India on Friday, June 3, took strong exception to the release of the US State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom and said it was “unfortunate that vote bank politics” was practiced in international relations.
“We have noted the release of the U.S. State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom, and ill informed comments by senior U.S. officials,” MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries.
“It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations,” he said adding, “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,” the MEA spokesman pointed out candidly.
Released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, the report gives its own perspective to the status and violations of religious freedom across the globe and have separate chapters on each of the countries.
India has generally rejected the US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.
The US Freedom report among other things said that in India the police arrested people for making comments in the media or on social media that were considered offensive to Hindus or Hinduism.