BJP slams USIRF report on religious intolerance in India

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday dubbed US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USIRF) report on religious intolerance in India as uncalled for and futile, saying the foreign commission should look in to their backyard where religious tolerance is on a negative trajectory.

BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI this report does not reflect the correct position.

“And I don’t know how they have arrived on these conclusions. If they are raising BJP president Mr Amit Shah’s name with regard to nationwide law of cow slaughter, they should only refer to the Constitution of India, they can get a copy of it online and they should read Article 48, the state shall strive towards it. In any case this matter is to be decided by the state governments, it is not an imposition,” he added.

Kohli said this is not an agenda of the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is working on the lines of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.

“And before commenting on the internal issues or internal dynamics of the country, perhaps they would do well to look into their own backyard and practice what they preach. In the U.S. also, in the past couple of years there have been incidents of desecration of temples, gurudwaras, Indians being hit, Muslims suffering,” he added.

The BJP leader further said even one of their own presidential candidate is making utterances that may not be seen as promoting religious tolerance.

“So, I think it is uncalled for, it is an unnecessary comment on India’s internal matter. And as far as it is Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Jews or anyone, there is no agenda of the government. The government protects what the constitutional mandate is, that is the only thing which the Prime Minister Modi’s government does,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Congress Party used the USIRF report to taunt the government.

“This is nothing new. We have been saying this for a long time,” said former union minister and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chowdhury.

A U.S. government agency, which monitors religious freedom, says that religious tolerance in India deteriorated in 2015 and religious freedoms of minorities were violated by Hindu nationalist groups. (ANI)