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Home > News > World News > Article > Barack Obama takes on India as Biden Modi meet in Washington DC

Barack Obama takes on India as Biden-Modi meet in Washington DC

Updated on: 23 June,2023 11:19 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Obama made the remarks during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour and said if President Joe Biden meets with PM Modi, "the protection of the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India is something worth mentioning"

Barack Obama takes on India as Biden-Modi meet in Washington DC

Barack Obama. File photo

Former US President Barack Obama on Thursday made a reference to the rights of ethnic minorities in India during a media interview and said if these are not protected, there is a strong possibility of the country "at some point starts pulling apart", news agency ANI reported.


According to ANI report, Obama made the remarks during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour and said if President Joe Biden meets with PM Modi, "the protection of the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India is something worth mentioning".


The remarks by the former US President came amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit to the United States, which is regarded as extremely significant by both sides amid growing strategic, technology and defence cooperation.


Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda slammed Obama for his remarks and said it is preposterous to see the former US President "pander to the anti-India crowd, lecturing India in the same breath as China for its atrocities in Xinjiang".

Obama, who was asked a question relating to India and China, said he has worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Paris accords to deal with climate change.

"By the way, if I had a conversation with Prime Minister Modi, who I know well, part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility that India, at some point, starts pulling apart. And we have seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts. So that would be contrary to the interests not just of Muslim Indians but also Hindu Indians. I think it is important to be able to talk about these things honestly. Things are not going to be as clean as you like, because the world is complicated," Obama told CNN.

Obama also said it is important for the US president to say that if China is sending Ughurs to mass camps and they are being "re-educated, that's a problem and a challenge to all of us" and there is a need to pay attention to it.

The upward trajectory of India-US relations enjoys bipartisan support in Washington and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley asserted on Thursday that India is an ally "that shares our democratic values".

Nikki Haley has announced that she is running for president in 2024, challenging fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump.

"The U.S.-India friendship is personal. India is an ally that shares our democratic values. We have so much in common, from business & cultural ties to mutual security interests. It's critical that we continue to grow our partnership. I wish Prime Minister Modi a successful visit to Washington," she said in a tweet.

Panda noted that Obama's remarks came when PM Modi is in Washington and two sides are lavishing attention to bilateral ties.

"While @pewresearch finds 98 per cent of India's Muslims say they're free to practice their religion without hindrance, it is preposterous to see @BarackObama pander to the anti-India crowd, lecturing India in the same breath as China for its atrocities in Xinjiang. This, when President @JoeBiden is hosting PM @narendramodi & lavishing attention on the US-India relationship. And by a former President on whose watch race relations exploded in his country. Tsk, tsk, talk about hypocrisy and false narratives," Panda said in a tweet.

(With inputs from ANI)

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