Deeply biased, visibly driven by vote-bank considerations: India on US' religious freedom report

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the report selectively picked incidents to advance a preconceived narrative against India.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.

NEW DELHI: India has debunked the US report on International Religious Freedom and said that as in the past, the report is biased and lacks understanding of India’s social fabric.

“The report is visibly driven by vote bank considerations and we therefore reject it. The exercise itself is a mix of imputation, misrepresentations, selective usage of facts, reliance on biased sources and one-sided projection of issues. It extends even to the issues of our constitutional provisions and duly enacted laws of India,’’ Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.

India has also said that the US has witnessed vandalism of places of worship and has accorded political space to advocates of extremism and terrorism abroad.

“On its own path, the US has even more stringent laws and regulations and certainly does not prescribe for itself. Human rights and respect for diversity have been and will remain the subject of discussion between India and the US. In 2023 India has taken up various cases of hate crimes and racial attacks of Indians and other minorities,’’ said Jaiswal.

Image used for representational purposes only.
Concerning increase in hate speech in India, says Antony Blinken

India has also said that the report has selectively picked incidents to advance a pre-conceived narrative as well. In some cases, the very validity of laws and regulations are questioned as are the right of legislatures to enact them.

The report tries to challenge the integrity of certain legal judgements given by the Indian court and has also targeted regulations that monitor misuse of financial flows into India suggesting that the burden of compliance is unreasonable and seeks to question the needs of measures, MEA said.

India said this in response to a US report of 2023 on religious freedom that was released by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday.

“In India, we see a concerning increase in anti-conversion laws, hate speech, demolitions of homes and places of worship for members of minority communities,’’ Blinken had while releasing the report.

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The New Indian Express