The Government did well to reject the charge made by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom that religious freedoms in the country had suffered a constriction last year. Clubbing India with such flagrant deniers of religious freedoms such as China, Pakistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. was a gross exaggeration.
Thanks partly to the ingrained viciousness of the mainline US media, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, against India in general and the Modi Government in particular, the USCIRF has been misled to bracket this country with systemic violators of religious freedoms. Unfortunately, a handful of journalists aided and abetted by a few self-appointed purveyors of secularism-liberalism who get to write in these papers precisely because they are intrinsically hostile to the country of birth, the committee has allowed itself to be misused by the anti-India elements. A Ministry of External Affairs, therefore, did well to dub the report as “biased and tendentious.” For example, how easily the committee can be misguided is when it is suggested that the majority community has stopped patronising shops runs by members of the minority community. This is a very good example of how one-sided propaganda colours observers’ views. The fact that some members of the majority community were indeed put off seeing videos on social media of Muslim hawkers rubbing saliva on fruits, or when a Muslim cook in Bhopal was caught by a close circuit camera using urine instead of water to cook food. At least three different FIRs were registered in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh when both had Congress governments. This fact was completely ignored by the visceral haters of the Modi regime who however magnified out of all proportion stray cases of Hindus boycotting Muslim vendors of fruits and vegetables.
Had the secularist-liberal crowd not ignored the provocation, there would not have been any need for them to cry over the alleged boycott of Muslim shops by the majority community. Not unlike these jaundiced critics of the Modi Government, the USCIRF too has fallen victim to a wholly one-sided narrative. It should do its homework well before pronouncing on religious freedoms in India.