Obama chewing gum during R-day parade is offensive

Obama chewing gum during R-day parade is offensive


Just when we thought that American President Barack Obama's visit to India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day is all about sealing the deal, strengthening ties and benefiting both the countries with more trade, a whole new controversy was raised. Obama was seen chewing gum during the parade and soon the social media was flooded with snapshots of Obama taking out chewing gum from his mouth while Modi is seen explaining something in detail. It was called offending, habitual, ungainly sight and the camera managed to capture it well.


1. The occasion was not just another public gathering, it was the Republic Day Parade and Obama was invited to be the chief guest with utmost honour and cheered spirits of the citizens as he took his seat amid intense security, crores spent for nothing less than the best. Expecting the guest of honour to show respect to the event and the mob is not too much to ask for. Talking of grown friendship and ties, Obama should not have done the offense.

2. Obama should have been careful about the sentiments of the host. It is important along with strengthening relations, that the two countries respect reach other, their traditions and values. Two hours is not that long that the president could not resisted the urge to grab a chewing gum while nodding to the melodies being played.

3. This is not the first time when Obama was seen chewing gum at a public event. Apart from less serious events to even some of the most sophisticated ones like the APEC summit held in Beijing and World War II ceremony in France, cameras caught US president off-guards with his chewing gums. Media of these places as well slammed his old habit, yet Obama never let that affect his habit.

4. Reports confirm that president Obama takes nicotine gums to do away with his old smoking addiction. The craving to go for smoking increases when the person is experiencing distress or anxiety. None of these could have been the reason at the event at Rajpath during the formal parade to make it necessary for Obama to chew his nicotine gums. It was sheer disrespect to the occasion and the formal parade and very obvious for India to feel offended after the king like treatment he was given in the country.

5. A Washington report confirms that president Obama is past the craving for tobacco stage and now takes nicotine gums occasionally. Could he not wait for the formal occasion to be over to resort to his occasional habit? A little more respect and dedication for the people cheering at his arrival would have done no harm but his age old habit has.

Not offensive:

1. Obama is known to have a history of smoking and to do away with that he chews nicotine gums occasionally. It is far better than smoking or chewing harmful tobacco products that we Indians never find offending. It was not such a big issue that deserved being moulded into headlines of the day. We do not have rules imposed for not eating or chewing during the formal parade. How does it offends us if Obama chooses to chew nicotine gums or any other thing for that reason?

2. Media always needs to pick out controversies out of everything. It's their job, we can't blame them. It's us who needs so decide with our own reasoning abilities whether or not a particular sight is offending. Instead of pointing out Obama chewing gum during the formal parade, we should rather concentrate or what we could do to make India a better economy. Every individual has a part to play in the development of a nation and criticizing guests is definitely not one of them.

3. We Indians are habituated to being offended at worthless issues. We cannot take criticism, we find movies offensive, we are not used to being open about our own ideas and we judge a book by its cover. This is the basic reason why we take decades to adapt a way of living which has been a part of healthy lifestyle.

4. Instead of focusing on what Obama was chewing during the parade, India needs to focus on what benefits his visit has brought for us. Chewing nicotine is no big deal in America and we should not judge him by this alone. Respect comes from within and not by showing off or faking at events. Obama is a man of big deeds and needs no false faking of emotions to prove his respect for India or its Republic day parade.

5. Obama seen chewing gums or removing his chewing gum while Modi must be doing significant talks does not make him an egoist or disrespectful towards the formal parade. There was another picture doing rounds on the social media that focused on Vice President of India not saluting the national flag. Without knowing the complete fact, we cannot simply accuse a leader of being offensive.


This is a worthless issue brought out whenever he is spotted chewing gum in public events just because the news-diggers have to create one when they don't find one. There was nothing offensive in his words or stance during the entire stay in India on the whole. He has shown utmost respect to India by accepting the invitation on the Republic Day. Instead of celebrating his presence in the country, people got involved in such worthless issues. It's is time that we broaden our way of looking at others and stop being judgemental all the time.
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  • RE: Obama chewing gum during R-day parade is offensive -ayoosh singh (02/06/15)
  • we cant say on the basis of one reason that obama does not respact our country and the matter of chewing gum its not a big iisue our media always walways for the countrversis and we cant blaim media also because that is thier dutie but we should be care ful that on what matter we have to react or not and also the matter of fact we want devlopment rather than that we keeping our eyes that who , what is doing or anythng like this and also we all have seen that obama seen utmost respact for our cntri and we will have to adoptable for good things instead of keeping eyes on worthless rhings ....
  • RE: Obama chewing gum during R-day parade is offensive -vaishali (02/06/15)
  • that particular behaviour only shows obama less attentiveness towards our culture.....that was not an offence as he was not simply aware of it..
  • RE: Obama chewing gum during R-day parade is offensive -Deepa Kaushik (01/30/15)
  • Chewing a nicotine gum in the republic day parade is considered a great offense by our media. But, if the same President would have taken a pipe to smoke, our media would have considered that a lot more decent and a respectable act. Smoking the nicotine substance could be tolerated over a chewing gum. And actually is that of any importance and relevance in the present scenario where we have a lot many priorities coming up one after the other inclined towards the development of the nation and aimed towards the better living standard of an average Indian citizen?

    Yes, President Obama could have resisted his habit of chewing the gum. But when we are aware of the fact that he is getting off his addiction for smoking with the replacement nicotine gums, we should not make this a issue to create any agitation throughout the nation. It is not the time to discuss the cost of Modi’s dress or Obama’s chewing gum, but to check whether Modi got successful in his mission of inviting Obama as the Guest of Honour.

    Respect for anyone or any nation comes from within. And a chewing gum cannot vanish of the imprints of respect from anybody’s heart for our nation. It is human mind which has outlined the guidelines for the public and private arena. Such things has nothing to do with the respect or gratitude for the nation and its people. Though our citizens would have hardly pin-pointed a chewing gum into the mouth of Guest of Honour, but our media is always ready to create undue hype of meaningless matters and subjects just to cover-up their headlines. Anyhow, we should change our thinking and with a open-mind neglect the act of chewing a gum at parade.