"His teachings and ideals, shared with Martin Luther King Jr. on his 1959 pilgrimage to India, transformed American society through our civil rights movement," Obama said on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Americans owe enormous gratitude to Gandhi, he said.
"The America of today has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent social action movement for Indian independence which he led," Obama said in a statement. On behalf of the American people, Obama said he wants to express appreciation for the life and lessons of Mahatma Gandhi on the anniversary of his birth.
"This is an important moment to reflect on his message of non-violence, which continues to inspire people and political movements across the globe," he said.
As the world remembers the Mahatma on his birthday, Obama said, "We must renew our commitment to live his ideals and to celebrate the dignity of all human beings.