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No special arrangements if Obama visits Rajghat

US President Barack Obama is most welcome to visit Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat but there will be no special arrangements as that would be "against Gandhi's principles of equality", an official said.

delhi Updated: Nov 01, 2010 19:14 IST

US President Barack Obama is most welcome to visit Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat but there will be no special arrangements as that would be "against Gandhi's principles of equality", an official said.

"We understand that Obama is keen to know more about Mahatma Gandhi and may visit Rajghat. We welcome him," Rajghat Samadhi Committee secretary Rajnish Kumar said.

"However, in respect to the sanctity of the place, we don't do any special arrangements for anyone. So, in this case too there will be none," he added.

"Doing special arrangements would mean valuing one person more than another which is against Bapu's (Gandhi) principles. But of course, there is a protocol that is followed whenever dignitaries like the prime minister or president of other countries visit Rajghat. That will be followed," Kumar said.

As per the protocol, a green carpet is laid out and chairs are set for dignitaries. They enter the memorial or samadhi through the VIP gate.

"We also give them a wreath to place on Gandhi's samadhi and later gift them Bapu's bust. We also gift them a khadi scroll in which the seven social sins which he quoted in 'Young India' in 1925 are imprinted," Kumar said.

The seven social sins are politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice.

"When dignitaries visit and the protocol is followed, the entire programme is of 20 minutes. Our tradition is to welcome our guests and we will do so if Obama visits," he said.

The US president is scheduled to visit India Nov 6-9.