1. Religious intolerance in India would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi: Barack Obama

Religious intolerance in India would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi: Barack Obama

Barack Obama said the 'acts of intolerance' experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.

By: | Washington | Updated: February 6, 2015 9:31 AM
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Barack Obama today said the “acts of intolerance” experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. (Reuters)

US President Barack Obama on Thursday said the “acts of intolerance” experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.

The comments by Obama came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President’s public speech in New Delhi in which he touched upon religious tolerance was a “parting shot” aimed at the ruling BJP.

“Michelle and I returned from India – an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity – but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs – acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation,” Obama said in his remarks at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast.

The US President, who has just returned from India, was referring to violence against followers of various religions in India in the past few years.

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In a US-style Town Hall address in New Delhi on January 27, the last day of his India trip, Obama had made a strong pitch for religious tolerance, cautioning that India will succeed so long as it was not “splintered along the lines of religious faith”. (AP)

He, however, did not name any particular religion and said the violence is not unique to one group or one religion.

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

“In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow (racial segregation state and local laws) all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” he said, addressing the gathering of over 3,000 US and international leaders.

“There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance.
“But God compels us to try.

“And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe,” he said.

In a US-style Town Hall address in New Delhi on January 27, the last day of his India trip, Obama had made a strong pitch for religious tolerance, cautioning that India will succeed so long as it was not “splintered along the lines of religious faith”.

The White House yesterday strongly refuted allegations that Obama’s remarks on religious tolerance was aimed at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the speech in its entirety was about the “core democratic values and principles” of both the US and India.

  1. A
    Anurag
    Feb 6, 2015 at 8:16 am
    And racial intolerance would have shocked Martin luther kin Jr.
    Reply
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      Anurag
      Feb 6, 2015 at 8:16 am
      And racial intolerance would have shocked Martin luther king Jr.
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        Phytoist
        Feb 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm
        He is right & we all know who are pioneers of RELIGIOUS INTOLLERANCEs based upon races & religions since dawn of HOMOERECTUS STANDING & walking on its own feet & evolving since then till to date. Spread of religions & cultures with swords,guns,force,using cheat & deceit practice to brainwash pseudo/quasi intellectuals & many democratic regimes advocating democratic values in speeches while bedding with tyrants of their choices for self satisfying greed of few while neglecting 50% poverty stricken mes is well known to all of us. All our fingers points right back towards ownself rather @ others. Look no further but just one culture who still believe & live by a principle of"Vasudhaive Kutumbakam"& never used swords ya guns to spread its religion. One can ask Parsis in India about easy imilation instead bad naming the natives for nuisances self created & bought upon. Prosperity through peace & honesty towards all is everlasting instead terrorism,cheatings & sticking to lies.
        Reply
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          Aadil Williamson
          Feb 6, 2015 at 9:28 am
          In today's time it is So true about the BJP and Modi.
          Reply
          1. B
            Banke
            Feb 6, 2015 at 8:34 am
            I think Obama's remark about lack of religious tolerance in India shows his ignorance about Indian society in the present day and India's history. India is the only country where no minority community has ever been cuted in the entire history of the country. All religions have thrived in India. The only community that has faced religious cution has been Hindus in the hands of muslim rulers and their religious places desecrated by muslim invaders. It is only in India that such monuments can still exist when such monuments build by muslim invaders and rulers in the medieval period in Europe have now been converted back to their origin denominations. Hindus believe that there is only one god and he comes to this planet earth in times of trouble in various incarnations such as Ram and Krishna, but also Christ and Mohammad. As a result, most HIndus have no difficulty being respectful to other religions and their beliefs. Hindus have no problem having a christmas tree in their home and sending their kids to Christian schools or schools run by people of other faith. I am not sure if there many part of the world where this would apply. Even at the height of controversy about conversions in India, the most the Hindu organizations are doing is converting back the Hindus who had been converted by financial lures. Religious conversions to Islam and christianity still continue in full public view. Consider the chances this would be allowed in Islamic countries or in the christian societies. Despite, the politically motivated religious conflicts most Indians interact with people of faith in daily life as equals and respect each other's faith and partite and share in their festivals.
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              anand
              Feb 6, 2015 at 4:13 am
              Not only hi, Mr Obama. Almost billion living people of India wish peace even today. hi had seen far worse communalism during parion. Your remarks are timely and deep. We wish that India and world will someday rise to become a better place as it is never ending process.
              Reply
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                Kamath
                Feb 6, 2015 at 5:14 am
                If he speaks for minority communites it is aggreable.Not definitely about hindus.If he thinkd about RSS he must realise RSS does not have similar branches outside India such s YMCA or YWCA.Quoting M hi without knowing history is uncalled for,
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                  Kamath
                  Feb 6, 2015 at 5:14 am
                  If he speaks for minority communites it is aggreable.Not definitely about hindus.If he thinkd about RSS he must realise RSS does not have similar branches outside India such s YMCA or YWCA.Quoting M hi without knowing history is uncalled for,
                  Reply
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                    kunju
                    Feb 6, 2015 at 8:27 am
                    A person who love this world will have the same view. Religion instead of love and affection divides people. I don't think there won't be any person in the world who hates Mother Therese. If one donot have true faith why hold religion . The Religion that spread hatred , kills people. People don;t change old culture they stay where they are; in jungles. So change the culture in the roads of scientific tempo for development
                    Reply
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                      kunju
                      Feb 6, 2015 at 8:43 am
                      True saving from supersions
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        mohan
                        Feb 6, 2015 at 10:50 am
                        The west is not religious, but uses religion as a stepping stone for their colonial and trade expansion. A few weeks back during India's Republic day celebrations, the Chinese state-run media warned that India must not fall into the trap of rivalry set by the West. David livingstone was a hero during the 19th century. His motto, inscribed in the base of the statue to him at Victoria Falls, is "Christianity, Commerce and Civilization". This has ultimately contributed to European imperialism in Africa. An important consequence of the spread of British administration in the hills of NE India was the arrival of missionaries. The British administration and the missionaries worked hand in glove, one facilitating the work of the other. Thanks to the mediation by UNESCO, the Jarawa tribal reserve is protected from the Civilized world. The Andaman Trunk Road, which cuts through the Jarawa tribal reserve, is closed except for the convoys during morning and evening
                        Reply
                        1. T
                          ta ta
                          Feb 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm
                          Well said Mr Obama. Mahathma over saw millions packed and sent out for talking non sense. Still we allow another batch produced and talk in the same tone of s. Mahathma would have silently provoked the billions and ensured a settlement.
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                            Rajesh Das
                            Feb 6, 2015 at 8:25 am
                            Actually to impress 3000 International leaders(Christian) in National Prayer Breakfast he mentioned all about India , hi(He doesn't know completely about.) and hindutwa. Mr. Obama was trying to save the image what he gained in his last India visit and meeting with Shri.Narendra Modi. By the way he is a politician ..we need to understand his compulsions. I personally appreciate his statement with regard to harder counteract against the intolerance “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. “But God compels us to try. “And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe,”.
                            Reply
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                              Prem Janardhan
                              Feb 6, 2015 at 4:05 am
                              Obama should comment on history of Christian missionary activity in India too.
                              Reply
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                                Rajeev
                                Feb 6, 2015 at 7:54 am
                                The seeds of of religious intolerance was sowed by Lord Curson long by dividing people based on communities. The politics followed by various political parties especially Congress to appease certain community members for votes created division in the society. The majority community which were tolerant in nature was divided in the base of caste by some other political parties for votes. Another section of politicians divided people in the basis of economic differences. A section of Hindu community tried to unite people and block conversions focused on poor and backward which caused lots of noises in the system. Tolerance has gone long back from Independence. Another political party who used to oppose the minority appeat politics pla majoritarian politics and couldn't succeed alone. Later the development politics pla the party with strong leadership got the consent of the people even though there was religious polarisation made by vested interests in few sensitive states. Now it is time for us to support development inclusive politics. Past is past and that cannot be changed. The emergence of AAP dividing people based on religious hatred and economic backwardness is real worry as that can cause very dangerous situation ensuring peace and harmony in the society.
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                                  saffron knight
                                  Feb 6, 2015 at 5:41 pm
                                  Only option is to physically eliminate all '' from our motherland!!
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sankha Bhattacharya
                                    Feb 6, 2015 at 8:36 am
                                    I am sure recent incidents in church at Delhi was not been conducted by BJP right wings RSS . I strongly believe RSS is most disciplined wings and not believing to disregards social Hermione. Even "Ghar wapsi " Program also not a force full acts , infect i saw so many other religious persons did partited on practice that to in Uttar Pradash (UP) ,Where BJP is not in power . I am definitely sure Delhi incidents of humiliation inside church done by politically motivated some anti BJP people , who want to outrage and dis mental our unity and peace ...Many god punish them well . We are very fortunate that we (Indian) living in a golden age of PM.Modi ...i know every thing turn around to be good .
                                    Reply
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                                      Soljay
                                      Feb 6, 2015 at 5:16 am
                                      Yes, the glorious things the missionaries have done in India and are still doing, like building schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, educating women, leprosy homes, helping people to get out sinful habits, setting people from evil spirits/witchcrafts etc etc.
                                      Reply
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                                        Sunny
                                        Feb 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm
                                        STFU Obama, India and Hindus are THE most religious tolerant people in the history of w world, otherwise Muslim "personal" law board and minority protection act would not exist in 80% Hindu majority India. you bigoted people target the peace loving Indian an Hindus for no valid reason
                                        Reply
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                                          Tapas Nag
                                          Feb 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm
                                          Religious intolerance might have already shocked even God in counties like stan, afghanistan, iraq, iran, gulf countries and list continues
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                                            JORDAR THALIA
                                            Feb 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm
                                            What is religion after all ? Clubbing a set of people with a particular faith "purportedly" following the respective tenets, with existential materialistic motives ? Banish all religions. Think of only humans in material and political endeavours, leaving the spiritual journey to the individuals. On the same ground, Martin Luther King would have been shocked by the racial discrimination in the USA. Founders of the Religions as well as the Christ would have shock at the sectoral violence. Not only in South Asia. Anywhere in the world
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