When the Democratic National Convention begins in Denver on August 24 to officially name Senator Barack Obama as the presidential candidate, delegate Carolyn Sauvage-Mar will give him a special gift from a “bunch of friendly Indians”.
It’s a two-feet gold-plated idol of Lord Hanuman. The gift comes from Sankat Mochan Dham, Delhi’s biggest Hanuman temple, where 12 priests will perform a special pooja for Senator Obama this Tuesday. “Many devotees were moved to know about the small ‘Hanuman’ that Obama carries as his lucky charm,” said Om Prakash, president of the temple’s trustee board.
Brij Mohan Bhama, a devotee and the brain behind the initiative, said the decision was taken after a “lot of friends from the US called him to inform about Obama’s fascination for Lord Hanuman”. He has also appealed to Indians in the US to support Obama.
Sauvage-Mar, the Democrats’ India representative, who will attend the havan, said: “Senator Obama respects the cultural efforts of his well-wishers in India. That’s the spirit with which I will carry the statue to Obama.”
A feature on Time magazine’s website recently revealed Obama’s lucky charms. Among things the 46-year-old senator from Illinois carries is a “tiny monkey god”.
Indians in the US are also performing Hindu prayers for Obama. Alyssa Martin, an intern with the religious affairs office of the Obama campaign whose grandparents are Hindu, has been involved in multi-faith prayers for Obama, according to the senator’s official website. Martin was not available for a comment.