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By Frank Jack Daniel NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama weighed in on one of India's most sensitive topics as he wound up a visit on Tuesday, making a plea for freedom of religion to be upheld in a country where relations between Hindus and minorities have come under strain. Obama made no direct reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose rise to power last year has emboldened some Hindu groups to assert themselves in a country with a history of religious strife. "Your Article 25 (of the constitution) says that all people are 'equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion'," Obama told a townhall address to mostly young Indians in New Delhi. "In both our countries, in all countries, upholding this fundamental freedom is the responsibility of government, but it's also the responsibility of every person." Modi's rise to power has emboldened right-wing activists to openly declare India a nation of Hindus, posing a challenge to its multi-faith constitutional commitment.
Rafael Nadal's Australian Open dream lay in tatters Tuesday with the third seed crushed by Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals, but Maria Sharapova showed who's boss by slapping down Eugenie Bouchard. The out-of-sorts Spaniard, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, was never in contention against a player he had beaten the last 17 times they met stretching back to 2006. "I started pretty well, but you are playing Rafa and you have to keep going until the last point." His upset win means he will face either Andy Murray or Nick Krygios for a place in the final. In contrast to Nadal's lacklustre performance, the experienced Sharapova dominated young Canadian pretender Bouchard to set up an all-Russian semi-final with dark horse Ekaterina Makarova.