Seeking to draw parallels between India and the US, American defence secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday said there are few places in the world other than the two democratic countries where a tea-seller's son can become the prime minister or a Kenyan's child can become the President.
"There are few places in the world other than India and the US where the son of a tea-seller in a small-time town can rise to be the prime minister (Narendra Modi) or the child of a Kenyan father can rise to be the President (Barack Obama)," he said while talking about the opportunities available in the two countries.
The American defence secretary was speaking at the Silver Jubilee function of the Observer's Research Foundation (ORF).
Before joining politics and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi used to sell tea in trains and help his father run a small tea stall in a town in Gujarat.
Obama's father was of Kenyan origin and his mother an American citizen.