Monday, July 22, 2024

White House Distances Itself from Obama’s Controversial Remarks on India

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The White House has distanced itself from former US president Barack Obama’s controversial remarks on India. In a recent development, White House officials refrained from providing any comment on Obama’s statements, clarifying that they represented the personal views of a private citizen. The issue arose during a State Department press briefing on June 26 when a journalist questioned President Obama’s remarks concerning the treatment of Muslims and other minorities in India. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized that they routinely address human rights concerns in their discussions with Indian officials and highlighted that President Biden himself had addressed the issue during the joint press conference with Prime Minister Modi.

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The Interview

In an interview with CNN, Obama suggested that President Biden should raise the issue of protecting the Muslim minority in predominantly Hindu India during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi.

He further added that if he had met with PM Modi, he would have conveyed that neglecting the rights of minorities could potentially lead to internal divisions in India, which would be contrary to India’s best interests.

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Obama’s comments triggered strong objections in India, with several prominent leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responding by pointing out the US’s actions against Muslim countries during Obama’s presidency, including bombings and attacks.

Joy Of The Left

While the opposition and left-leaning individuals celebrated the remarks, they also faced criticism from various quarters. A journalist from The Wire attempted to taunt the Assam government by suggesting that the Assam police should travel to Washington DC to arrest Obama. In response, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that there were more pressing domestic issues that required attention before considering actions in foreign countries. He emphasized the need to prioritize internal matters.

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The official reiterated that all relevant issues were raised during the Modi-Biden meeting, highlighting President Biden’s approach of treating partners with respect and fostering a close partnership. Both leaders had specific matters they wished to address, and their strong relationship facilitated respectful and meaningful discussions.

US Balancing Sides?

Furthermore, the official expressed support for Wall Street Journal reporter Sabrina Siddiqui, who posed a controversial question to Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Washington DC. The official emphasized the importance of press freedom and condemned any form of online harassment. It is important to note that the White House’s support pertains to the principles of a free and open press and does not specifically endorse the content or implications of Siddiqui’s question.

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The White House’s support for Sabrina Siddiqui and its decision to distance itself from Obama’s comments underline its commitment to maintaining robust diplomatic relations with India. The administration seeks to foster a strong partnership based on mutual respect and constructive dialogue while addressing relevant issues in a manner that upholds India’s sovereignty.

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