India Minority report: According to a New York Times report, Hindus comprised 20.5 per cent of modern-day Pakistan in 1947. In 2022, their numbers are down to 1.18 per cent. Speaks volumes about democracy, right? No, says the USA. Just a day ago, the White House Secretary called Pakistan prosperous and democratic. Now, that speaks volumes, but about America’s seriousness about minority rights.
Tit for Tat. That is what External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has been conveying to American policymakers for the last few years. The phenomenon is trickling down. Now, India has started to present reports on the status of minorities all across the world. This move can be seen as a rebuttal to the Biden administration, but it is not the ultimate purpose.
India tops the minority report rankings
Patna based Centre for Policy Analysis has a report titled “India Minority report”. It ranks 110 countries according to the treatment given to minorities in their geographies. In the report released by former Vice President Venkaih Naidu, India has occupied the top ranking while the USA is ranked 4th. The UK, where Hindus were subjected to communal violence in the last few months, is ranked at 54, quite close to the United Arab Emirates, which is at the 61st position.
India Minority report makers tallied countries’ minority status on constitutional provisions, laws of the land, the approach of the state towards minority religionists, public policy and openness of opportunity towards religious minorities.
During the release, the former Vice President said, “Till now, these so-called developed countries were giving sermons to others, but never introspective of what is happening within them. This report is an effort to show reality to the world.”
American reports on religious freedom
It is indeed a moment to introspect for the so-called developed world, especially its leader America. Uncle Sam has a special inclination for meddling in other country’s affairs. America releases two kinds of reports. One report, released by the Department of State, has an endorsement from the party in power.
The other report is released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). It is endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats, and provides feeder service to the Department of State.
Both reports have been highly critical of India in the last few years, especially after Joseph Biden came to power. The problem with these reports is that they lack any scientific or evidentiary credibility.
For instance, the latest report by the state department looks at the religion of the accused arrested on charges of rioting. The Department is cherry-picking incidents and based on one sided testimony, defaming India. It is even interfering in India’s internal matters by criticising anti-conversion laws. No wonder, India termed it motivated and biased.
While the state department criticised India in a hushed tone, USCIRF has been quite explosive in its recommendations. Without citing any evidence, it calls the Modi government as a repressor of democratic voices. USCIRF has problems with India cancelling licences of foreign funded NGOs and implementation of CAA NRC as well. The organisation wants the state department to bracket India in the categories of China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Time and again, India has debunked and particularly EAM Jaishankar has rubbished such claims.
Comparing America with India on minority protection
Not only that, earlier this year, Jaishankar also criticised America for not standing up for the human rights of its citizens. The Global Policeman has been a failure in protecting its minorities. In the last 236 years, not a single American President has been from a minority community. It took them 222 years to elect a black president. Despite that, nothing much changed on the ground. 64.9 per cent of hate crimes are based on immutable characteristics of individuals. Blacks and Asians are the two worst demographics to be affected by the phenomenon.
Compare that with India. There is nothing in India to term it as an unsafe place for minorities. Time and again, Jews, Zoroastrians, Parsis, Buddhists and other communities have termed India as the safest place for them. The reason I did not name the Muslim community is that the rate of increase in their population is more than that of the numerically superior Hindu community. It says a lot about the kind of safety net they have been provided with. Despite that, the USA had the gall to release those fabricated reports.
It was high time that someone would take the initiative to expose the hollowness of American claims. India has taken the initiative and now the USA has to bear the brunt of its production. Because protecting minorities is the new religion in democracy.
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