AHMEDABAD: In his 15-minute speech at the Namaste Trump rally, US President Donald Trump praised India’s pluralistic tradition and its credential as an upholder of peace and liberty. Lauding the country for standing united despite having a vast diversity, the President said, “India is blessed with many treasures, from the sacred banks of the Ganges, to the Golden Temple to the Jama Masjid. All Indians — Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews, rich and poor — must take pride in glories of past and look ahead on a bright future. You speak more than 100 languages and have over two dozen states, yet you have stood as one great nation.”
Trump’s remarks came even as two US city councils have passed resolutions against the Citizenship Amendment Act, calling it discriminatory in nature, and violence erupting in part of Delhi after over
the recently enacted legislation. The deepening communal divide in India in the wake of rise in attacks on minorities and incidents of like mob lynching has come in for criticism at home as well as from the international community, particularly sections of US lawmakers and human rights organisations. The White House had on Friday announced that Trump would discuss the issue of religious freedom during talks with PM Modi.
In his speech, the President hailed India’s ascent in the international community. “It is special as it has been achieved while maintaining the democratic nature. India’s growth is more important because you have done it as a democratic, peaceful and tolerant country. There is a difference between a nation that rises by coercion and one that rises by setting its people free — that is India,” he said.