Great leaders and their mothers

To the women who not just brought them to this world but made them the people they ended up being

A mother’s love is pure and unconditional —a force like none other in this world. We owe a lot of what we are today to our mothers for without their warmth and unflinching support, we would be lost in this big, scary world. On this mother’s day, lets take a look at the influential role that mothers played in the lives of some iconic leaders.

Barack Obama- Son of Ann Dunham

The former US president holds his mother in very high regard and admits that her moral effect on him was profound. Having raised him as a single mother, she imbibed in him the idea that “beneath our surface differences, we are all the same”. Just like other moms, Obama’s mom, Ann Dunham was his greatest cheerleader, often proudly mentioning that her son was a mixture of Gandhi and Einstein. She even told all all his friends once with great conviction that her little Barack was capable of becoming the President of the US. Talk about a mother’s instinct!

Narendra Modi- Son of Heeraben Modi

Indian PM Narendra Modi reveres his mother for the strong upbringing and values that she instilled in him as a child. Modi has also gotten emotional many a times while talking about all the hardships that his mother had to endure to make ends meet. She scrubbed dishes and cleaned houses to ensure a better quality of life for her son. Modi visits his mother every year on his birthday to seek her blessings.

Abraham Lincoln- Son of Nancy Hanks Lincoln and Sarah Bush Johnston

Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s biological mother taught him honesty and kindness. Though not formally educated herself, she made sure she inculcated in him the habit of reading and learning, sowing the seeds for the greatness that would define her son. However fate took her away from Abraham when he was just 9, ushering into his life the compassionate Sarah Bush- a woman the world called his stepmother, but he referred to as his “angel mother”. She realised from very early on that Abraham was a gifted child, providing him books and defending his right to pursue his intellectual development. No one could have described their beautiful bond better than Lincoln himself who said that his mother “had been his best friend in this world and no son could love a mother more than he loved her”.

Gandhi- Son of Putilbai Gandhi

The early life of the Mahatma was greatly influenced by his mother Putilbai. “The outstanding impression that my mother has left on my memory is saintliness”, he fondly said. A deeply religious woman, she played an important role in young Gandhi’s understanding of spirutuality, teaching him that the greatest form of love manifested itself in the willingness to sacrifice for another.

Aung San Suu Kyi- Daughter of Khin Chi

Aung San Suu-Kyi holds her mom in high regard, looking up to her as her role model. An accomplished woman herself, Khin Chi — a successful politician and diplomat helped Suu Kyi pursue her academic interests and whisked her away from war torn Burma after her father- the Premier of the country was assassinated when she was just two years old. Suu Kyi carried forward the legacy of her parents by returning to the country and fighting against the oppressive military regime, standing up for democracy and civil rights.

-Harigovind Gopakumar