The White House has expressed strong condemnation for the online harassment targeting a Wall Street Journal journalist who raised questions about the rights of religious minorities during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden on 22 June in Washington. John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US National Security Council, stated that the reported harassment is entirely unacceptable and goes against the fundamental principles of democracy demonstrated during PM Modi’s recent state visit.
“It’s completely unacceptable and it’s antithetical to the very principles of democracy that … were on display last week during the state visit,” Kirby said on Monday in a press briefing.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaugural state visit to the United States, a noteworthy event took place as he engaged in a joint press conference with President Joe Biden at the White House. In an uncommon turn of events, PM Modi fielded questions from journalists, one of whom was Siddiqui, who raised concerns about the rights of religious minorities in India.
“There are many human rights groups who say your government has discriminated against religious minorities and sought to silence its critics. What steps are you and your government willing to take to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and uphold free speech?” asked The White House correspondent . 5tIn response, the PM expressed his surprise at the question and said in Hindi, “In India’s democratic values, there is absolutely no discrimination, neither based on caste, creed, age, nor any kind of geographic location.”
He further added, “Indeed, India is a democracy. And as President Biden also mentioned, India and America, both countries, democracy is in our DNA. Democracy is our spirit. Democracy runs in our veins. We live democracy.”