A known lawyer from India, Uttar Pradesh has filed a petition before court, lodging a formal complaint against Barack Obama for ‘insulting’ the country’s politicians in his book, ‘A Promised Land’.
Gyan Prakash Shukla filed the civil suit on Thursday. He demanded the police to open up an initial charge sheet – First Information Report (FIR) against Obama for humiliating Congress party politicians such as Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
The case has been granted a hearing and scheduled for 1 December in Lalganj Civil Court.
The memoir by Barack Obama caused ripples in the political sphere for its description of Mr Gandhi, successor of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.
Obama had given vivid accounts of his meetings with Indian political leaders during his first term in office, when the now-opposition Congress party was in power in Delhi.
The lawyer in Uttar Pradesh objected to passages in the memoir which stated Sonia Gandhi chose Manmohan Singh to be India’s 13th Prime Minister as he was of no threat to her son Rahul Gandhi.
“Rahul Gandhi has a nervous, unformed quality about him as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject,” Mr Obama writes. He did say that he “seemed smart and earnest”, however.
For Mr Singh, Mr Obama says he came across as “wise, thoughtful and scrupulously honest”. He’s a “self-effacing technocrat who’d won the people’s trust not by appealing to their passions but bringing about higher living standards and maintaining a well-earned reputation for not being corrupt”.
Former president Obama wrote that Ms Gandhi was a “striking woman” who spent more time listening than speaking. He suggested her power derived from “a shrewd and forceful intelligence”.
Indeed Mr Obama warmly praised Mr Singh’s resistance to rising nationalist sentiments in India.
The lawyer stated in his petition that millions of followers of these politicians will be hurt by his remarks. The situation could turn chaotic if these people hit the streets in protest against the book.