US President Barack Obama’s remarks on religious intolerance in India have provoked sharp reactions in the country. Social media user entirely went outrageous over it by tag #Whitehouse and #Obama in their tweets, specially BJP’s supporters and Modi’s Bhakts. The Obama’s comment is very true and should be accepted with utmost sincerity and humbleness. The world is watching us and whatever is happening in India is disgraceful examples of religious intolerance. We, as the biggest democracy, were always respected for our ”unity in diversity” but now and then attacks on churches, forceful religious conversions, calling north east people immigrants is very damaging and defile the image of India. It is our political parties which are dividing us on the basis of religion, region, caste and creed.
Obama was very loud and clear in giving message that, India will succeed as long as it is not splintered along religious lines. His words, along with a pointed reference to article 25 of the Indian constitution which guarantees religious freedom, is seen as a strong statement on fundamentalism and extremism here and in the United States. Those who are objecting to President’s comments must realise that he didn’t come here on his own. Having been invited here, he cannot pretend he is deaf, dumb and blind to what happens even in our Capital City. Objecting to his comments is akin to imposing censorship on foreign visitors. He expressed what he has witnessed or what he must be watching on TV networks from Love Jihad to Ghar Wapsi. Why should his advice hurt an average Indian?
The problem with US is that, we feel happy when US government invades Muslim countries. However, when we do a reality check, it becomes a ‘thorn in my throat’ syndrome. Whatever Obama said, is a bitter truth about today’s India. Modi has been quite successful in orchestrating a staged drama before Obama. Nevertheless in today’s communicative world, nothing remains a secret, as rightly pointed out by our guest. Indians are in total ignorance about how the other nations view them.
Obama said casually but it’s understood that he said it keeping in mind Hindu-Christian conversion. He didn’t support any religion in his speech. He said religious tolerance is important factor for human development, peace and prosperity. He said all are children of god. Suppose, I ask one who is following Hindu religion, is he truly following Hindu faith. If he is following his faith, then he is correct. Same rules apply to the person following Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism. It’s like, if you believe in your faith you are correct, the problem arises when you hate other’s faith and want to convert that person to your faith. You follow your religion and let others follow their own. Any thought beyond this is the mere result of prejudice.
Today, Indo-US relations are strong because of Manmohan Singh’s strategy. Modi is trying to ENCASH in it and taking credit for it. It is proved that, India-US relations are going adhesive because of nation’s potential, the potential that can be unlocked with peace and equality. Modi went over while Obama’s visited here, he even went to the extent by calling him Barack, which I don’t think will suits to Modi’s profile in public portfolio and protocol. When Manmohan greeted Obama as then PM of this country, there was elegance and grace. It was exactly like two countries meeting each other. I hope, Modi will learn to be in his limits by not over pouncing at world leaders.
Saudi Arab, Pakistan and Israel are countries whose foundation and constitution are based on one religion. India is a secular country as emphasised in our constitution. Every religion has an equal standing in this country. Understand this important point. Pakistan is not interested in development and foreign direct investment, Saudi has its own money, Israel has lots of mentors in US, we are new in the line to seek FDI to fuel our growth. FDI comes with safety and prosperity, not with uncertainty. Only problem with Manmohan Singh’s regime was uncertainty due to corruption crusaders. Now, it is violent groups that are spitting venom. Many interpreted it as a scathing critique at a time the Modi government has been accused of not reining in individuals and groups seen to promote a pro-Hindu agenda. The White House said the speech had been misconstrued by some commentators as a kind of a ‘parting shot’.
Anyway, it is a very depressing fact that politicians use religion to further their chances to get elected in democratic country. One needs to make mandatory changes to the Election process in a democratic country. They should ban the religious/racial/tribes based campaigns and the candidates should be far away from crime. After a week of the debate boiling over on the internet and television, the White House clarified that the remarks had been “misconstrued”.
Whatsoever said was real ‘parting shot’ for Modi’s showdown ceremony. Moreover, BJP needs to realise that world has not turned a blind eye at India and atrocities within this country.