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  1. Barack Obama says religious intolerance in India would have shocked Gandhi: 5 key points

Barack Obama says religious intolerance in India would have shocked Gandhi: 5 key points

US President Barack Obama has said that the 'acts of intolerance' experienced by religious faiths of all types in India would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. Here are top talking points:

By: | New Delhi | Updated: February 7, 2015 7:40 AM
Barack Obama, Barack Obama in India, barack obama india visit, Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi news, indo us nuclear deal, india us nuclear deal

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave as they leave after the 66th Republic Day parade at Rajpath in New Delhi. Obama has said that the ‘acts of intolerance’ experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. (PTI)

Within weeks of raising a row on his India trip by highlighting role of religious extremism in India, which was taken as a hint of warning to PM Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to control the alleged rightist extremism by the Sangh Parivar outfits, US President Barack Obama has again raised hackles in the power echelons of Delhi.

This time he has raised the pitch considerably and said that the “acts of intolerance” experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.

Here are top 5 talking points:

* Mahatma Gandhi and religion: Michelle and I returned from India, 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,” Barack Obama said in his remarks at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Obama has said that acts of religious intolerance in India would have shocked Gandhiji. (Reuters)

* Religious intolerance: The US President did not name any particular religion and said the violence is not unique to one group or one religion, but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and others activities have received much coverage in the media, over ‘Love jihad’, and conversions in particular, with no public rebuke on this coming from PM Narendra Modi.

* Call to action: “We have to speak up against those who would misuse His name. Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout history. No god condones terror,” Barack Obama said.

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* Rising online rage: “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,” said Barack Obama.

* Religion and terrorism: Barack Obama spoke out against terrorism, saying “from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris” and the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, all are “so often perpetrated in the name of religion.”

* White House on US President’s comment: The White House on Wednesday 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.

Significantly, Barack Obama’s comments came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President’s public speech in New Delhi town hall meeting at the Sirifort auditorium in which he touched upon religious tolerance was a “parting shot” aimed at the ruling BJP. 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”.

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  1. P
    Prahari
    Feb 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm
    For Gods sake first seen your limit of intolerance in your country. YOU DON'T ALLOW TO BUILD TEMPLE IN YOUR COUNTRY, WHY? WHAT STAN AND OTHER ISLAMIC COUNTRIES ARE DOING ? T O DA Y I N D I A W A K I N G U P O N L Y B E C U A S E O F N E A R E B Y I S L A M I C S T A T S R E L I G I O U S A C T V I T I E S. SO PL LECTURE ON ISLAMIC COUNTRIES TO ABIDE BY YOUR SUGGESTIONS.
    Reply
    1. Ann Maria
      Feb 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm
      BJP AND MODI will do every thing to erase hiji from Indian scenario.They will use Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and others activities to do that job for them.
      Reply
      1. A
        Ashutosh Joshi
        Feb 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm
        Slotter of Hindus in 1947 in "Secular' staan " did not shock but gave inspiration to hi for creation of third sthan at Nizam/ANDHRA PRADESH.He ( hi ) was advising affected Hindus to Return back to stan and face the attrocity from Muslims.Can Muslim OBAMA opine about intolerance/brutal behavior of Brute Muslims in stan ?As per Obama USA must give 6000 Cr US $ aid to such useless staan under one pretex or other and preach indian Hindus about TOLERANCE.
        Reply
        1. T
          TKB
          Feb 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm
          He will also be shocked at the slimey tactics used by churches covertly aided by western governments to subdue and mentally control people thru the use of fraud, deception, money and government infiltration.
          Reply
          1. C
            cg
            Feb 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm
            THE FRINGE ELEMENTS IN BJP/RSS TO BLAME FOR INDIA GETTING A BAD NAME AROUND THE WORLD. IT IS TIME TO CONCENTRATE ON DEVELOPMENT ON THAT PLANK MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE VOTED FOR MR.MODI AND GIVEN HIM A MANDATE. I HOPE BJP AND MR. MODI WILL NOW MAKE SOME EFFORTS TO DISCIPLINE THESE ELEMENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE BASIC FRAME WORK OF INDIA AND ITS CONSUTION.
            Reply
            1. Sridhara Hiriyannaiah
              Feb 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm
              All were living in harmony. But the moment Congress started appeasing one over other differences, hatred, revenge all started. Had hiji was alive he would not have supported reservation in the name of religion which probably Obama has not realized.
              Reply
              1. Mohan K.N.
                Feb 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm
                Castes based untoward incidents taking place in India more than in any other country. This should be stopped forthwith. Otherwise it will definitely affect the prosperity and development of the country. I fully endorse what the American President spoke.
                Reply
                1. Mankuzhi Murali
                  Feb 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm
                  India amongst the most populous state and diversity of religions remains the the most tolerant democracy in the world, better than any other country including US. His remarks are totally unwarranted and unnecessary to create tensions between the two countries.
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    Mirza Aslam
                    Feb 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm
                    Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaayi hum sab bhai bhai...........
                    Reply
                    1. V
                      Vaman
                      Feb 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm
                      Did Obama specifically mention Modi's name in his address? Why don't you publish the full text of his speech and not excerpts and leave it to readers to come to their own conclusions?
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        Sudhir Lal
                        Feb 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm
                        Obama is correct otherwise Modi should have break his silence over attacks on Christians and their faith and vandalizing their churches. BJP,Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other outfits are parts of RSS which is already famous and completed dedicated their deadly work and they can not face other community but Christians are a soft community to target easily but do not know our God fights for us.Truth can be hared but can not be defeated.
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          History
                          Feb 7, 2015 at 9:44 am
                          India's religious tolerance is under threat due to the spread of ideologies of ONLY ONE PATH TOWARDS GOD RELIGIONS (dogmatic ideologies ) , other than all path leads to God concept of indians
                          Reply
                          1. Anurag Gupta
                            Feb 6, 2015 at 11:40 am
                            You take hiji with you. We don't need him. He is a curse for India. After 50 years USA will become worse than India.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              S K
                              Feb 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm
                              So far as religious intolerance in India is concerned,it is not limited to BJP only. More or less it has affected all religious outfits in India and world over. Mixing religion with politics in India by all political parties has resulted in religious intolerance leading to painful riots in our Country.
                              Reply
                              1. Varadarajan Ravindran
                                Feb 8, 2015 at 12:43 am
                                United States has problems on account of racial issues and President Barack Obama is well aware of them. Segregated housing and consequently segregated schooling of children on racial lines has exacerbated the problem over the years even after the Civil Rights Movement. India doe not have these types of problems although its society is heterogeneous and polymorphous.
                                Reply
                                1. Mallikarjuna Reddy
                                  Feb 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm
                                  And appeat??
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Rokesh
                                    Feb 6, 2015 at 11:34 am
                                    Obama, would you mind your own business. You are trying to create a communal rift in India now. hi would have waged a war at your country seeing your religious intollerance..
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Revathi Ranganathan
                                      Feb 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm
                                      There never had been governance or politics without religion all through history.The paradox is the polity by and large is unmindful of religion in their daily life in the present day scenario. Statistics is hugely misrepresented in my opinion
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sagar Choudhury
                                        Feb 8, 2015 at 11:11 am
                                        Mr.President should solve the racial problem in usa first that is black vs white then he should give lecture to others
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sakshi
                                          Feb 6, 2015 at 11:35 am
                                          Was this for BJP and Modi? Vis-a-vis Gujarat pogrom?
                                          Reply
                                          1. H
                                            hsp mishra
                                            Feb 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm
                                            BJP and itss allies hao ve tarnish the image of INDIA.Voters in Delhi will defintely reply on 7 Feb election.
                                            Reply
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