Saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision for India, former US President Barack Obama said on Friday he was of the opinion that Modi “believes in the unity of India.”
Obama also met with Modi later. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after Obama left the White House in January.
The former president also spoke fondly of Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh,he said, who had laid the foundations of the modern Indian economy.
“I like (Modi) I think he has a vision for the country … I was also a great friend of Dr. Manmohan Singh, he laid the foundations of the modern Indian economy.” The unifying theme of these two leaders during my tenure was to focus on India-US relations, “he said while speaking at a summit organized by a media house.
By saying that politicians often reflect society and that the people of India can strengthen the hands of politicians by speaking out against divisive forces, the former US president said he had raised the issue of religious freedoms in a conversation Private with Modi.
However, he refused to share Modi’s response to him, saying only: “I think his impulses are to recognize the importance of the unity of India.” I know he firmly believes in the need for that to advance to the status of a great nation. that India has and will continue to expand in the years to come. ”
He also stressed the need for India to value and feed its Muslim population, which, she said, “is integrated and considered Indian.”
“Unfortunately, this is not always the case in other countries, and that is something that needs to be appreciated, nurtured and cultivated, and it is important to continue strengthening it,” he said.
Calling on citizens to speak against divisive forces, Obama said that in democracies such as India and the United States, the “citizen’s office” was the “most important office.”
“It is everyone’s responsibility to speak against divisive forces and reinforce those points of view … Politicians, on the other hand, rarely get too far away from public opinion, and often reflect the views of society … So that if you see a politician doing things that are questionable, one of the things is to ask yourself: ‘Am I encouraging, supporting or licensing the values I hear from the politician?’ Because, frankly, politicians tend to be more a mirror and more a reflection of the forces in society, “Obama said.
He said that if “communities across India” say they will not fall prey to division, “it will strengthen the hand of those politicians who feel the same.”
In saying that democracy was under threat today, Obama said that “an association between the oldest democracy in the world and the largest democracy in the world is the key … The Internet has the capacity to propagate propaganda that is destructive to democracies. .. The distinction between us and them is dangerous. ”
Speaking about Pakistan’s role in terrorism, the former president said: “We had no evidence that Pakistan was aware of Osama bin Laden’s presence there, but that’s something we obviously saw.”
He also said that after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the US government UU He was “as obsessed as India with dismantling the terrorist network.” “Terrorism of any kind eventually affects everyone,” he added.
In an apparent exhumation of his successor Donald Trump, who is very active on Twitter, mainly to ridicule his rivals and the media, Obama said: “I have more followers on Twitter than people who use it more often.” Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp they are very powerful tools that can be used for both good and bad, we need to understand the challenges of these technologies, it brings us to a quick trial. ”
Later in the day, Obama also held a municipal event in Delhi for the Obama Foundation, where he interacted with approximately 280 young leaders from across India.
“India and the United States have a lot in common, the United States is home, of course, to millions of American Indians and their proud heritage is combined with an incredible contribution they make in every field in the United States. “The association that I create between the oldest democracy in the world and the largest democracy in the world could be a defining association of the 21st century,” he said.