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US Subtly Trying to Pressure India to Follow Its Line

© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Joe Biden speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American and Indian business leaders in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2023, in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American and Indian business leaders in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2023, in Washington. - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.05.2024
Western media keep inflaming interfaith discord in India, continuously making attempts to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the incumbent Indian government over issues relating to religious minorities.
Amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, The New York Times has come out with a story titled "Strangers in Their Own Land: Being Muslims in Modi’s India". In the story, the newspaper alleged that the Muslim community in India has to raise their children with insecurity and fear of giving up their identity.
The US has engaged many countries, including India, on the importance of equal treatment for members of all religious communities, State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller told journalists on Monday during a daily news conference.
Meanwhile, the US is making repeated aspirations to raise issues related to minorities due to several facts: first, the US has certain institutions, governmental as well as non-governmental, which have been taking up these concerns, sometimes due to genuine concern and sometimes in order to push forward a certain agenda, told Sputnik India Sanjay Kumar Pandey, professor at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Second, he mentioned, India has struck a deal with Iran.

"With an element of genuineness, most of the times there are political agenda and even foreign policy agenda which dictate such categorisation of countries”, he said. "India concluded an agreement with Iran, India was never on the same page with the US or Europe on Ukraine conflict as it never took the US line. However, India won’t be affected by such attempts as it has already taken a strong stand in the past", Pandey explained.

The scholar believes that the South Asian nation can’t be singled out if someone is talking about discrimination against a particular confession, because discrimination or ostracism is not only based on religion, but can based on colour or race too.
Meantime, it has a long history of multiple faith living together, the academic underlined.

"India’s experience and historical cultural inheritance is very unique and distinct, as till 19th century, there was no large-scale religious war on the lines of crusades despite some differences and frictions. However, due to 19th and 20th century politics, British policy of divide and rule, and then electoral politics, religion and other such identities acquired a new meaning", the professor pointed out.

At the same time, Pandey added that all political parties in the post-independence era have used faith at times to mobilise voters. Nevertheless, according to him, in the past few years, there have been no confessional tensions, but rather the benefits of the welfare scheme and programmes of the current ruling dispensation have reached everyone without any religious bias or discrimination, he highlighted.
This is not the first time that attempts have been made by the Western media to malign the image of India by raising the issue of discrimination against its minorities. Long before the Lok Sabha elections, the British weekly newspaper The Economist targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly promoting “hubristic Hindu chauvinism”.
Pandey denied that US endevaors to pressure the state can influence the voters amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, but agreed that they are in a very subtle way trying to influence the government. Yet he expressed confidence that the Indian Foreign Ministry will come out with a response to this.
Indeed, such claims have been outright rejected by the county's authorities, and even Modi emphasised that all efforts of foreign interference would end on 4 June (when the Lok Sabha election results will be announced).

"So, intolerance can take many forms and religious fault lines are just one, there can be others which we find in the US and Europe too, — he underscored. — In the US, we have seen multiple times how the non-Whites especially Asians which include Indians and Chinese become targets or how people from Latin America or Mexico or the blacks are being targeted".

The professor stated that this is ongoing despite the abolition of slavery in 1861 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, thus the US still can’t claim there is no racism against blacks or Asians.
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