Nation Current Affairs 03 May 2016 US religious freedom ...

US religious freedom report shows no understanding of India: Government

PTI
Published May 3, 2016, 3:57 pm IST
Updated May 3, 2016, 6:01 pm IST
US report said in 2015, religious tolerance deteriorated and religious freedom violations increased in India.
Representational image (Photo: AP)
 Representational image (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: Reacting strongly to a US report which said religious freedom in India was on a "negative trajectory" in 2015, India on Tuesday said it "fails to show proper understanding of India, its constitution and its society".

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Government does not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens' constitutionally protected rights.

 

"Our attention has been drawn to the recent report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which once again fails to show proper understanding of India, its constitution and its society.

Read: Religious freedom in India on 'negative trajectory': US panel

"India is a vibrant pluralistic society founded on strong democratic principles. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens including the right to freedom of religion.”

"Government does not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens' constitutionally protected rights. We take no cognizance of their report," Swarup said.

 

He was reacting to the US report which said, "In 2015, religious tolerance deteriorated and religious freedom violations increased in India."

In its annual report, USCIRF asked the Indian government to publicly rebuke officials and religious leaders who make derogatory statements about religious communities.

Read: US panel wants Pakistan on list for religious freedom violations

Members of USCIRF were denied visas by Indian government early this year on the argument that religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution and any foreign third party has no locus standi to comment or investigate on it.

 

"Minority communities, especially Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs, experienced numerous incidents of intimidation, harassment, and violence, largely at the hands of Hindu nationalist groups," the report alleged.

USCIRF alleged that members of the ruling BJP tacitly supported these groups and used religiously-divisive language to further inflame tensions.

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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