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Chapatis, Social Media And India-America Partnership: Obama Speaks During Delhi Visit

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| December 1 , 2017 , 14:57 IST

Former US President Barack Obama is among the most successful world leaders. Known for valuing country relations and embracing various cultures, POTUS 44 reached India's national capital to speak at the HT Leadership Summit.

While addressing the gathering on Friday, Obama took up a number of issues and expressed his views and perspective on the same. The leader not just talked about World and Indian politics but also about food, terrorism and technology.

Obama has always valued India-America partnership due to various reasons. Justifying the reason, he said, "A partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies is a defining one... We are among the few nations who have gone to the Moon and to Mars... Our histories have common values of rule of law, free speech, free press and we have to promote these values every day."

The emerging Technology has opened many gates for Globalisation but Obama believes that the youth needs to invest in skill development and education despite how "easier (it is) to retreat into a bubble where we consume information which conforms with our biases instead of receiving facts."

Sharing a little personal information, Obama proudly confirmed that he is a phenomenal cook and there's quite a possibility of him being the only American President to have daal recipe. Answering the question about his specialities, he added, "My keema is also good, and my chicken is OK."

Although, the former US President finds making Chapatis very difficult. "But I can't make chapatis. Too difficult. Hard to get it all right and flaky," said Obama.

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The conversation then steered towards more serious matters where he talked about how an economy should not be divided on the basis of sectarian lines, which he has personally conveyed to Narendra Modi as well. "People see the differences between each other much too vividly and miss the commonalities," he said.

Impressed with the fact that Muslims in the country address themselves as Indians, Obama remarked, "It’s remarkable that the large Muslim population (in India) see itself as Indian, which needs to be cherished. In other countries, there are minorities who don’t view themselves as part of the nation."

India recently observed the 9th anniversary of the tragic Mumbai attack of 26/11. Remembering the horrifying incident, Barack Obama added, "When the tragedy took place in Mumbai, we were as obsessed with how to dismantle the situation. Our troops were deployed to work with the (Indian) government to help in whatever capacity."

The former President and Narendra Modi have similar in more ways than one. Addressing the same, he said, "I like him (Modi)! He has a vision for the country that is being implemented in many ways and is modernising the economy. But I was also great friends with Dr Singh and what he did was the opening of gates for the modern Indian economy."

The entire world is witnessing the power of Social media and Obama is not immune to it. "Social media is powerful and can be used for good or evil. We are just beginning to understanding their potential... It’s important to be mindful of the power of these tools and also know its limits," Obama affirmed.

Following the summit, Obama will lead an interactive session in Town Hall organised by the Obama Foundation to "expand the conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and make an impact." He addressed similar sessions in Germany, Indonesia and Brazil earlier.