President Barack Obama’s message at Siri Fort, where he spoke about religious tolerance, was ‘universal’ and applied both to the Indian and American people, US ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Friday. He also reiterated US commitment to seeing through the nuclear deal.
In his first interview after taking charge, Verma told Karan Thapar in his programme, To The Point, for Headlines Today, “This was a message that was for all people and not just people in India. It was universal. The President likes to talk about these universal rights.” Obama’s speech was seen as a partial indictment of recent episodes, where minorities are perceived to have felt insecure in India.
“We also have to look at what’s in the hearts and minds of people, support their democratic aspirations, dreams, support for rights for equality and tolerance…he was talking as much to the American people and people around the world as he was to the people of India,” added Verma. He said the response had been spontaneous and the feedback from political, non-governmental, and civil society had been ‘exceptionally positive’.
On another note, Verma said they were committed to the nuclear deal. “We are committed to seeing this deal through, so 300 million people, who do not have electricity, can actually get a shot at it.” He said insurance pool was a ‘novel idea’, and US would work with India to provide whatever technical consultation was required.