India Needs to Cherish and Nurture Its Muslims, Says Barack Obama at HT Leadership Summit
Former US President Barack Obama on Friday delivered a special address at the HT Leadership Summit partnered by CNN-News18.
Former US President Barack Obama speaks at HT Leadership Summit partnered by CNN-News18.
New Delhi: Former US President Barack Obama on Friday delivered a special address at the HT Leadership Summit partnered by CNN-News18 and said India needs to cherish and nurture its Muslim population that is integrated and considers itself Indian.
Obama said he had emphasised the need for religious tolerance and the right to practise one's own faith during closed-door talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last trip to India in 2015.
The 44th US president, who held office between 2009 and 2017, had made similar comments during a public interaction on the last day of his visit, which had come against the backdrop of controversy over religious conversions.
"There's a counter narrative taking place, at all times, but it's particularly pronounced now... in Europe, US and sometimes in India where those old tribal impulses reassert themselves under leaders who try to push back and under leaders who try to exploit them," Obama said.
Responding to an India-specific question, Obama referred to India's "enormous Muslim population", which is successful, integrated and thinks of itself as Indian. That is unfortunately not always the case in some other countries, Obama added.
"And that is something that needs to be cherished and nurtured, cultivated. It's important to continue reinforcing it."
Answering a question on terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Obama said, "We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of Osama bin Laden's presence there but that is something obviously we looked at."
This was Obama's first visit to India since handing over presidency to Donald Trump. He had visited the country twice during his tenure at the White House — once during Manmohan Singh's term and the second time when Narendra Modi invited him as the Chief Guest of the Republic Day parade in 2015.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Deepika Padukone Opens About Why She Did Not Live with Ranveer Singh Before Marriage
- From Slam Poets to 'Eco-Feminists', BBC's 100 Most Influential Women 2019 List Has 7 Indians
- Kareena Kapoor Awestruck by Kalki Koechlin's Six-month Pregnancy
- Hina Khan Slams People for Comparing Her and New 'Komolika' Aamna Sharif as Ekta Kapoor Weighs In
- Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2C at Rs 6499 Lands Ahead of Peak Pollution Season