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MEA criticizes US religious freedom report on India; calls it biased, prescriptive

"The report has also targeted regulations that monitor the misuse of financial flows into India, suggesting that the burden of compliance is unreasonable. It seeks to question the need for such measures," the MEA spokesperson said.

MEA criticizes US religious freedom report on India; calls it biased, prescriptive AJR
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First Published Jun 28, 2024, 4:19 PM IST

India on Friday (June 28) strongly responded to a recent report shared by the United States, calling it "deeply biased" and lacking an understanding of the country's social fabric. The Ministry of External Affairs said the report is visibly driven by vote bank considerations and a prescriptive outlook, and highlighted several instances of hate crimes, racial attacks and targeting places of worship against Indians in the US. 

On US State Department's 2023 religious freedom report on India, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, "We have noted the release by the US State Department of its report on international religious Freedom for 2023. As in the past, the report is deeply biased, lacks an understanding of India's social fabric, and is visibly driven by votebank considerations and a prescriptive outlook. We therefore reject it."

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"The excise itself is a mix of imputations, misrepresentations, selective usage of facts, reliance on biased sources, and a one-sided projection of issues. This extends even to the depiction of our constitutional provisions and duly enacted laws of India. It has selectively picked incidents to advance a preconceived narrative as well," he said.

"In some cases, the very validity of laws and regulations are questioned by the report, as are the right of legislatures to enact them. The report also appears to challenge the integrity of certain legal judgments given by indian courts," he further said.

"The report has also targeted regulations that monitor the misuse of financial flows into India, suggesting that the burden of compliance is unreasonable. It seeks to question the need for such measures," the MEA spokesperson said.

"On its own part, the United States has even more stringent laws and regulations and would surely not prescribe such solutions for itself. Human rights and respect for diversity have been and remain a legitimate subject of discussion between India and the United States," he said.

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"In 2023, India has officially taken up numerous cases in the US of hate crimes, racial attacks on indian nationals and other minorities, vandalization and targeting of places of worship, violence and mistreatment by law enforcement authorities, as well as according to political space to advocates of extremism and terrorism abroad. However, such dialogue should not become a license for foreign interference in other polities," he added.

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