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Barack Obama takes in grand Republic Day parade

President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian Military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Source: PTI photo)
Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Source: PTI photo)

NEW DELHI: President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian Military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

The crowd erupted in cheers as Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, emerged from his armored limousine and took his place on the rain-soaked parade route in the capital of New Delhi. The parade was the centerpiece of Obama’s three-day visit to India, which is aimed at strengthening a relationship between the world’s largest democracies that has at times been fraught with tension and suspicion.

Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebrations was unlike any other event he has participated in during his overseas travel as president. He spent about two hours on an outdoor viewing platform, an unusual amount of time given Secret Service security concerns.

Republic Day marks the anniversary of India’s democratic constitution taking force in 1950. Beyond the show of military power, the parade included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity. Obama gave a thumbs-up to the acrobatic balancing act of several groups of men on motorbikes while Mrs. Obama smiled broadly at dance performance by young children.

Following the parade, the Obamas was to attend a reception along with dignitaries at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the sprawling presidential palace.

Obama said Modi’s “strong personal commitment to the US-India relationship gives us an opportunity to further energize these efforts.” And the Indian leader declared that “the chemistry that has brought Barack and me closer has also brought Washington and Delhi closer.”

Obama was to close the visit Tuesday with a speech to young people. He had planned to tour the Taj Mahal, India’s famed white marble monument of love, but scrapped that stop and instead will go to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah’s death

Source: Associated Press

1 reply on “Barack Obama takes in grand Republic Day parade”

Mr. Modi received President Obama at the Independence day celebration with the whole underlying intention to create greater economic relationship with the U.S. in trade-military and many other things.

The U.S. President and the politicians at Washington were fully aware of the minority religious persecution since BJP came into power. Among the 49 nations, India was one of the nations to sign the U.N. human right charter signed in Janary, 1949 in which it was clearly stated that every individual has the right to follow the deity or religion of their choice. The “ghar wapsi” movement was a well planned strategy of the of the BJP Government to enact a national anti-conversion laws, specifically targeting the missionary work of the Christians in India. Already six States of the Union have anti-conversion laws.

Mr. Modi didn’t speak a word openly that India is a secular nation, and the citizens of India have their fundamental freedom of embracing the religion of choice, but very surprisingly, he kept his mouth tightly closed.

Mr. Modi gave a Bhagvat Gita as gift to President Obama at his visit to the U.S.
Just before leaving India, President Obama indeed delivered a gospel sermon, how he chose to be Christian and exhorted the political leadership of India to have the same freedom for all the citizens; and if India is divided in the line of religion, it will make India weak. The ‘ghar wapsi” inferno was reported in all the major news papers around the world, and the world leaders are fully aware of this religious circus.

Mr. Modi has to make firm detour which may offend his party and the sister parties, and must affirmatively tell the whole nation that India will continue as a secular nation. Else, his over-anticipation of the arrival of Foreign Direct Investment in the industries will be turning as a bygone chapter of history. Nobody will happy and interested to invest in the biggest democratic country where the citizens are barricaded from religious conversion through any national law.

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