Calls report â€œbiased and inaccurateâ€ accusing commission of pursuing a â€œmotivated and biased agendaâ€
India slammed the US Commission for International Religious Freedomâ€™s (USCIRF) latest report calling it â€œbiased and inaccurateâ€ and accusing the Congressionally appointed bipartisan body of pursuing a motivated and biased agenda.
â€œThey (USCIRF) have a tendency to consistently misrepresent facts and this shows their lack of understanding of India, our constitutional framework, plurality and our robust democratic system,â€ said Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
â€œGiven its past record, we are not surprised to see that USCIRF continues to be guided by its prejudices and pursues a motivated agenda that calls into question its own credibility,â€ he added.
In a new India Country update released Nov 23, USCIRF had suggested that religious freedom and related human rights in India are under ongoing threat for a variety of reasons, including various government policies that do not protect religious minorities.
It had reiterated its recommendation made in its 2022 Annual Report issued in that the US State Department designate India as a â€œcountry of particular concern,â€ or CPC.
CPC designation is given to the worst offenders â€œfor engaging in or tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations, as set forth by the International Religious Freedom Act.â€
â€œSuch a designation would reinforce the United Statesâ€™ concern regarding the conditions discussed in this country update and would encourage the Indian government to diverge from policies that violate religious freedom and promote communal divides,â€ it said.
Read: Religious Freedom Related Human Rights Under Threat In India: USCIRF ReportÂ (November 24, 2022)
However, the State Department has consistently refused to accept the commissionâ€™s recommendations so far. It’s not mandatory for the State Department to accept USCIRF’s recommendations.
The update on religious freedom conditions in India in 2021 and 2022 alleged that â€œvarious policies adopted and implemented by the Indian government have cultivated an environment that is increasingly hostile toward religious minority communities.â€