Let us not judge India through the eyes of the west. The west’s views and motives have been and will always be different. The biggest violaters of human rights and national sovereignties, throughout history, all over the world, now pretend to be the lawmakers and quality-setters of the world

What a joke?.

India should learn to stand up and pay them back in their own coin. Let them swallow their pride and come begging. Only this time we should make sure that we do not fall into their trap again.

 

Is India a nation of rapists and killers?

By S Gurumurthy

10th February 2013 12:00 AM

 

The gruesome rape and killing in Delhi in December last year had rightly set the nation on fire. The nation tried in vain to atone for the crime by show of unprecedented frenzy. But in its boiling anger the national mind did lose its balance and capacity for self-analysis. It flagellated itself; shamed its soul. The stentorian chorus led the mission to shame India, imaging the Indian people as misogynists on the whole. With the frenzy subsiding, is it not time to stop self-flagellating and start thinking? The world is asking whether India is a nation of rapists and killers of women. Only facts, not words, can answer this question.

With enthusiastic support from the Indian media, intellectuals and writers, the Western media almost made out India as a semi-barbaric society. An example. Libby Purves wrote in The Times UK that the Delhi bus rape should “shatter our Bollywood fantasies” of heady spirituality, adding that upright Europeans have ignored the Indian culture of “murderous, hyena-like male contempt”. What a certificate for a rising India that the National Intelligence Council of the US in its report released four days before the Delhi rape had predicted India to become one of the three world powers by 2030! An India crying in guilt had almost endorsed Purves.

Fortunately for India, a Western woman writer, Emer O’Toole (The Guardian, January 1, 2013) intervened and tore apart Purves and her likes. Emer wrote that Purves and others pontificate, with a sense of cultural superiority, as if rape is something that only happens “over there”—read India— and something the ‘civilised’ West “have somehow put behind”. Emer pointed out that while the BBC  reports, as if shocking, the statistics that a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, which equates to 625 a year, in England and Wales which has a population 3.5 times that of Delhi, the proportion is four time larger: 9,509 against Delhi’s 625. Pointing out that The Wall Street Journal decries India for convicting just over a quarter of the alleged rapists, Emer says that, in the US, only 24 per cent of the alleged rapes even result in arrest, never mind conviction. How strange then is the report on India, she wonders.

Ten days later, even Emer’s data was found to be a gross underestimation of rapes in the UK. In an article in The Independent (January 10, 2013) titled “100,000 assaults, 1,000 rapists sentenced. Shockingly low conviction rates revealed”, Nigel Morris wrote: “Fewer than one rape victim in 30 expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice, shocking new statistics reveal.” ‘His’ attackers? Yes. In the West, women also rape men; a tenth of the rapists are women—something still rare in India. Nigel writes: Only 1,070 rapists are convicted every year out of 95,000 offenders according to the Office of National Statistics UK. As 90 per cent of the attackers were, like in India, known to victims, only 15 per cent victims complained—saying it was “too embarrassing”, “too trivial” or “a private/family matter”. While in the UK, a country which has less than 1/20th of India’s population, the total rapes top 95,000, the rapes in India in 2008, according to the report of the Central Statistics Office, Government of India, were far fewer—20,771.

The US is similar to the UK. The reported rapes in the US in 2006 were 212,000. If unreported rapes are added, only 5 per cent of rapists ever spend a day in jail in the US (National Center for Policy Analysis US Report No. 229). One of six US women has experienced attempted or completed rape (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Statistics). More than a quarter of college-age women reported having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14 (Kolivas, Elizabeth; Gross, Alan, 2007). This is not to say that, on the scales of the ‘civilised’ UK, India can tolerate 1.6 million rapes, or on US scale (including unreported rapes) it can accept 3.4 million rapes. This is to point out that even if the UK is ‘less civilised’ like India, its total rapes should not exceed 1,000. And even if the US is as ‘backward’ as India, rapes should not exceed 5,200 there. But in the UK, it is 100 times India’s; and, in the US, it is 65 times India’s.

In Norway, the first ranking country in global Human Development Index (HDI), one in 10 women is raped (The New York Times, April 17, 2012). According to the BBC, rape per 100,000 population is the second highest in Sweden which is ranked 10th on the HDI scale and yet as the world’s best place for women! United Nations data shows that in Sweden the rape rate is 63.5 per 100,000. In the US, it is 27.5; but as more than four-fifths of forcible rapes in the US are not reported at all (National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Report July 2007), the effective rapes in the US will be more than 137.5 per 100,000! And what is the figure for India? Just 1.8! (See http://www.unodc.org documents on sexual violence). But, that rapes are far less in India is no matter of pride. It is a national shame even if a single woman is raped. For Indians have traditionally worshipped not only women gods, but women and girls in physical form as well, as gods. The contrast with the West is not to claim any cultural superiority, but only to point out how the Indian and Western writers who have written off India as misogynic have been blind to facts. And turn to the infamous case of four serial gang-rapes in two months in Sydney in 2000. It shook the world, but never made the Australians rapists in the eyes of the world.

More. Even gang-rape does not make news in the ‘developed’ West at times.

Emer compares the gang-rape in Delhi with the gang-rape in Steubenville in Ohio in the US, where, in August 2012, a 16-year-old girl was dragged, drunk and unresponsive, from party to party where she was raped allegedly by members of a high school basketball team. Contrasting the brutal Delhi rape and death which spurred Indian civil society to its feet, causing protest and unrest, bringing women and men into streets, with the army and the states of Punjab and Haryana cancelling new year celebrations, Emer says that in Steubenville, sports-crazy townsfolk blamed the victim. But for a blogger Alexandria Goddard, now being sued, exposing it, followed by The New York Times four months after the crime, the US might not have noticed the incident at all.

Still more. The demeaning picture of India is an extension of the long-held view that Indian traditions had made women inferior, and even led to decimating its girl children. Is this true? Look at the facts.

The gender ratio in mid-colonial India (1901) was 972 per 1,000; colonialism brought it down to 946 in 1951; modern India did it to a low of 927 in 2001. In 2011, it has improved to 940.

And in the most traditional, therefore “backward”, Bihar, the gender ratio in 1901 was 1,061, that is 61 women more than men; as late as in 1961 it was 1,005.

And now? 921! Urban India is lower at 924 to rural India’s 947; the ratios of the most modern Mumbai (822) and Delhi (823) are even less. The answer is obvious.

The more modern India is, the fewer girls it chooses to have. Who then is to blame for declining sex ratio? Modernity or tradition?

Will those who demean India introspect? Will they study the facts before commenting? Are they listening?

 

Western Blot

The rape record of ‘civilised and developed’ countries

US

44% of victims are under age 18.

80% are under age 30.

Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted.

There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year.

54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.

Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.

38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

 

UK

Less than one rape victim in 30 can expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice.

About 1,000 rapists are convicted every year.

90 per cent of rape victims said they knew the identity of their attacker.

15 per cent went to the police.

Between 60,000 and 95,000 people are estimated to be raped each year.

About one woman in 200 has been a victim in the last one year.

1 in 38 major sex crime leads to a conviction for the offence.

2 years is the average time taken for a court verdict when the accused contests the allegations.

On January 24, 2011, a Toronto policeman, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, was speaking on crime prevention at a York University safety forum in Toronto, Canada. He said: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this: however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

That misogynous comment sparked a protest that grew into a global movement.  On April 3, 2011, over 3,000 women protesters walked to Toronto Police Headquarters. Although women were asked to dress in everyday, ordinary wear, many came dressed as ‘sluts’. The organisers, Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis, said: “We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

 

In India, the first ‘Slutwalk Arthaat Besharmi Morcha’ was in Bhopal on July 17, 2011; 50 attended. The next ones were: Delhi on July 31, 2011, and Lucknow on August 21, 2011.

 

The Common Misunderstandings 

 

“If women really want to, they can always say no”

Many women do indeed say no, but rapists do not listen. Some resist physically and do manage to prevent further assault, others suffer greater injury.

“Real’ rapes are committed by strangers in isolated places”

Most rapes are committed by known men, and in a familiar or private space such as the woman or man’s home, a hotel room, at work.

“Rapists are sick or perverts or sexually frustrated”

There are very few rapists who, when convicted, are diagnosed as having a mental health problem. It is not sexual frustration that underlies their assault, but wanting power and control.

“Only certain types of women get raped”

It used to be thought that only certain ‘types’ of women got raped: women who were sexually active, ‘provocative’, or ‘victims’. In fact, women of all ages and ‘types’ are raped, including children and grandmothers.

“Most complaints of sexual assault are false reports”

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there are more false complaints of rape than other crimes. And logic suggests that the proportion is probably less than say for theft, often used to support a fraudulent insurance claim.

“Women ask for it by the way they dress or their behaviour”

This argument suggests that women are responsible for sexually arousing men through their dress or ‘flirting’. Implicit within this view is the idea that men cannot control their sexual desires, and also that women should know this and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

************************************************************************************

 

Advertisements

When recently the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a dubious Christian majority body from USA, put India on a so called “watch list” of countries for “lack of religious freedom and failure to protect the minorites, all that the Government of India officially do was regret”. 

One may recall that the same government in the pre-election days actually, initially, allowed this religious vigilante group   to scrutinize religious freedom in India but then had to retreat and withdraw permission, amidst protest from different circles, including the Sankaracharya

Perhaps by limiting their protest to just a meek regret, they avoided sending any wrong signal to the minority vote banks, both Muslims and Christians.

For once they could have stepped out of their narrow, divisive, political gimmicks and state the truth that India is a secular nation because Indian Hindus want it to be secular. It would have enhanced their natianalistic stand, had they echoed the sentiment of the Christian leaders of Orissa, who  emphasized that the majority community has been extremely cordial and supportive of the minority community”

This time, though it looks like the equation is different.

This time it is a popular star, a huge mass appeal, the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’, the name of Shahrukh Khan, a perceived ‘secular’ Muslim – too many good brownie points to miss. There had been other Khans and other Muslims who have been ill-treated by US authorities, including a former President of the country, but those incidences have been sidelined successfully in due time. Also this is not like when Rahul Baba was detained in Boston – that needed to be hushed up. This incidence is something that has already started to cause public outrage and it is not only politically correct, it actually will boost the Government’s image. It would be surprising if the government would let this opportunity go.

It is possible that our ardent, US loving Prime Minister may even start having sleepless nights again and be ‘instructed’ to take his complain of ‘Insomnia’ to the US administrators, currently overwhelmed by the Obama Health Care Plan.

  

India protests detention of Shahrukh Khan

 

August 16th, 2009 – 12:34 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

The Indian government has reacted angrily to the detention of Shahrukh Khan, one of it’s Bollywood superstars by US immigration officers. Khan, one of the best known faces in India, was detained at Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday as he traveled to Chicago to celebrate India’s Independence day and claims he was only released after the Indian embassy in the United States intervened. The 43-year-old actor, who has just finished filming a new movie, My Name is Khan, in the US, claims he was detained because he has a Muslim name.

“Certain countries have issues with my name. I am very proud of my name,” he said.

India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said India has taken up the issue with the US embassy and the consul general of India in New York is in touch with Shahrukh. Dubbed the “King of Bollywood”, Khan said he was questioned for two hours by immigration officials, and prevented from using his mobile phone to call for assistance.

US Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, said: “We are trying to ascertain the facts of the case – to understand what took place. He is a very welcome guest in the United States. Many Americans love his films.”

 

Shah Rukh detention: Soni suggests tit for tat

PTI | New Delhi

After a string of incidents like the one involving Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who was detained at a US airport, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Saturday suggested that India should do a ‘tit-for-tat’ towards Americans.  “I am of the opinion that the way we are frisked, for example I too was frisked, we should also do the same to them,” Soni said. Many examples like this have come from the US where frisking is done and “beyond permissible limits”, she said. “I don’t understand. In the name of religion, frisking can be done for anyone like this,” an angry Soni said.

This was not the first time that a prominent Indian was subjected to security checks in the US or by an American enterprise.

George Fernandes, who was then Defence Minister, was forced by US security officials to remove his shirt and shoes and made to undergo check at an airport in Washington when he was there on an official visit a few years ago.

The most recent case was that of former president A P J Abdul Kalam, who was frisked by officials of Contintental Airlines at the international airport here before boarding a Newark-bound flight. This had led to a furore in India.

Actor Kamal Hasan had to undergo security checking at a US airport in 2002, soon after 9/11, with some officials becoming suspicious about him while Malayalam superstar Mammootty too was detained at the JFK airport recently because of his middle name ‘Ismail Mohammed’.

Actor Irrfan Khan also faced a similar problem last year in US despite his global fame following the success of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

Kabir Khan, Director of recent hit ‘New York’ which portrays victimisation of Muslims in post 9/11, was detained thrice while actor Neil Nitin Mukesh had to undergo similar drills.

Thanks to the successful and continuous denigration of the Hindu majorities by the Indian media, the Congress lead minority-appeasing political clan and the so called secular and elite intelligentsia, USCIRF, a dubious group of vested Christian interest, camouflaged as some superior certifying body from the USA, has the audacity to blacklist India and equate her with a bunch of other rogue states, like Somalia and Afghanistan.

These are examples of International forces that want to disintegrate India by attacking and dominating the Hindus, her majority population.

They are not happy enough that India is ruled by a Catholic lady, by proxy. They are not satisfied enough that the missionaries are converting poor tribal Hindus by hook or by crook including even at gunpoint. They are not contented enough that India topped the list of countries worst affected by Islamic terrorism (according to a U.S. State Department report), thanks to the USA’s continuous support of Pakistan and indirectly its terror mechanisms. They are only concerned about the rights of the ‘selected’ minorities. It is not their concern that Hindu-minorities, who have been killed and driven out of Muslim- majority Kashmir, deserve the same protection of their religious right.

Knowing the Congress government’s anti-Hindu track record and pro USA stand, one may not be surprised if the the Central government accede to such baseless accusations.

 

 

US body puts India under ‘Watch List’ on religious freedom

 

PTI | Washington

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has placed India on its “Watch List” for New Delhi’s largely inadequate response in protecting its religious minorities.

In a statement, USCIRF said India earned the “Watch List” designation due to the “disturbing increase” in communal violence against religious minorities — specifically Christians in Orissa in 2008 and Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 –- and the largely inadequate response from the Indian government to protect the rights of religious minorities.

“It is extremely disappointing that India, which has a multitude of religious communities, has done so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair.

USCIRF’s India chapter was released this week to mark the first anniversary of the start of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa.

Any country that is designated on the USCIRF “Watch List” requires “close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the government.”

Other countries currently on the Commission’s Watch List are Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Laos, the Russian Federation, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela. USCIRF, which released its annual report early this year had delayed the publication of its India Chapter due to the general elections.

(deleted)

This is Hindu American Foundation’s co-founder, Dr Aseem Shukla’s response to the USCIRF  for placing India on its “watch list”. Great Job!

 

Anti-Hindu Bias at U.S. Commission

 

This week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) placed India on its “watch list.” By this designation, India, the largest multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy joins a motley cabal comprised of the likes of Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Somalia and Venezuela. Countries like Bangladesh, that so recently forced the exodus of thousands of Hindus under an Islamist government, enjoy higher status with the Commission than India. How is this possible?

The watch list defines those countries that the USCIRF believes are in danger of being listed among the worst offenders of religious freedom. The government of India reacted predictably to this rather dubious distinction, “regretted” the action, said India guaranteed freedom of religion and aberrations are dealt “within our legal framework, under the watchful eye of an independent judiciary and a vigilant media.”

A closer look at the India designation, however, shows the Commission’s innate bias, lack of insight, absence of understanding, and loss of credibility. Worse, putting India on the watch list will be perceived as a self-defeating and egregious act that needlessly complicates relations between two diverse, pluralistic and secular democracies.

Created by Congress in 1998, the Commission can only advise the State Department, which has its own list of countries of concern and amiably ignores the Commission’s recommendations. But the Commission’s pronouncements still carry the symbolism of an official government entity judging the fitness of another’s country’s human rights record.

There is power in symbolism, and the attention credible human rights groups bring to a cause gives succor to the oppressed and isolate the oppressor . But therein lies the rub– credibility–and the USCIRF, in its composition, methodology and ideology, is running low on gas.

Let’s begin with the India chapter in the USCIRF report itself. In its 11 pages, the document details three specific episodes to justify slamming India: Riots between Hindus and Muslims in the state of Gujarat that broke out after a Muslim mob torched a train full of Hindu pilgrims killing 58 in 2002; riots between Hindus and Christians that left 40 dead in the state of Orissa in 2008 after a Hindu priest, long opposed by fanatic missionaries, was murdered; a brief incident where miscreants attacked “prayer halls” built by the New Life Church — a revivalist Protestant group — that had distributed a pamphlet denigrating Hindu Gods and Goddesses and allegedly engaged in mass conversions of Hindus.

These three episodes in a country of a billion condemn an entire nation?

Incredibly, the Commission’s India chapter paints a portrait of minority religions on the run in India, pursued by a rabid Hindu majority! This in a country whose last President was Muslim, whose leader of the largest political party is Christian and whose Prime Minister is Sikh. In contrast, behold the shrill outcry when our own President Obama was alleged to be Muslim!

A terrible riot that left hundreds of Muslims and Hindus dead and occurred closer to a decade ago mandates an entire section, but the ongoing attacks by jihadis in India’s Kashmir targeting Hindus; several recent bombings in Hindu temples carried out by Islamists, and Hindu temple desecrations in Christian Goa; and an analysis into the incendiary results of attempts to convert Hindus by coercive means fail any mention at all.

Indian Americans know the story of the subcontinent, and without an exploration of these original sins that sparked riots, is to tell half a story–a problem now wholly the Commission’s.

India’s history–beginning with the bloody partition of the country by religion into East Pakistan (1947)/Bangladesh (1971) and Pakistan in 1947 –created a tinderbox of tension. But a land that gave birth to Hinduism and Buddhism–a Mahatma Gandhi and a syncretic Muslim emperor like an Akbar centuries before were both defined by these traditions–offered a unique experiment that sought to replicate what our own Founding Fathers did here: create a secular, inclusive democracy.

That experiment is put to a singularly arduous trial by the machinations of Pakistan that sees its identity as an Islamic nation threatened by India’s pluralism — its adventures in Mumbai in 2008 and Kashmir massacres are examples. And a small minority of Indian Muslims choose the ideology of the Taliban rather than embrace that of the great Pashtun, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the patriot whose non-violent struggle against the concept of carving a piece of India into Pakistan is legendary–reactionary Hindu groups form and trouble brews. It is in this context that terrible riots too often validate devious provocateurs–and a point that sadly eludes the USCIRF.

Then there is the explosive issue of coerced conversions in India. Today, the largest aid donor to India is not the government of any country. Nearly half a billion dollars are sent to India under the auspices of Christian missionary organizations. Some of these groups are involved in truly uplifting work amongst the poorest, but the underlying subtext for some churches is a bargain: convert and we will help. The New York Times famously reported on evangelical tsunami aid organizations disproportionately lavishing help on those communities that agreed to convert. Legions of converts testify to the pressure they received in the form of a job, medical aid, education — if they just agreed to change their faith. Families are turned against families and communities — a potent brew that also raises tensions that can escalate. And when these evangelical groups proclaim their work and their scores of new converts couched in colorful videos at suburban megachurches, the dollars flow and enrich itinerant missionary mercenaries — a fact blithely ignored by the Commission.

Examine the makeup of the USCIRF: Six members are Christian, one is Jewish and one Muslim. Not a single non-Abrahamic faith is represented. The chair is Vice President of the far-right Federalist Society, and another commissioner is an executive at the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, which publishes material which calls Hinduism grand festival of Diwali “devil worship.”

Finally, Hindu Americans are wondering today if there is quid pro quo at work. The USCIRF was denied a visa this month to travel to India for a “fact-finding” trip. But the Commission was clear that it would not visit Kashmir (because of threats by Muslim terrorists) nor the Northeast of India where militant Christian terrorists are displacing Hindus and fighting for separatism. It would not look into Hindu temple desecrations in Goa and other attacks. It only wanted to visit Gujarat and Orissa. The Government of India said, “thanks, but no thanks.” The USCIRF was outraged at the denial, and we can only ponder whether this was payback.

By Aseem Shukla  |  August 14, 2009; 9:57 AM ET

Better late than never; thanks for the  delayed awakening.

 India denies visa to US religious freedom watchdogs

17 Jun 2009,  

WASHINGTON: The Manmohan Singh government has scuppered a proposed visit to India this week by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a US Congress-mandated organization that monitors religious rights worldwide and gives independent policy recommendations to the US President and his administration.

A USCIRF team that was to leave for New Delhi on June 12 was not given visas in time, according to an associate at the commission, who said it was done with the obvious intent of blocking the trip. “They knew we had tickets for June 12 and the visas are yet to be given, so the inference is obvious…they don’t want us to visit,” the associate told TOI.

The Indian Embassy in Washington, the issuing authority for the visa, referred all questions to New Delhi, while acknowledging that the USCIRF team had applied for visas and the applications had been forwarded to New Delhi as is the standard practice for all such visits.

Sources in the government, without acknowledging that the visas were deliberately withheld, said it was not a proper time for such a visit. “We really don’t care about what they report,” an official who spoke on background said. “But a high profile visit seen as having government sanctions would have raised hackles in India.” The USCIRF has in its reports criticized violence against religious minorities in India.

The official said the visa denial was not linked to the criticism of the proposed visit by the Hindu pontiff, Shankaracharya Jayendra Sarawati, who earlier this week described the USCIRF as an “intrusive mechanism of a foreign government which is interfering with the internal affairs of India,” and said the team must not be allowed to enter the country.

The Obama administration too did not press for the visit, given that US Undersecretary of State William Burns was in New Delhi around the time of the proposed USCIRF visit, preparing ground for the visit to India by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sometime in July. Most “commissioners” and staff of the USCIRF are appointees of the previous Bush administration.

Although the United States acknowledges India’s rich religious and ethnic diversity and plurality, the USCIRF has in its annual reports criticized specific episodes involving violence against religious minority, like the ones in Gujarat and in Orissa.

“We understand India’s sensitivities about being criticized for religious discrimination given its democratic and secular credentials,” a commission associate said Wednesday. “But we are concerned that some of the judicial processes with regards to the incidents in Gujarat and Orissa are not functioning properly and we only wanted to get them going.”

Indian hardliners, especially those on the extreme right, chafe at the idea that any US body would want to scrutinize the country’s religious freedom, given its secular credentials, when it dares not interfere in fundamentalist countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where minority rights are non-existent. Senior RSS functionaries had specifically inquired repeatedly about the proposed USCIRF visit.

Describing the proposed USCIRF visit to India as “incomprehensible,” the US branch of the Vishwa Hindu Parishat said as the “largest functioning democracy in the world with an independent judiciary, a statutorily constituted Human rights Commission, an independent press and other supporting organizations would appear to be quite capable of taking care of the religious freedoms and human rights of its citizens.”

“India not only offers freedom of religion under its constitution, but does not discriminate based on religion. Similar freedoms are not available in its neighboring countries,” the VHP said on a statement.

But the Indian Left and the “secular” brigade in the US, including organizations representing minorities, argue that allowing such foreign bodies to visit India and examine its record and performance enhances the country’s reputation as an open, democratic nation that has nothing to hide or fear.

 

 Related post

 US body should not interfere in Indian affairs: Shankaracharya

Shameless Politics of the UPA – ready to even sell the country