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Obama remembers Vivekananda

Brief from lecture of Mr. President Obama Speech To Indian Parliament

… … …Instead of slipping into starvation, you launched a Green Revolution that fed millions. Instead of becoming dependent on commodities and exports, you invested in science and technology and in your greatest resource — the Indian people. And the world sees the results, from the supercomputers you build to the Indian flag that you put on the moon.

Instead of resisting the global economy, you became one of its engines — reforming the licensing raj and unleashing an economic marvel that has lifted tens of millions of people from poverty and created one of the world’s largest middle classes.

Instead of succumbing to division, you have shown that the strength of India — the very idea of India — is its embrace of all colors, all castes, all creeds. (Applause.) It’s the diversity represented in this chamber today.

It’s the richness of faiths celebrated by a visitor to my hometown of Chicago more than a century ago — the renowned Swami Vivekananda. He said that, “holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character.”

And instead of being lured by the false notion that progress must come at the expense of freedom, you built the institutions upon which true democracy depends — free and fair elections, which enable citizens to choose their own leaders without recourse to arms – (applause) – an independent judiciary and the rule of law, which allows people to address their grievances; and a thriving free press and vibrant civil society which allows every voice to be heard. This year, as India marks 60 years with a strong and democratic constitution, the lesson is clear: India has succeeded, not in spite of democracy; India has succeeded because of democracy. (Applause.)… …