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Obama and Modi on AIR, together

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a joint radio address with US President Barack Obama on the country’s national broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) on 27 January.

Asia Radio Today reports Obama was invited as the chief guest for India’s 66th Republic Day celebrations the day before the pair recorded the broadcast. 

This special recorded broadcast was about 30 minutes long and began with the Indian PM introducing Obama and explaining the meaning of his first name, which means ‘one who is graced’ in Swahili.

Obama greeted the listeners in Hindi with ‘namaste’ and both leaders focused mostly on social issues and personal experiences.

Noting that they come from very humble backgrounds, both Obama and Modi said they had never imagined that they would occupy the top positions in their respective countries. 

This was in response to a question to Modi about an old photograph of him outside the White House and whether he had ever thought that one day he would go inside to meet the President.

“At that time, I had never thought that sometime in my life, I would get a chance to visit the White House,” said Modi who met Obama there in Washington last September.

Obama added: “The same is true for me. When I first went to the White House, I stood outside that same fence, and looked in, and I certainly did not imagine that I would ever be visiting there, much less living there.”

The full broadcast can be found here.