President Obama’s visit to India challenges the nation on these key issues


President Obama spoke about the issues of religious freedom, economic equality and women’s rights during his trip to India.

In what appears to be President Obama’s final visit to India while he is still in office, he posed several challenges to the nation. While praising the largest democracy in the world as one of the United States’ defining alliances, he also had words of hope and advice for the country. In particular, President Obama spoke to India’s leadership about the pursuit of economic equality, women’s rights, and the way that the nation approaches religion.

Religious Issues

There is no doubt that President Obama went to India with an agenda to open discussions on religious intolerance within the nation. Specifically, he has said that India is poised to succeed in on the world stage as long as “it’s not splintered along religious lines.” Without delving into specific policies, it would seem very clear that Obama was talking about the issues that India is creating with its Muslim population. The current government has created several anti-Muslim policies, some of which are more forthright than the others. While noting that he has been mischaracterized in his religion, President Obama was sure to mention that people should embrace all religions and not seek to persecute those different from them.

On Women’s Rights

President Obama also reached out to citizens of India to embrace women in their nation. He started off his speech by stating that women are an integral part of any nation’s workforce and government. He also said that countries that integrate women all aspects of their country are far more successful than those which do not.

Another area of women’s rights that President Obama decided to address was that women are simply not safe in their own country. He said that women should be able to ride the bus and walk through cities without fear of attack. This comes after several different high profile attacks have enraged people in India as well as around the world.

Economic Equality

In a combination discussion about economic inequalities and making an attempt at curbing climate change, President Obama called on India to begin developing and implementing green energies. He recognized the fact that it is “unfair” for developed nations to tell burgeoning ones to cut their dependence on the same fossil fuels that made them successful. However, he said that with the right allies, it is possible to keep up the high demands for production while reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Officials in India still do not seem likely to reduce their emissions because they believe that it would lead to further poverty in a nation where many already live in squalor. It does not help the fact that the nation is densely populated and in need of reforms on many levels. Still, the fact that these topics have been broached with India paves the way for future high level talks.


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