Obama says he had privately warned Modi on religious intolerance, refuses to reveal how Indian PM replied

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Former US President Barack Obama on Friday said that he had “privately” told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a country should not be divided on sectarian lines. When asked how Modi replied, Obama dodged the question by saying he did not wish to disclose his private conversation.

Speaking at an event organised by Hindustan Times, Obama said that he emphasised yo Modi how the Indian society needed to cherish that Muslims in the country identify themselves as Indians which is not common for minorities in many other countries.

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He said, “A country shouldn’t be divided on sectarian lines and that is something I have told Prime Minister Modi in person as well as to people in America…People see the differences between each other much too vividly and miss the commonalities. Commonalities are always based on gender and we need to focus on that.”

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He added, “For a country like India where there is a Muslim population that is successful, integrated and considers itself as Indian – which is not the case in some other countries, this should be nourished and cultivated.”

He said in a democracy the most important office was not the office of the President or a Prime Minister but the office of the citizen who needed to question themselves about which ideology they encourage with their support to particular politician, reported IANS.

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He said, “When you see a politician doing something questionable, ask yourself ‘Am I supporting this?’. Politicians are like mirrors which reflect the community’s view. If communities across India are saying they won’t fall prey to division, then it will strengthen the hand of politicians who feel that way.”

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