Obama gets advice from US religious freedom body’s ex-chief over India remarks
Former commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Johnnie Moore has advised former president Barack Obama to spend his energy complimenting India more than criticizing it.
The ex-USCIRF commissioner’s remarks come in the wake of an interview by Obama to CNN in which he had said that Biden should raise the religious freedom issue with India, as he would have done had he still been the US president. Obama said if India does not protect the rights of ethnic minorities, there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart.
In an interview with ANI Moore said, “I think the former president (Obama) should spend his energy complimenting India, more than criticizing India. India is the most diverse country in human history. It’s not a perfect country, just like the United States, but its diversity is its strength, and we should be complimenting the largest democracy in the world every chance that we can, that we have.”
The former USCIRF commissioner said that PM Modi’s historic visit to the US was an occasion to be celebrated.
“And so, I think, you know, it was the time to celebrate a historic visit, you know, rather than leveling some criticism on it, you know, with your friends, particularly when it comes to democracy. With your friends, it’s sometimes better to privately criticize and to publicly praise. That’s good geopolitics,” Moore said.
“I disagree with the sentiment of the former president (Barack Obama),” he said, adding, “Even in that critique of the former president Obama couldn’t help but also complement Prime Minister Modi, and I certainly understand why having spent some time with him,” Moore added.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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