OBAMA ADVISES INDIA OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
Finally President Barak Obama has rendered advice to Govt of India on religious tolerance. Earlier President Bill Clinton had felt the pain of religious persecution. 35 innocent Sikhs were then killed when Bill was visiting India. He later said that he was sorry for those innocent people. He said if had not visited India those 35 people would not have been killed. Shamelessly the Govt of India has buried the inquiry report on Chittisinghpora killings. We are however hopeful that the present Prime Minister of Indira Sh. Narender Modi has learnt a lot on religious tolerance and we are sure Modi will never ignore advice of the big brother.
Here is a Reuter's report Siri Fort Auditorium Delhi where Obama was speaking.
In final speech to India, Obama emphasises religious tolerance
January 27, 2015 14:36 IST
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with the crowd after delivering a speech at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
Making a strong pitch for religious tolerance, United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday said every person has the right to practice his faith without any persecution and that India will succeed so long it is not "splintered" on religious lines.
|Obama greets with a namaste after he addressed |
a gathering at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.
Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
Addressing a Town hall event at the Siri Fort auditorium on the third and final day of his visit to India, Obama also said that America can be India's "best partner".
"Every person has the right to practice his faith without any persecution, fear or discrimination. India will succeed so long it is not splintered on religious lines," Obama told the audience comprising mainly young people.
The president's comments came against the backdrop of the controversy over religious conversions and 'Ghar Wapsi’ programmes by right wing Hindu outfits in India.
Obama also cited Article 25 of the Indian Constitution dealing with Freedom of religion. "Your (Constitution) Article 25 says all people are equally entitled to the freedom of conscience and have right to freely profess and practise and propagate religion. In both our countries, in all countries upholding with freedom of religion is the utmost responsibility of the government but also the responsibility of every person," he said.
Obama also said that around the world we have seen intolerance, violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to be standing for upholding their fait "We have to guard against any efforts to divide us on sectarian lines or any other thing," he said.
Obama further said that no society is immune by the darkest impulses of man and that more often religion has been used to tap into it.
He recounted an incident that occurred three years ago in Wisconsin where a man went into a Sikh gurdwara and "in a terrible act of violence" killed six innocent people which included both American and Indians.
"In that moment of shared grief, the two countries reaffirmed the basic truth that we must again today. Every person has a right to practice the faith that they choose and to practice no faith at all and to do so free of persecution, fear or discrimination," he said.
Obama greets with a namaste after he addressed a gathering at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
In his speech, attended by young students, scholars and others, Obama said such a proposition holds much importance in India. "And nowhere it is more important than in India. Nowhere is it going to be more necessary for that foundational value to be upheld," he said.
Underlining the factors that unify both the countries, Obama said, "Our diversity is our strength" and cautioned that both India and the US have to be on guard against divisive efforts along sectarian lines or any other lines.
"...If we do that well and if America shows itself as example of its diversity and the capacity to live and work together in common effort and common purpose and if India as massive as it is with so much diversity, so many differences, is able to continuously reaffirm its democracy so that is an example for every other country.”
“That's what makes us world leaders. Not just the size of our economies or the number of weapons we have but our ability to show the way and how we work together," he said.
The US president picked Indian heroes like actor Shah Rukh Khan and sports icons like Milkha Singh and Mary Kom and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi to make a point that courage and humanitarian values unify both the nations.
"By what Dr King (Martin Luther King Jr) called content of our character rather than the colour of our skin or the manner in which we worship our god. In both our countries, in India and America, our diversity is our strength," he said.
Recalling his own experience as a minority in the US, Obama said that while he has had extraordinary opportunities, "there were moments in my life where I've been treated differently because of the colour of my skin." He also referred to the persistent false rumours that he is a Muslim, not a Christian.
"There have been times where my faith has at times been questioned by people who don't know me, or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," Obama said. "The peace we seek in world begins in human heart," he added.
On Indo-US relations, Obama said, "India and the United States are not just natural partners -- I believe that America can be India's best partner."
"Of course, only Indians can decide India's role in the world," he said, adding, "But I'm here because I am absolutely convinced that both our peoples will have more jobs and opportunity, our nations will be more secure, and the world will be a safer and more just place when our two democracies stand together."
Obama also said the US supported India's inclusion as a permanent member in the UN Security Council. Against the backdrop of China exerting its influence in South China Sea, Obama said freedom of navigation must be upheld in the Asia Pacific and welcomed a greater role for India.
"The United States welcomes a greater role for India in the Asia Pacific, where the freedom of navigation must be upheld and disputes must be resolved peacefully," he said.
VHP hits back at Obama, calls him ‘stooge of Church’
Deeptiman Tiwary,TNN | Feb 7, 2015, 02.34 AM IST
NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama's recent remarks on 'religious intolerance' in India has irked the Hindu right in the country. Criticizing his latest remark — that "acts of intolerance" experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi —Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Friday called Obama a "stooge of the Church" and asked the Narendra Modi government to identify and weed out people in the Indian political class suspected to be batting for the Church.
VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that Obama should instead take care of his country which was witnessing "atrocities" against blacks. "He (Obama) is himself black. Despite that, he has not been able to stop the atrocities being committed on blacks," he said.
Alleging the influence of Christian missionaries on Obama, Jain said, "Obama seems to like his natural allies more than his friend. He made such statements in India and abroad after meeting certain people here on his visit. It is well known that Church plants people in politics. Obama has not been a good guest."
VHP also agreed with Hindu Mahasabha, which is preparing to forcibly marry off couples seen together on Valentine's Day. According to VHP, cases such as the Nirbhaya gang rape happen because couples openly express love on Valentine's Day. Jain said, "There should be no violence (on February 14), but those who love each other must get married. In the name of love, do not indulge in naked display of lust. It is because of these celebrations that incidents like (Delhi gang rape) happen."
On its right to be the moral police, Jain retorted, "What right did Mahatma Gandhi have to steer the freedom struggle? When police do not take action, society will have to."
On Obama's comments, Jain said the US is only worried about Christians and never talked about atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh. "Obama should have rather asked Christian missionaries to stop conversion. It is because of their antics that there is communal disharmony in India. We ask the government to identify and weed out such people in politics who are planted by the Church," Jain said even as he brushed aside recent attacks on churches in Delhi as a "law and order problem".
"Even temples get vandalized, but do we say Christians have done it? Christians are protesting for political mileage and finance," said Jain.