In parting shot, Obama prods India on religious freedom

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Neo, Jan 28, 2015.

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  1. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    In parting shot, Obama prods India on religious freedom

    NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama weighed in on one of India's most sensitive topics as he wound up a visit on Tuesday, making a plea for freedom of religion to be upheld in a country where relations between Hindus and minorities have come under strain.

    Obama made no direct reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose rise to power last year has emboldened some Hindu groups to assert themselves in a country with a history of religious strife.

    “Your Article 25 (of the constitution) says that all people are 'equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion',” Obama told a townhall address to mostly young Indians in New Delhi.

    “In both our countries, in all countries, upholding this fundamental freedom is the responsibility of government, but it's also the responsibility of every person.”

    Also read: US lifts visa ban on Modi, Obama invites him to Washington

    Modi's rise to power has emboldened right-wing activists to openly declare India a nation of Hindus, posing a challenge to its multi-faith constitutional commitment. About a fifth of India's 1.27 billion people identify themselves as belonging to faiths other than Hinduism.

    Modi has warned lawmakers from his own party to stop promoting controversial issues such as religious conversions and to focus on economic reforms.

    Obama bonded warmly during his three-day trip with Modi, who until a year ago was persona non grata in Washington and was banned for nearly a decade from visiting the United States after deadly Hindu-Muslim violence in a state he ruled in 2002.

    Also read: Indian parliament in chaos over forced conversion protests

    The US president's visit has been widely seen as a bid to forge a relationship that will help balance China's rise by catapulting democratic India into the league of major world powers.

    In his speech on Tuesday, Obama described the relationship between India and the United States as potentially “one of the defining partnerships of the century”.

    On Monday, he became the first US president to attend India's annual Republic Day parade, a show of military might that has been associated with Cold War anti-Americanism.

    Obama's presence at the parade signals Modi's willingness to end India's traditional reluctance to get too close to any big power. Instead, he is seeking close ties with them all, even as he pushes back against China and take sides on other global issues.

    During the visit, the two sides sealed a clutch of deals to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and deepen defence ties, and Obama pledged $4 billion in investments and loans to release what he called the “untapped potential” of a partnership between the world's largest democracies.

    Most significant was an agreement on issues that, despite a groundbreaking 2006 pact, had stopped U.S. companies from setting up nuclear reactors in India and had become one of the major irritants in bilateral relations.

    Endorsing Indian reform

    Obama said the United States would stand first in line for the trade and investment opportunities that will spring from the economic reform drive under Modi.

    “America wants to be your partner in igniting the next wave of Indian growth. As India pursues reforms to encourage more trade and investment, we'll be the first in line,” he told the townhall.

    The United States views India as a vast market and potential counterweight to China's assertiveness. It has long been frustrated with the pace of New Delhi's economic reforms, but Modi has injected a new vitality into the economy.

    Modi told a meeting with business leaders on Monday that US investment in India had accelerated in recent months and vowed to do more to slash the country's notorious red tape and make it one of the world's easiest places for business.

    Obama's second visit to India is the latest upturn in a roller-coaster relationship with Washington that a year ago was scarred by protectionism and a fiery diplomatic spat.

    Praising the non-violence tenets of Mahatma Gandhi, Obama touched during his townhall speech on the treatment of women, an issue that has troubled India since the horrific gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi two years ago.

    “Every daughter deserves the same chance as our sons,” he said. “And every woman should be able to go about her day - to walk the street, or ride the bus - and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity. She deserves that.”

    In parting shot, Obama prods India on religious freedom - World - DAWN.COM
     
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  3. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    I guess no hugs for Mr Obama after this speech...
     
  4. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Only a Paki can put this sort of spin. Of course, ably aided by the anti-Modi scum in our media.

    "Relations between Hindus and minorities strained", my arse. Some of these bastards should be sent to hellholes like Iraq, Syria and Pakistan to really experience what "strain" means.

    And all this hullabaloo just because RSS and VHP started converting Muslims and Christians to Hindus!! If the minorities feel "strained" by this, let them go and fcuk themselves. Muslims and Christians have the freedom to convert kaffirs and heathens, but Hindus can't return the favour?! What sort of hypocrisy is this?
     
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  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I hope India refrains from reacting to this and should simply pretend as if nothing happened.

    I also think the intended audience was Pakistan, and the US still needs to keep Pakistan in some humour so that it does not go completely into the PRC camp.
     
  6. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Waiting for Mr.Obama to give a similar speech at his next stop - Saudi Arabia. :biggrin:
     
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  7. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't worry Paki friend. The investments in India are still on the way during next 5 years and shall rise.

    By the way, why didn't Obama didn't visit Pak this time around? It isn't that far from Delhi you know.
     
  8. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Certain sections of Indian media keep giving communal tint to everything that is happening under this new govt.

    And yes, such headlines sell news but aren't taken that seriously in India. Only annoyance is that Pakis get wet dreams on reading such headlines.
     
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  9. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't know what is more funny :

    Obama lecturing India on religious freedom before going to Saudi Arabia.

    or

    A Paki @Neo gleefully posting such news while blasphemy still exists in Pakland as a law.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  10. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Good one.

    [TWEET]560309771106934784[/TWEET]
     
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  11. dastan

    dastan Regular Member

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    Well you can't blame him, the missionaries are having a bit of a hard time these days so he had to make an appeal for harvesting souls. :D
    They very fact that he quoted article 25 testifies this
     
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  12. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Bad timing by Obama. Especially this statement :

    “Every daughter deserves the same chance as our sons,” he said. “And every woman should be able to go about her day - to walk the street, or ride the bus - and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity. She deserves that.”

    This coming just before departing to Saudi Arabia. :bplease:
     
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  13. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    India should take this with a pinch of salt. Most of these Hindu outfits have risen due to Islamophobia and its a trend not just in India but all over the world, even US. Things like ISIS just amplifies it. You see the same happening in Europe, in East Asia as well.

    Its important that we do our end of the job of eliminating these extremist outfits quickly. But it shouldn't be a 1 sided affair.
     
  14. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Statement made due to missionaries in India and us!

    Ps- obama grown in church during his childhood days!
     
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  15. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Obama forced to defend Saudi Arabia cosiness after India tolerance speech | US news | The Guardian

    :lol:

    lol @ Bakis feeling happy at this. Every know what this nonsense about. If Bakis spent even a fraction of this time and concern on their own country, a few more kids would be alive, perhaps ahmaddiyas would not be fleeing to other countries. :)
     
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  16. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, we are far better than some other countries which openly kill shias, ahmedis, hindus, christians etc.
     
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    @Neo,

    Once again, no comments.

    Once again there are no comments beyond your cut and paste chicanery.

    It is understandable.

    How can a person of a country that not only has no religious equality and freedom and not even inter sect freedom, comment?

    Obama may have said what he said since he also has the evangelists to please back home, but it is understandable for Pakistanis to find it music since all this time the cold hand of fear was holding and still holding an icy grip on their hearts.

    Instead of being pleased as Punch with the crumbs, take heed that the US and the West consider Pakistan as a pariah and a womb of unabated terrorism which will be soon dealt a death blow.

    Heard what he has said about Pakistan and plans for Afghanistan?

    Obama's statement that bring some cheer to the fear crazed Pakistan heart is also meant for all Islamic countries to wake up and smell the coffee.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  18. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Well even if they move closer in relations, India and the US will not see eye-to-eye on all issues. Remember the visit of PM Cameron to the US wherein Obama diverged with him on control of the internet.
     
  19. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some media houses are reading too much into the statement... There is no need to react to it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  20. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    India will never be like an United Kingdom means to USA...
     
  21. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    U S President Barack Obama's Speech From Siri Fort New Delhi ,India 27 Janaury 2015.....



    Published by LiveNews 24X7
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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