To become President of India is to be awarded an honorific post, loaded with symbolism but devoid of very much power. (True power lies with the Prime Minister and the Parliament.) Yet the John F. Kennedy White House showed great respect to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India's second President, and feted him with a state dinner on June 3, 1963. Kennedy applauded the renowned philosopher and religious scholar as "an interpreter to all the world of the values of your civilization and its religious and cultural traditions." The White House had planned to mark the event with its own serene display of civilization a live performance of Mozart, the first of its kind in the history of state dinners but rain chased away the orchestra from its intended spot on the White House lawn to the East Room, where a standing-room-only crowd of guests applauded the finale of The Magic Flute.