US President Barack Obama’s advise to India on increasing religious intolerance in the country has certainly and most logically angered we Indians. But in his home country too, many are disturbed by this statement.
Many Indians including political leaders and journalists and writers have expressed their anguish at the ‘unsavoury advice’ of the US President who during his recent India visit had indicated to this religious intolerance and asked the Indians to shun this lest it wanted to progress.
But now he is at the receiving end on his home turf on the same issue. A number of American analysts and columnists believed that President Obama’s comments on religious intolerance vis-a-vis Narendra Modi government during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington were unwarranted and uncalled for.
Pulitzer Prize winner Charls Krauthammer is one amongst such prominent vocal critics of the President. Krauthammer writes regularly for Washington Post. He has lashed out at Obama for sermonizing India on the religious tolerance along with Syria and Iraq – the Islamic countries torn asunder by crass religious intolerance.
Charls Krauthammer, who is an influential Washington Post columnist, lashed out at Obama for equating India with the situation in Islamic countries like Syria and Iraq where the religious tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims ran very high resulting in killing, murders, rapes and other such crimes. He questioned the wisdom of the President in dragging India into this controversy saying that the President’s speech was a combination of banal and the repulsive.
“What the hell is he doing bringing India into this? I mean, it’s the first time I’ve heard India drawn into this discussion. Here he is essentially insulting, and it’s because it’s a Hindu country. It’s not Muslim. I mean, he’ll say in the name of Christ. He won’t say in the name of Muhammad and in the name of Allah. He won’t use those words. And then he goes after India, which is probably our strongest, most stable, most remarkable, democratic ally on the planet, considering all the languages and religions that it harbours. It has the second-largest Muslim population on Earth. And yet he goes after it as a way of saying hey, everybody here is at fault. They are not at fault,” Charls Krauthammer told radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“This is a combination of the banal and the repulsive. The banal is the adolescent who discovers that well, man is fallen, and many religions have abused their faith and used it as a weapon. This is what you discover when you’re 12, or 17, and what you discuss in the Columbia dorm room. He’s now bringing it to the world as a kind of a revelation, and he does it two days after the world is still in shock by the video of the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot as a way of saying hey, what about Joan of Arc? I mean, this is so distasteful”, the US columnist said.
Krauthammer literally lambasted Obama for underplaying the Islamic barbarism of ISIS in immolating Jordanian pilot alive and to make everybody believe that this is really ordinary thing to happen. Taking a dig at Obama’s references to the Crusades and Inquisition, Krauthammer said: “ The Crusades ended 800 years ago. There is not a big inquisition going on today. Joan of Arc was not yesterday. The Jordanian pilot was two days ago”.
Obama failed to know India & Gandhi: Senior RSS leader and Patron of Muslim Rashtriya Manch Indresh Kumar commenting on Obama’s observation said that the US President did not understand “Bharat and Gandhi” both.
Reacting sharply to his statement on religious intolerance Indresh Kumar said that Obama insulted India by making such a statement. Talking to journalists after addressing a congregation of 15000 strong RSS swyamsevaks at Bulandshar DAV ground, Indresh Kumar said Obama’s statement betrayed his ignorance and little understanding of Gandhi and India. Either, he has no knowledge of Indian culture and Mahatma Gandhi or he has little understanding of both, he added.
Obama’s statement caused injuries to the sentiments of Indians and insulted India, Indresh Kumar said adding that India has been a multi-religious and tolerant country. Each sect, each religion is equally honoured here. The USA and Britain does not match in respect of religious tolerance with India. He alleged that perhaps Obama made this statement to placate the Church.
New York Times Editorial: Taking a cue from the statement of President Barack Obama, the New York Times wrote an editorial attacking Modi government on incident of religious conflicts in India. There had been attacks on five churches in Delhi in the recent past which is undoubtedly, most unfortunate. The New York Times wrote an editorial titled “Modi’s Dangerous Silence”.
The NYT editorial said: “Recently, a number of Christian churches in India have been burned and ransacked. Last December, St. Sebastian’s Church in East Delhi was engulfed in fire. Its pastor reported a strong smell of kerosene after the blaze was put out. On Monday, St. Alphonsa’s Church in New Delhi was vandalized. Ceremonial vessels were taken, yet collection boxes full of cash were untouched. Alarmed by the attacks, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has urged the government to uphold the secular nature of India and to assure its Christians they are “protected and secure” in their own country.“
However, this is not just a regular thing to happen. The news paper of New York Times stature where very little space is given to major happenings in India, has written a full editorial on attacks on churches. Is the paper acting under pressure from the World Chrsitian Solidarity? This also shows the disproportionate propaganda at international level by some handful of intellectuals hand in glove with the Christian missionaries.
Has New York Times ever written an editorial about atrocities, persecution and genocide of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh? It is beyond doubt that the news papers and media in USA, UK, Australia and other European countries is under the influence of Christian church and their secularism ends there only. That is why NYT did not deem it proper to write editorial on curbs on Muslims in these Christian countries.
By: Virag Pachpore