Mumbai, Nov 6 (IANS) US President Barack Obama was 'greatly touched' Saturday on being gifted a book, 'Slavery', by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal who said it had been penned 140 years ago by Indian social reformer Jyotirao Phule in admiration of the American people.
The book is titled 'Slavery' ('Ghulamgiri' in Marathi) and written in 1873. Bhujbal attended the event at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel where Obama paid homage to victims of the November 2008 terrorist attack.
Bhujbal told Obama that Phule was the first social reformer in India and had 'penned this book 140 years back and dedicated it to the people of America as a token of admiration for their sublime and self-sacrificing devotion in the cause of Afro-American slavery.'
President Obama, the first African American president of the US, said he was very much surprised and 'greatly touched', according to Bhujbal.
Obama arrived here Saturday at the start of a four-day India visit, focussed largely on the American hunt for markets and jobs, and his first halt was the Taj hotel which was ravaged by Pakistani terrorists two years ago.
He leaves for New Delhi Sunday.