Economy

India will succeed as long it is not splintered on religious lines, says Obama

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on January 27, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on January 27, 2015.   -  Reuters

Making a strong pitch for religious tolerance, US President Barack Obama today 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.

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.

Religious conversions

The President’s comments came against the backdrop of the controversy over religious conversions and ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programmes by the 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, intolerance, violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to be standing for upholding their faith were witnessed.

“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.

Published on January 27, 2015
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