A top official of the Trump administration has expressed concern over what is happening in India over religious freedom. Samuel Brownback, Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom observed that historically India has been a tolerant, respectful country for all religions.
On Wednesday,”2019 International Religious Freedom Report” was released which documents instances of violation of religious freedom across the world. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department released the report.
Earlier India already rejected the annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The body in its findings said, “The national government of India used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national level policies violating religious freedom across India, especially for Muslims”.
However, Delhi said the report was “biased” and a “new level of misrepresentation.” It also opposed saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens’ constitutionally protected rights.
Mr Brownback, over a phone call with foreign journalists on Wednesday said, “We do remain very concerned about what’s taking place in India. It’s historically just been a very tolerant, respectful country of religions, of all religions.”
“We’re seeing a lot more difficulty. I think really they need to have a – I would hope they would have an – interfaith dialogue starting to get developed at a very high level in India, and then also deal with the specific issues that we identified as well,” he said.
“It really needs a lot more effort on this topic in India, and my concern is, too, that if those efforts are not put forward, you’re going to see a growth in violence and increased difficulty within the society writ large,” said the top American diplomat.