MEA India says vote bank politics is being practised in international relations

New Delhi Updated: Jun 04, 2022, 03:02 PM(IST)

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi [File photo] Photograph:( Twitter )

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In February, the United States had expressed concern over the current situation of religious freedom in India and raised the issue with Indian officials, a senior State Department official said. The United States State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom emphasises the same, to which the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi said, “We have noted the release of the U.S. State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom and the ill-informed comments by the senior U.S. officials.”
 

The Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi tweeted his response to the release of the United States State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, a day after United States’ secretary of state Anthony Blinken spoke of “rising attacks on people and places of worship” in India, on Friday, June 3.

Bagchi said, "We have noted the release of the U.S. State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and the ill-informed comments by the senior U.S. officials.

It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practised in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided.

As a naturally pluralistic society, India 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."

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In February, the United States had expressed concern over the current situation of religious freedom in India and raised the issue with Indian officials, a senior State Department official said. The remarks came in the wake of widespread protests held across India against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

As reported by Press Trust of India, the senior State Department official, on condition of anonymity had said, "We are concerned about what's taking place in India. I have met with the Indian foreign minister. I've met with the Indian ambassador (to express my concern)," 
India maintains that the Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including its minority communities.

It is widely acknowledged that India is a vibrant democracy where the Constitution provides protection of religious freedom, and where democratic governance and rule of law further promote and protect fundamental rights, a senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs said.

According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, following religious persecution there will get Indian citizenship.

The Indian government has been emphasising that the new law will not deny any citizenship rights but has been brought to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries and give them citizenship.

[With inputs from agencies]

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