The Message in the town hall meeting delivered by Obama was to have been delivered by Modi. Politically, Modi had difficulty in telling his party and its affiliates to back off, a splintered India is not good for any one, jis may kisi ka sath nahin, us may kis ka vikas bhi nahin.
I believe, Modi means good. He is figuring out a way to move away from “exclusively for Hindus at the cost of others” to inclusively for all Indians for the benefit of all. He is committed to do that. If he fails, we all fail, and if he succeeds, we all will benefit from it.
The glory was written all over his face, he was looking for this moment. Obama’s dosti (friendship) meant everything for him, it is like recognition and Mukti for him. Modi was in the seventh heaven.
After the humiliation he went through about the denial of visa, he was desperately looking to get out of it, his ego did not permit him to apologize or at least say sorry for what happened. One of the ways of doing praischit or repentance is repairing the damage without humility. This is Modi’s way of saying sorry.
He is too interested in recording his name on the golden pages of Indian History and I applaud him for that. May he succeed in his endeavors and remove all the obstacles his own party members and its affiliates are placing in his path.
I trust our democracy to keep him within the guard rails. President Obama’s speech is a reflection of my essay written a week before his address, “Republic Day’s pluralistic Message to Modi and Obama.” The message is identical.
I urge you to read the article “Republic Day Message to Modi and Obama” at www.TheGhousediary.com
And listen to Obama’s speech from 29th Minute onwards -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sGFUPEtNAg
Obama is inherently a Pluralistic individual who believes in respecting the otherness of others, and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. Obama is one of the inclusive individuals in the likes of Pope Frances, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and a few other great men and women.
Obama is as committed to building cohesive societies as I am, where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. It was this thought that prompted him to remind his audience about those lofty ideals embedded in India’s constitution.
A majority of Indians have experienced discrimination in one form or the other, and he was appealing to both the discriminated and discriminators.
Invoking Article 25 was a reminder to the rabble rousers among the Sangh Parivar that India’s stability hinges on following the rule of law. You are a successful nation today because of that. Look at Pakistan where it is today because of not abiding their secular charter.
His reference to his own experience being a minority was powerful!He gave hopes to the Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and other minorities. “Look it is not easy, but education is the panacea, it increases your chances to be the change. I did not have it easy either.”
His statement, “‘every person has the right to practice their religion and beliefs and not practice it if they choose so without any persecution.’ Was a direct reference to the harassment Muslims and Christians face with stupid statements like “your holy place is not in India” “you cheer for Pakistan Cricket Team” “forced conversions” “Ghar Wapsi” and other stupidities that do not contribute towards the well being of anyone.
I wrote, “Mr. Modi, the Battle is not between Hindus and Muslims, it is between good and the bad, good is represented by those who mind their own faith as Quran advocates or Bhagvad Gita suggests – it’s your own Karma that will determine your outcomes; there is no compulsion in faith, whereas the evil is represented by hurting and discriminating others for differences in belief. Let every Indian be free to breathe, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever he or she wants to. I hope your party supports your stand.”
Invariably, what I write comes out in his speeches a few days later. I am glad it happened that way. I guess if you are inclusive and don’t have a bias towards others, similar thoughts and actions flow out of you.
Full article at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2015/01/republic-day- message-to-modi-and-obama.html
(The author is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He can be reached at email@example.com)