There is no discrimination against Muslims in India says PM Modi in Washington

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has denied that discrimination against Indian Muslims exists under his government. He was speaking during a press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on June 3, news agency Reuters reported.

Asked at the press conference what steps he was willing to take to “improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech,” Modi answered; they did not need to be improved.

The benefits of the Indian government’s policies are accessible to everyone, Modi said.

“Our Constitution and our government, and we have proved democracy can deliver. When I say deliver – caste, creed, religion, gender, there is no space for any discrimination (in my government),” Modi told reporters.

The news agency reported that Biden had discussed human rights and other democratic values with Modi during their talks in the White House.

“Modi’s comments, that there is no religious discrimination by his government is a complete lie, said Raqib Hameed Naik, the founder of Hindutva Watch, a group that monitors reports of attacks on Indian minorities. He added that “India has become a black hole for religious minorities.”

‘’Modi’s “aggressive Hindu nationalism” has “left little space for India’s religious minorities,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

“The protection of the Muslim minority in a Hindu majority India, that is something worth mentioning,” said former U.S. President Barack Obama. He added, “If you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility that India at some point starts pulling apart.”

The State Department has raised concerns over the treatment of Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities in India.

The U.N. human rights office described a 2019 citizenship law (CAA) as “fundamentally discriminatory” for excluding Muslim migrants.

Critics have pointed to anti-conversion legislation that challenged the constitutionally protected right to freedom of belief which is used against Muslims.

They have also pointed to the revoking of Muslim-majority Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019.

There has also been the demolition of properties owned by Muslims in the name of removing illegal construction.

There was a ban on wearing the hijab in classrooms in Karnataka when the BJP was in power in that state.

Ajit Sahi, a protester and advocacy director at the Indian American Muslim Council said, “It’s obvious to all there is systematic targeting of the Muslims in India. Modi should think about why that was the first question asked to him in the press briefing.”

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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