U.S. concern at treatment of Muslims in India

July 12, 2019 01:09 am | Updated 01:14 am IST - Washington DC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington July 11, 2019. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington July 11, 2019. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has said the U.S. Congress was, and continues to be, concerned about the treatment of Muslims in India.

Ms. Pelosi’s comments came during a conversation with Chairman of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) John Chambers at a Forum event in Washington DC.

“We were proud to welcome him [Prime Minister Modi] …to a joint session of Congress [in 2016]. We had some concerns about the treatment of Muslims in India — I have to mention it — then and now,” Ms. Pelosi said at the conclusion of a talk, parts of which focused on her domestic agenda for the US and some of which discussed the India US relationship. During the India segment of her speech Ms. Pelosi praised the diaspora and Mr. Modi.

Ms. Pelosi, however, also praised Mr. Modi’s oratorical skills, calling a speech he gave during her visit to India with former U.S. President Barack Obama, “one of the most fantastic speeches” she had ever heard.

Ms. Pelosi dwelt on the values that anchored ties between India and the U.S., speaking of Mahatma Gandhi’s influence on the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

and also called satyagraha “the spiritual gift that India has given to the United States” and said it was one of the strong ties, in terms of values, that connected the two countries.

"I became completely worshipping at the shrine of Mahatma Gandhi," Ms Pelosi said, after she read a book about Gandhiji as a child . As per Ms Pelosi’s account, a nun at her Catholic school had said to Ms . Pelosi , "Who do you think you are? Mahatma Gandhi? " when she went to school wearing a hat. Ms Pelosi had not heard of Gandhiji at the time and started reading up on him at her school library.

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