New Delhi: Along with Gandhi's take on the Bhagvad Gita, Prime Minister Modi gifted US President Barack Obama an extremely rare treasure which could essentially capture the essence of India.
Obama graciously accepted rare and exquisitely crafted Rogan paintings. These paintings are made exclusively by Muslims in Gujarat. Obama not only enjoyed Modi's company in the US but he was also delighted by the gifts given to him.
The 400-year-old Rogan or oil-based art in India is the sole preserve of a Khatri Muslim family based in Kutch region of Gujarat. The paintings, which have a heavy Persian influence, are by Gafoorbhai Khatri, the head of the family and a national award winner.
Gafoorbhai, originally from Sindh, has managed to pass on the Rogan art form to his children even though all other Rogan artisans failed to sustain themselves after India's partition.
As much as it is a special gift for Obama with a subtle political message, the paintings are also being seen as a tribute to Gujarat and to Gafoorbhai and his family for keeping a dying art form alive.
Modi also gifted a Pashmina shawl to Michelle Obama, which is exclusive to Jammu and Kashmir.