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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Indian Foreign Ministry Slams US ‘Votebank Politics’ after Blinken’s remarks on India’s Religious Freedom

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On Thursday, June 2, the US secretary of state Antony Blinken made an obnoxious statement that “in India, the world’s largest democracy and home to a great diversity of faiths, we have seen rising attacks on people and places of worship”.

Blinken was speaking at an event organized for releasing the state department’s annual report on international religious freedom (IRF). This was the first time in recent memory that a had mentioned India in oral introductory remarks delivered at such an event. Blinken had brought up India’s human rights record publicly in April too.

On Friday, June 3, India hit back and accused the US of indulging in “vote-bank politics” in international relations. The Indian response also included that it had regularly raised “concern” over “racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence” in the US.

In a strongly-worded response, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi, said that India had taken note of the “ill-informed comments by senior US officials”, calling it a direct attack.

“It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided,” he said.

Picture Source – MEA

The MEA spokesperson also claimed that as a “naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights.” He further added that for the first time India had brought up issues related to gun violence with the United States, which is perhaps the only developed liberal democracy that witnesses frequent mass shootings.

“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,” said Bagchi.

India is countering US’s Human Crime strategy

Less than two months ago, Blinken had declared that the US was monitoring the “rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials” at a joint press briefing with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh and Jaishankar in Washington.

“We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights) and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials,” he had said in a rare direct rebuke.

While neither Jaishankar nor Singh commented on these remarks at the press briefing, Jaishankar retorted two days later that India also had concerns about the human rights situation in the United States and had talked about “lobbies” and “vote-banks”.

“Look, people are entitled to have views about us. But we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out,” he said.

USA’s own Human rights record is full of blemishes

The US always uses the so-called human rights reports to attack its adversaries or put pressure on its allies and others. However, the irony is that the USA’s own track record of human rights violations and incidents is too gullible, to say the least.

Here we are mentioning some credible facts, that expose the dual standards of the USA on this subject :

1. As per various reports, more than 1.5 million people were killed in firearms violence between 1968 and 2017 in the US. 

2. More than 45,000 people were killed in gun violence in 2020 alone. 693 mass shootings in 2021 under President Biden, up 10.1 percent from 2020.

3. The US is the 10th worst country for racial equality, finishing lower than China.

4. Anti-semitism, and Hinduphobia rising rapidly.  2022 UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues report—Treatment and position of minorities in the US has deteriorated.

5. In 2021, the Biden administration detained more than 1.7 million migrants including 45,000 children at the southern border of the US.

6. the US killed over one million people including around 400,000 innocent civilians in its wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, & Pakistan in the last 3 decades.

7. The US killed over 71,000 innocent civilians apart from 1,70,000 armed terrorists in Afghanistan & Pakistan since 2001.

8. The US killed over 2,00,000 Iraqi civilians in their sick war supported by liberals.

9. US-led conflicts have displaced over 40 million people in the last 3 decades.

10. US healthcare tyranny. American Bar puts it succinctly, “Our government champions human rights around the world, insisting that other countries protect human rights, even imposing sanctions for a failure to do so. Our government is not as robust in protecting rights at home.”

Well, this clearly exposes the hypocrisy of the US government and the deep state, which shows how it leverages these illogical reports to put pressure on other nations and try every trick to malign their global image.

However, India has learned the lesson and has started giving tough rebuttals as and when it is required. We hope the US will understand that such tactics won’t work anymore, at least with India.

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