New Delhi: Former US President Barack Obama held a town hall in New Delhi. Barack Obama interacted with around 280 young leaders from across the country. The town hall was organised by the Obama Foundation in a bid to aid young leaders understand how Obama Foundation can help them in their field of work.
After arriving in India on Thursday, Mr Obama attended the HT Leadership Summit earlier today. Speaking about elections in the US and the role of media, the former President said, "If I watched Fox, I wouldn't vote for me." He further said that those who watch Fox News and those who read The New York Times "live in separate realities" before adding that multiple realities can make a democracy difficult to function.
Here are the highlights of Barack Obama's Town Hall:
A transgender member of the audience speaks about Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, talks about the "state terror against gender minorities - be it sexual minorities or based on class and caste" and about how there are no discussions on LGBTQ rights. The member asks, "How do we fight them?"
To this, Mr Obama says, "It begins with what you just did: finding your voice."
Speaking about change, Barack Obama says, "Change is a slow process. It took 20 years to see the effects of ending racial segregation in the US after a Supreme Court verdict. We have to accept that change is hard. So divide your problems into bite-sized pieces and make sure you are listening to the people you want to help."
"Technology can isolate people, reinforce pre-existing biases. The digital network in Obama foundation allows people to meet, converse and forces people to have conversation outside and meet and engage with other people. If you do that you have a powerful tool," says Barack Obama.
"Technology cannot replace teachers," says Barack Obama at the Delhi town hall.
Talking about technology and its influence, Barack Obama says, "Technology is an incredible force for good but also has limits. We should look at how we avoid traps of technology." He further adds, "Social media played a big part in my campaign. We were using MySpace back then. Facebook, Twitter did not exist - that's how old I am."
Former US President speaking on climate change and Delhi pollution says, "Want to do something about climate change. As you are aware in Delhi, clean air is a very important investment."
Barack Obama says, "Charting the course of the future depends on us. More children are going to school than ever before. Want women to get same opportunities as men."
Talking about the growth in global life expectancy and how the world has never been "healthier and wealthier", Barack Obama says, "Despite what newscasts will make you think, we've come a long way. If you could choose the time when you were born - you'd pick now. Despite remarkable cruelty and suffering, there is less violence This did not happen out of luck, it happened because people chose to make it happen"
Speaking on the Indian population and the youth of the country, Barack Obama says, "You've got the largest population of young people. There has never been a better time to be a young person."
Speaking about his Obama Foundation, Barack Obama says, "The single most important thing I want to focus on is the next generation of leadership. That's the central goal of the foundation."
The former US President says, "The partnership between the oldest and largest democracy could be a defining relationship for the 21st century."
Speaking about the Indian diaspora in the US, Barack Obama says, "US has a strong Indian community. Both countries are incredibly diverse."
Barack Obama says, "I had the honour of being the first US president of joining India's Republic Day. I've also had privilege to address your parliament."
Barack Obama starts speaking at the Townhall, says, "Let me see if I can't get this right "Bahut Dhanyavad"" amid roaring cheers from the crowd.
PM Narendra Modi meets former US President Barack Obama. PM Modi tweets, "It was a pleasure to meet, once again."
Taking a dig at US President Donald Trump, the former President of the US said, "If you see a politician doing things that are questionable, one of the questions you can ask yourself as a citizen is 'am I encouraging this?'"
Speaking about how both India and the US have overcome years of colonialism, Mr Obama said, "India and US have thrown off the yoke of colonialism and have drafted the constitutions that begins with the same three words: "We, the people""
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