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‘Democracy is in Our DNA’: Modi Rejects Claims of Religious Discrimination in India

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2023.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.06.2023
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which reports to the US State Department, has been critical of India’s human rights record under Modi.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected claims of religious discrimination against Muslims and other minorities in the country, as he addressed a question on the topic during a joint press statement with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday.
The Indian leader said that he was “surprised” by the question in the first place.

“We are a democracy. India and America both have democracy in our DNA. Democracy is in our spirit and we live it and it's written in our Constitution,” Modi stated. “So, there is no question of discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed or religion arises.”

The Indian Prime Minister said that his government has proven to the world that “democracy can deliver”. He added that his government believed in the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka prayaas’ ("taking along everyone for development through collective support, trust, and effort").
The joint press statement was held after the summit-level talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden at the White House.
Modi addressed a joint sitting of the US Congress after the talks at the White House, which covered a diverse range of areas including trade and investment, defense, critical and emerging technologies, space, and cooperation in multilateral forums, such as G-20 and Quad.
The two leaders discussed global issues such as cooperation in Indo-Pacific, cross-border terrorism, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and North Korea, as per the joint statement.

Biden’s Democrat Allies Boycott Modi’s Congress Speech

Nearly half-a-dozen Democrats, including Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, and Jamaal Bowman among others boycotted Modi’s address to US Congress.
In this July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, right, speaks, as U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. listens, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.06.2023
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Flawed View of India: Biden's 'Squad' Allies to Boycott Modi's Speech to Congress
A joint statement released by these members described Modi’s address to the US Congress as “an embarrassing spectacle”.
It said that the US Congress has undermined its “ability to be a credible advocate for the rights of religious minorities and journalists around the world.”
Responding to the claims, the Indian government has advised its critics abroad to develop a better understanding of India.
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