U.S. President Barack Obama has described Indian-origin Srikanth Srinivasan, who created history by becoming a top federal judge, as one of his “favourite” persons.
“One of my favourite people right now (is), Sri Srinivasan, who has just been confirmed,” Mr. Obama said at a White House reception held to celebrate the month of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
“I was proud to nominate Sri, and he was just confirmed unanimously to become the first South Asian American federal appeals court judge,” Mr. Obama said addressing the gathering at the White House last evening.
“I was telling his kids, who are here today, if he starts getting a big head, walking around the house with a robe asking them to call him ‘Your Honour’ then they should talk to me,” Mr. Obama said amidst laughter.
Media reports suggest Mr. Obama might consider nominating Mr. Srinivasan, one of his favourite legal luminaries, for the Supreme Court judge in case of the next vacancy on the bench.
Last week, Mr. Srinivasan was confirmed by the US Senate (97-0) votes as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considered as the top court of the country after the Supreme Court. He is the first Indian American to achieve the fete.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Obama fondly remembered delicacies like ‘keema’ and ‘daal’ cooked by his Indian and Pakistani classmates during college days.
“I can think back on my college years when my roommates were Indian and Pakistanis, which is how I learned how to cook keema and dal,” he said.
“And of course, I can dig back into my own memories of growing up in Hawaii and in Indonesia. And so certainly it’s been a central part of my life, the entire Asia Pacific region,” he added.
Mr. Obama, in his speech, also singled out Indian-American musician, producer and composer Karsh Kale, who was invited by the White House along with others for a performance on the occasion.
“Artists joining us today exemplify that creed. So we’ve got performers like Karsh Kale, who fuses the best of East and West, mixing eclectic beats with sounds of his heritage, and creating music that’s distinctly his own —— that’s a trait, obviously, that’s distinctly American,” he said.