FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C – HinduPACT criticizes the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom released by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Jun 2, 2022 for its hypocritical position on India.
The views on International Religious Freedom expressed by the Biden Administration in the Report on International Religious Freedom disproportionately attacks India and turns a blind eye to the egregious religious rights violations being carried out by other countries in the region.
India has a robust and independent judiciary and an independent media. It is very capable of addressing its human rights issues. The State Department should better focus its attention on causes and reasons for religious extremism in the region and look to history to help recognize the same dangerous patterns which are currently repeating themselves.
“It is unfortunate that Secretary Blinken did not mention the forced conversion of young girls from religious minority communities in Pakistan,” said HinduPACT Executive Director Utsav Chakrabarti. “We have provided the State Department with ample information and evidence regarding this.”
On average, everyday three girls – many of them minors – are forcibly converted away from their faiths to Islam and often married to men who are far older than them.
“The State Department must recognize that India has been defending its geographical and civilizational values from radicalized Islamists for generations,” said Utsav Chakrabarti. “It is one of the longest struggles in our world’s history. It is important that fellow democracies like the United States stand with its ally India as it deals with efforts by Taliban-like extremist organizations working to spread their tentacles within the country.”
Ajay Shah, President of World Hindu Council of America and the Convenor of HinduPACT and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) said,
“Plurality and freedom to practice religion in any form is a fundamental tenet of Hindu dharma. Despite massive amounts of foreign money flowing into India for radicalization and conversion, India has retained its character as a multi-faith society true to its Hindu civilizational ethos. As with any country with over 1.4 billion people there are bound to be isolated incidents of unrest. These incidents should not be ascribed to the systemic shortcomings of the society or the government.” He further stated that, “The mention of Indian American Muslim Council in the report is clearly meant for President Biden’s domestic vote bank in the upcoming mid-term elections and diminishes the credibility of the report.”