It has taken more than six decades for the head of state of World’s strongest (militarily) democracy to attend the most important day in the current phase of world’s largest (and longest) functioning democracy. An American President took part in the Republic Day parade of India for the first time in history on 26th January 2015. By all accounts it was a great day for both India and USA. The visit of American President Barak Obama was a great success and the bonhomie that had developed between the first ever non-White President of USA and the first ever real Aam Aadmi (ordinary man) who became Indian Prime Minister was completely unexpected and full of promise. As they keep saying, USA and India are most natural partners in the World scenario and it remains a diplomatic puzzle as to why it has not been so far.
But all the goodwill that has been generated during the visit is now threatened to be upset immediately after the President’s return to USA. Obama’s preaching about the need for religious tolerance in India has snowballed into a major storm. American preaching about religious tolerance in India is like its own preaching about racial equality, Pakistani preaching about terrorism and Rahul Gandhi’s preaching about democracy. He is simply forgetting the fact that a non-White (or even half-White) could become US President only after more than two centuries of democratic rule. Whereas in India, members of religious Minorities have always dominated the national scene and a foreign born Roman Catholic could virtually rule the nation for a full decade without any constitutional post within the first century of the current phase of Indian history.
Obama might have been playing to the Christian gallery in his home country or obliging the orders from Vatican. But he should have remembered for once that India is the World’s only continuing civilisation that has remained essentially unchanged for over 5000 years and it’s the only nation in the World that still accommodates all the religions. He should have realised the condition about the religious minorities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc., and the amount of racial discrimination in USA and Africa before making such unwanted observations. The World’s strongest democracy must realise that the one and only sustainable model for World Peace is the Indian model of plurality and equality of beliefs, and its greatest message of “Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti” - Truth is one, the wise call it by many names as enunciated in its own Hindu Sanatana Dharma. And definitely not the ones that use ONLY and LAST as the adjectives for its ideologies.