UPDATED:  March 3, 2009 10:48 PM
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Indian American Greetings on Obama Inauguration Now Form Part of Library of Congress Collection

The Library of Congress is collecting videos and text of speeches and other oratories to commemorate President Barack Obama's inauguration “as the nation’s first president of minority heritage,” according to leaders from Indian American groups.

Ankur Misra, American-born graduate with cultural heritage in India, said text and videos of events featuring greetings of felicitations, poems and prayers would be sent to the Library of Congress, in response to a letter from Librarian and Program Chair of Asian Division Reme Grefalda.

He said Ms. Grefalda wrote that “a collection from the Indian American communities nationwide would go a long way in documenting the participation of your people as part of the great colorful American tapestry and the nation as a whole.”

He added that the International Hindi Association (IHA), Federation of Indian American Associations-National Capital Region (FIA-NCR), International Society for Spiritual Advancement (ISSA) and other organizations scheduled a gathering at the residence of Dr. Naresh and Mrs. Asha Chand on Jan. 19, the day before the historic inauguration.

Ankur welcomed attendees and said the video and text would be sent to the Library of Congress “in the spirit of this unique and inspiring moment of our country, theUnited States.” He also said that a prayer meeting was held at the Hindu Temple of Greater Washington, D.C. the night of Jan. 20, after the historic morning inauguration.

At the Jan. 19 program, Swami Ramanand Saraswati of ISSA started with invocation and conveyed his personal greetings. Hosts Dr. Naresh and Mrs Asha Chand said their greetings to President Obama and expressed their joy about the historic event. They also thanked the participants who came despite the cold weather.

Other participants who congratulated and expressed their overwhelming joy included Dr. Lalji and Mrs. Chandra Mishra, Dr. Rishabh Gupta, Dr. Hari Har and Mrs. Soma Singh, Dr. Rama and Mrs. Aruna Dwivedi, Dr. Opendra and Mrs. Satyabhama Sharma, Dr. Satish and Mrs. Sheela Misra.

At the Hindu Temple, several members of the congregation, including the priests and trustees of the temple, joined in prayer for the success of President Obama. They expressed special joy in his speech that recognized Hindu as one of the four major religions of the world.

Dr. Misra, Director of International Hindi Association (IHA) and President of FIA-NCR, expressed his joy and read poems submitted by members of IHA and read his own poem. The proceedings, in the form of this press release and a copy the videos of both events were sent to the Library of Congress for documentation and archiving. Below are some of the poems recited at the event.


Hearty Congratulations to Barack Obama

By Satish Chandra Misra, North Potomac, Maryland

(Note: English translation follows original text)

Ba2a{ Ho, Ba2a{ Ho ___ _ _

Barak Aobama ko

stIx c.d/ im&, na4R po3omk, mErIl.ED

kwI soca n 4a

kwI smza n 4a

ik mere hI jIvn kal me

mere [s nye dex me

merI [s kmR wUim me

merI Tvca ke r.g ka

0k [.san

Hmare dex ka ne5Tv krega

Hmara magR dxRn krega

wavI pIi“yo. Ko spne idqa0ga

0Esa kwI soca n 4a

0Esa kwI smza n 4a ||

Hm Aiwn.dn krte hE.

Barak Aobama ka

Apne ra*5pit ka

ApnI Svt.5ta ka

Hm ¡tz hE. Aapke

Hmara magR dxRn ke il0

Hmare yuva vgR ko p/oTsaiht krne ke il0

swI ko smkz bnane ke il0

koi3 koi3 Aiwn.dn krte hE.

hm Aapko, Barak Aobama ko

shSt/ Ba2a{ dete hE.

hm Aapko, Barak Aobama ko ||

nya yug

nyI ]m.g

0Esa kwI soca n 4a

0Esa kwI smza n 4a


(English translation)

I had never imagined

I had never dreamed

That in my own lifetime

In my new country

In my new land of Karma

A person of my own skin color

Will guide us

Will provide us leadership

Will inspire the youths and generations to come

Will be the pride of my country and the world

I had never imagined

I had never dreamed.

We applaud Our President Barack Obama

We applaud our Freedom

We are grateful to you, Mr. President

For inspiring our youths

For making us all feel equal

Our hearty congratulations and

We wish and pray for the very best.

The new age

The new inspiration

I had never imagined

I had never dreamed.



By Gulab Khandelwal, Median OH

Cradle of new civilization, laboratory of novel ideas,

Grasping this vast globe in its hands like, a ball,

The first leap of humanity,

How beautiful is this land!

The victory-siren of the individual,

Manifesto of liberty,

How lovely is this green earth!

For how many thousand years,

This land, rich with water and fruits,

Had been calling us from the shores of the Atlantic !

This forest-woman,

Wearing hundreds of streams and rivers

Like garlands round her neck,

Spreading like locks,

The reflection of the long range of hills

In her shining lakes,

Had been cleaning her floor for our arrival!

How beautiful is her bubbling, throbbing,

Joyful face!

How cheerful! How natural!

There is a colorful fair of flowers all around,

The branches of trees are spreading before me

Like arms of care-free lasses,

How delicious is the air laden with kisses !

Everything is dreamlike, everything is fantastic.

There are smiles for every one here;

All are members of a family,

No one is unfamiliar or an outsider.


The Paradise of Dreams

By Imtiazuddin Khan, Median OH

The paradise of your dreams,

Has no discrimination between the black and the white.

Where barriers of the color or race exist,

It is not the home of peace and harmony.

Where politics is based on war-mongering,

He is a terrorist, not a politician.

In your dreamland,

There is no scene of the Iraqi war.

Your compassionate eyes are moist,

There are no arrows and daggers in it.

You are the confluence of the east and the west,

You are not the leader of a Country.

The World of hope is your goal,

The President’s Office is not your destination.

The ambition that was in the heart of Lincoln,

The same is within you but with a difference.

The courage that demolished the Berlin war,

With that courage you move forward.

Your speech is pleasant,

Your smile, the light of the dawn.

The earth is lifting arms towards the sky,

The old order is dismantling again.


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