How will India benefit from Obama's visit?

Obama is promoting religious tolerance in India

As the first colored President of the United States, Barack Obama knows what it feels like to belong to a minority - and to be rejected for it. Obama addressed these experiences in New Delhi and called for tolerance and mutual respect with a view to freedom of religion and women's rights.

In the multi-religious host country, in which there is repeated violence between Hindus, Christians and Muslims, the US President campaigned for peaceful coexistence. "For me, different religions are like beautiful flowers in a garden or like the branches of the same stately tree," Obama quoted India's freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi.

In his speech to an audience of around 2,000 in the capital, Obama emphasized not only the right to freely practice one's religion, but also the rights of women. Both governments and every single person would have to help guarantee elementary freedoms. "We are all children of God and are all equal in God's eyes."

Fight against global warming

At the end of his visit to India, Obama once again called for the fight against global warming. "If growing countries with increasing energy needs like India do not incorporate clean energies, then we have no chance against climate change." With the argument that a CO2 reduction would hinder the fight against poverty, New Delhi has so far denied binding commitments.

Obama said he was familiar with accusations that it was unfair for the US to urge emerging countries to become less fossil-fueled, despite the fact that they have based their growth on oil and gas for more than a century.

The truth, however, is that climate change can only be combated if the growing countries also emit fewer greenhouse gases. With rising sea levels, melting Himalayan glaciers, increasingly unpredictable monsoons and ever stronger hurricanes, India will be one of the hardest hit countries, warned the US President.

Civil use of nuclear power

On Sunday, Obama agreed with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work more closely on the civilian use of nuclear energy. On Monday, he was the first US president to be present on India's national holiday, which is considered an award. From India, Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia to express his condolences upon the death of King Abdullah.

yy / qu (dpa, afp, ap)