Calling Mahatma Gandhi's message and significance as universal, US presidential top-runner Barack Obama has said that real change in America "will not come from Washington, it will come when the people, united, bring it to Washington".
A big admirer of Gandhi, whose portrait hangs in his office, Obama issued a statement on the birth anniversary of the great leader, calling upon Americans to "rededicate ourselves, every day from now until Nov 4 (election day), and beyond, to living Gandhi's call to be the change we wish to see in the world".
"Change - we can believe in" is the Democrat presidential candidate's main slogan.
Gandhi's commitment to creating positive change by bringing people together peacefully to demand it resonates as strongly on Friday as it did during his lifetime, Obama elaborated.
He pointed out that not only did Gandhi inspire his own people to resist oppression, sparking a revolution that freed India from the colonial rule, but his victory also inspired a generation of young Americans to peacefully wipe out a century-old system of overt oppression, and more recently led to Velvet revolutions in Eastern Europe (particularly Czechoslovakia) and extinguished apartheid in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr., have spoken of their great debt to Gandhi, the Illinois senator said.
In the context of the US facing many choices as it works to address the current challenges, Obama said the Nov 4 election is pivotal. "We must act from a place of strength and conviction to reclaim the high road and position of moral leadership that has defined the US at its best," he said.