BJP calls out Obama for comparing Hindu India to China on Muslim persecutiontext_fields
Washington: Former US President Barack Obama’s reference to the Muslim persecution in India earned the wrath of the BJP Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda, who accused him of pandering to the anti-India sentiment while comparing Modi’s India to Xi Jinping China.
In a recent media interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, former US President Barack Obama made reference to the rights of ethnic minorities in India. Obama's comments, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crucial state visit to the United States, have drawn strong reactions from political figures on both sides.
During the interview, Obama emphasized the importance of protecting the rights of ethnic minorities in India and warned of potential repercussions if such protection was not ensured. He expressed concerns that without safeguarding these rights, there is a strong possibility of India experiencing internal conflicts that could lead to the country "pulling apart."
Obama also stressed that addressing the situation faced by the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India is a matter worth mentioning during discussions between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Modi.
The timing of Obama's remarks has raised eyebrows, as they coincide with PM Modi's visit to the United States, which holds significant strategic, technological, and defence cooperation for both nations. Responding to Obama's comments, Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda criticized the former US President, accusing him of pandering to the anti-India sentiment and drawing parallels between India and China's handling of minority rights.
Panda further denounced Obama's comparison of India's treatment of ethnic minorities to China's actions in Xinjiang, calling it preposterous. He highlighted a Pew Research survey that indicates 98 per cent of India's Muslims feel free to practice their religion without hindrance. Panda also pointed out the irony of Obama criticizing India while President Biden hosts PM, Modi, emphasizing the need for both sides to focus on strengthening the US-India relationship.
Meanwhile, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who recently announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, reaffirmed the significance of the India-US friendship. Haley commended India as an ally that shares democratic values and highlighted the numerous commonalities between the two nations.
The controversy surrounding Obama's remarks has stirred discussions about the trajectory of India-US relations and the importance of addressing minority rights on a global scale. While some argue that Obama's comments are an essential part of an honest dialogue, others criticize them as misplaced and accuse him of hypocrisy, given the racial tensions that escalated during his presidential tenure.
As Prime Minister Modi continues his visit to Washington, the attention on bilateral ties remains paramount. The US-India friendship enjoys bipartisan support in Washington, and both nations strive to deepen their partnership across various domains, from business and cultural ties to mutual security interests.
As the controversy simmers, the global community eagerly awaits further developments in the ongoing discussions between the Indian and US leaders, hoping to witness progress in strengthening the bond between the world's largest democracies.