Indian Government institutions accused of violating religious freedom

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USIRF) misinterprets facts

Washington (US) – The annual report of the USCIRF has been released. It is recommended that the US State Department should declare India a ‘country of particular concern’ for its religious freedom situation. India’s Government agencies and officials have been accused of “serious violations” of religious freedom, and the Biden administration is being urged to impose sanctions against them. The US Congress has also been advised to hold a hearing on religious freedom during the US-India bilateral meeting.

According to USCIRF’s report, religious freedom in India continued to deteriorate in 2022. The Government of India promoted religious discrimination policies at the national, State, and local levels during the year. These include laws such as conversion, interfaith relations, the hijab, and cow slaughter. This is said to have a negative impact on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and tribals.

The report is not entirely conclusive – Vedant Patel

US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel while talking to reporters said that the USCIRF is not a branch of the State Department. This report is not entirely conclusive. The Department of External Affairs of India is not bound to accept these recommendations.

India slams USCIRF

India has previously slammed the USCIRF for “misrepresenting” facts. India has also described it as an “organisation of particular concern.” In July, in a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs said that “These comments reflect a severe lack of understanding of India and its constitutional framework, its plurality and its democratic ethos. We have seen the biased and inaccurate comments on India by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF),” it said.

“Regrettably, USCIRF continues to misrepresent facts time and again in its statements and reports in pursuance of its motivated agenda. Such actions only serve to strengthen concerns about the credibility and objectivity of the organisation.”

Editorial viewpoints

Who gave the right to interfere in India’s internal affairs to the USCIRF ? India should pressure the US to take legal action against the Commission for dividing the various communities of India by publishing such a misinterpreted report.

Due to the rise in racism in the US, white people constantly attack African-American people. Attempts should be made by the Commission to prevent these attacks.

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