The US report claiming that “attacks on minority communities in India occurred throughout 2021” has drawn sharp reactions from New Delhi, with MEA accusing the US of vote bank politics in international relations.
Reacting sharply to the US report, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have noted the release of the US State Department 2021 report on International Religious Freedom and ill-informed comments by senior US officials. It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations.” “We would urge that assessment based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided,” Bagchi added.
Sources told The Daily Guardian Review that India would also register its protest with the US on the same through proper diplomatic channels. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar learnt to have spoken to diplomats at MEA and at the Indian embassy to US regarding this. “EAM has expressed displeasure over the “biased” report. He has also decided to speak with his US counterpart Antony Blinken on
the same,” sources said.
What is worth mentioning here is that EAM Jaishankar in the month of April had given a clear message to the US on the issue of human rights and minority issues as well. On the issue of human and minority rights violation, Jaishankar had said India was entitled “to have views about their (US) views and the interests and the lobbies and the vote banks which drives that”.
Answering a query about Blinken’s remarks at the joint press conference after the 2+2 dialogue in Washington in April this year, Jaishankar had said India also takes a view on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States and raises matters concerning the Indian community. After this, Blinken and other Biden administration officials were seen steering clear of this issue during press conferences.
Now, again the US in a report claimed that attacks on minorities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout 2021 in India. “Attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year. These included incidents of ‘cow vigilantism’ against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade in beef,” said the India section of the report.
India had previously rejected the US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens’ constitutionally protected rights. The report also said that the police arrested non-Hindus for making comments in the media or on social media that were considered offensive to Hindus or Hinduism.
Reacting to the claims in the US report, the MEA spokesperson said, India, as a naturally pluralistic society, values religious freedom and human rights.
“In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence,” Bagchi stated.