On his last public appearance in India, US President Barack Obama stressed the importance of religious tolerance, women’s rights, and clean energy. Obama said that the ties between India and the US can be the "defining partnership of the century,” in his townhall address at Siri Fort in South Delhi. Here’s a highlights reel of the most important quotes from his speech.
- In US, we are still working to ensure our women get equal opportunities. In India, it is the wives and mothers who hold the family together.
- Even as we live in a world of wrenching inequities, we’re also proud to live in countries where even the grandson of cook can become president, even a Dalit can help write a constitution, and even a tea-seller can become prime minister.
- Your Article 25 says that all people are 'equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion. In both our countries, in all countries, upholding this fundamental freedom is the responsibility of government, but it's also the responsibility of every person.
- Every daughter deserves the same chance as our sons. And every woman should be able to go about her day — to walk the street, or ride the bus — and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity. She deserves that.
- America wants to be your partner in igniting the next wave of Indian growth. As India pursues reforms to encourage more trade and investment, we'll be the first in line. We want to help India build bullet trains and smart cities.
- I propose a new United Nations Security Council with India as a permanent member.
- We will succeed as long as we empower our young. Here in India, most people are under 35 years old.. So you, young Indians, are going to define the world.
- Every person has the right to practice any faith or none as he chooses, without the fear of prosecution. Our nations will be strongest when we see all as equal. Sometimes I have been discriminated against on the basis of the colour of my skin. India will succeed so long as it isn't splintered along religious lines.
- We know from experience that nations are more successful when their women are successful. These are facts. So if nations really want to succeed in today’s global economy, they can’t simply ignore the talents of half of their people.