We are with you, Obama tells Indians

November 8th, 2010 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Monday gave a simple but strong message to Indians - “We are there with you shoulder to shoulder”.

“As you carry on with the hard work ahead, I want every Indian citizen to know: the United States of America will not simply be cheering you on from the sidelines,” he said in his address to MPs at the Central Hall of parliament.

“We will be right there with you, shoulder to shoulder. Because we believe in the promise of India. And we believe that the future is what we make it,” he said as 790 parliamentarians erupted into loud cheers.

Giving the example of B.R. Ambedkar, known as the drafter of the Indian constitution, Obama said: “We believe that no matter who you are or where you come from, every person can fulfil their God-given potential, just as a Dalit like Dr. Ambedkar could lift himself up and pen the words of the constitution that protects the rights of all Indians.”

“We believe that no matter where you live, whether a village in Punjab or the bylanes of Chandni Chowk, an old section of Kolkata or a new high-rise in Bangalore, every person deserves the same chance to live in security and dignity, to get an education, to find work, and to give their children a better future,” he added.

“And we believe that when countries and cultures put aside old habits and attitudes that keep people apart, when we recognise our common humanity, then we can begin to fulfil the aspirations we share,” he said.

Quoting the ancient fables Panchtantra, he said: “It’s a simple lesson contained in that collection of stories which has guided Indians for centuries. The Panchtantra. And it’s the spirit of the inscription seen by all who enter this great hall: ‘That one is mine and the other a stranger is the concept of little minds. But to the large-hearted, the world itself is their family’.”

“This is the story of India; it’s the story of America. That despite their differences, people can see themselves in one another, and work together and succeed together as one proud nation,” Obama said.

“And it can be the spirit of the partnership between our nations. That even as we honour the histories which in different times kept us apart, even as we preserve what makes us unique in a globalised world, we can recognize how much we can achieve together,” he said.

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