New Delhi, Jan 27: A Nation is more successful when its women are more successful, said US President Barack Obama while addressing the Indians at Siri Fort in the National Capital during his 3-day trip to India.
During his address to the Indians before he leaves for Saudi Arabia, President Obama won the hearts of millions when he talked in Hindi "Bahut Dhanyavad". He began his speech with "Namaste: and said "Thank you so much for welcoming us back to India, Bahut Dhanyavad".
For the first time an American President was addressing the Indians with enthusiasm and passion and talked about women empowerment, development, religion and equality.
Refering to "Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao", he said that a nation's progress is based on how they treat their women. Every daughter is as important as a son and he is very much impressed to see the women in Indian armed forces.
Lauding the women power in Indian military after his arrival in India, he said that the girl who commanded the Guard of Honour is a sign of great pride and strength. "It is remarkable. Even the woman who gave me the guard of honour when I arrived".
And he is feeling proud and lucky to have a strong and talented woman Michelle as his wife, who is not afraid to speak her mind when he is wrong.
He said that the US is still working to ensure women get equal opportunities and in India, it is the wives and mothers who hold the family together. Women can go as far as their imagination can take them and every woman deserves respect and freedom.
The audience, who were attentively listening to the address of Mr. President at Siri Fort, gave a big cheer when he talked about the need for education, women empowerment, equality, democracy and similarity between two powerful nations.
Talking about equality, He said that India's strength is its multi diversity and irrespective of caste and creed and ethnic differences, they are united. Remembering his past, he said that his grandfather was a cook in British Army in Kenya. And when he and his wife were born people like them did not have right to vote in many parts of the world. He talked about the power of democracy and referred to success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, "We live in countries where a grandson of a cook can become the President and son of a tea seller became the PM".
"Even if we live in a world of terrible inequalities, there is hope that a tea seller can become PM".
He said that the aim of the work not be to have a few do well but have everybody do well. All should get opportunities to prove and dream to go ahead in life.
He began his speech by giving reference of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda. He referred to Shahrukh Khan's dialogue from Dilwale Dulhaniyan Le Janyengge and said "Senorita..bade bade Desho mein and quoted Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda. He said that India is a nation of Gandhi. More than a hundred years ago America had welcomed a son of India - Swami Vivekananda, who brought Hinduism and Yoga to America. "First time we brought Diwali to White House".
He applauded Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi during his address at Siri Fort Auditorium.
He talked about fight and violence in the name of religion. He said that every person has the right to practice their own religion, how they choose. Every Indian should celebrate the success of Shahrukh Khan, Mary Kom, Milkha Singh equally, not by colour of skin, or worship. No society is immune from the darkest impulses of men and too often religion has been used to tap into those instead of light of God.
"Our nations must empower young people. Prejudices and stereotypes are what happen to old minds and for US and India, diversity is our strength".
He wants more American students to India than Indian students coming to America. "Our nations are the strongest in how we empower our young people because you have to break down stereotypes. We want to link US with Indian colleges and universities. Want more students to travel between. Young Indians are not just going to define future of India, but will shape the world".
He said that one thing is common between Indians and American is that they are the most hard working people in the world. "We can be great partners and can work together".
"We may have different histories and speak different languages but when we see each other we see reflections of ourselves".
He talked the importance of democracy. "Having thrown of colonialism, we formed constitutions that begin with the same 3 words - WE THE PEOPLE".
He said that India and US among few nations to have sent spaceships to both Mars and the Moon.
As India pursues more trade and investment, we want to be your first partners in growth. We are joining you in helping everyone have a bank account.
A world without nuclear weapons should be the goal for all of us. On the nuclear deal, we want to give India carbon free energy that will help combat climate change. He assured the audience that he will support India to be the permanent member of the UN. "I support a reformed UNSC with India as a permanent member", he said.
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