MEA rejects US report alleging lack of Religious freedom in India
India’s Minister of External Affairs (MEA), in a strongly worded statement condemned the 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom that alleged that minorities in India were under threat after the Narendra Modi led dispensation gained power in the center and several states in the country. The statement stated that a foreign government has no locus standi to pronounce any critiques on the rights of another nation.
Why is the report in News?
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo will be in India between June 25-27 for an official visit. The Secretary of State is a powerful position in the American Administration which is 4th in line to the Presidency in case the serving president dies or is incapacitated. Mike Pompeo is the second Secretary of State under President Donald Trump. The previous secretary of state was Rex Tillerson who resigned in 2018.
What the Report says?
The 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom was released by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who had stated that religious freedom for him is a deeply personal priority. In the report, the murders and mob-lynchings by vigilante cow vigilante groups were discussed as an infringement on the safe living conditions of minorities in India. The report also pointed out that there were numerous attempts (by Narendra Modi s dispensation) to undermine several minority institutions and do the name change of cities like the change of the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj.
What lies ahead?
The MEA spokesperson did not respond if the report would feature heavily in the talks between Pompeo and Indian officials. However, there are several pending issues like US Tariff Wars with China, trade issues and defense acquisitions that have to be discussed in the meeting.