Building in Pretoria in South Africa on Saturday June 29, 2013.

In Goree Island

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stand together at the 'Door of No Return,' at the slave house on Goree Island, in Dakar, Senegal. Obama is calling his visit to a Senegalese island from where Africans were said to have been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean into slavery, a 'very powerful moment. He was in Dakar on Thursday as part of a weeklong trip to Africa, a three-country visit, aimed at overcoming disappointment in the continent over the first black U.S. president's lack of personal engagement during his first term.

Andrews AFB

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave prior to boarding Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base.

Going back to history, one would find the traits of 'ahimsa' and 'satyagraha' in the ideas of the first Black President of USA-Martin Luther King too, who fought injustice against blacks. Invoking the contribution of Nelson Mandela, Obama said he felt "humbled to stand in a place where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield."

Obama added that it was imprtant for his daughters to understand the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who is the ultimate testament of how a war against time and people can be won by peace and supreme human spirit.

The trip to Robben Islands was part of a three-day African trip by the First Family; which, however, had hints of concern for the deteriorating health of 94-year old world hero Nelson Mandela. Although Obama did not meet him, he met his family members to share his concerns.

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