The Indian government dismissed a report by a US panel on religious freedom in India on Saturday. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi termed the report “biased and inaccurate”. He slammed it further, saying that the report lacked understanding of India’s plurality and democratic ethos.

These stern remarks by India were in reference to the remarks made by USCIRF. The organization claimed that critical voices in India were being repressed. It had also released a report in June in which it designated India under “countries of particular concern”.

US Commission on International Religious Freedom is a U.S. federal government agency that “monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) abroad.”

What Did the Report Say About India?

The report that was released in June suggested the US administration place India under the designation of “countries of particular concern” in regards to religious freedom. It clubbed India with the likes of Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan, which are serial human rights violators. USCIRF designated around 15 countries as “countries of particular concern.”

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How Did India Respond?

India on Saturday slammed the report and termed it “biased and inaccurate.” MEA spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, slammed the report sternly.

“We have seen biased and inaccurate comments on India. These comments reflect a severe lack of understanding of India and its constitutional framework, its plurality and its democratic ethos,” he said.

He also added that USCIRF “continues to misrepresent facts time and again” to pursue its motivated agenda. He said that such reports water down the credibility and objectivity of the organisation.

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What is US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)?

USCIRF stands for the US Commission for International Religious Freedom. It is an independent and bipartisan US federal agency. It was created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act passed in the USA.

The agency claims to monitor the state of religious freedom internationally. It also suggests policy measures to the US administration, including the President. Furthermore, it is also tasked with monitoring the implementation of the policies.

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The Report’s Impact

The report is not binding on the US government.