Tribune press service

New Delhi, January 29

The Department of External Affairs (MEA) said the “biases and political interests of the participants” were well known in reacting to a briefing from the US Congress in which the former vice president Hamid Ansari and four US lawmakers expressed concern about the human rights situation in India.

Read also : Former Vice President Hamid Ansari and 4 US lawmakers sound alarm over ‘rights abuses’ in India

“We have seen reports of this event. India is a strong and vibrant democracy. It does not require certification from others. The assertion that others need to protect our Constitution is presumptuous and absurd,” MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said when asked about concern expressed by US lawmakers and Ansari during a table virtual round organized by the Indian American Muslim Council on Wednesday.

Among nearly a dozen speakers, Ansari said, “In recent years, we have seen the emergence of trends and practices that challenge the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interpose a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism… . citizens on the basis of their faith, give free rein to intolerance, insinuate otherness and fuel anxiety and insecurity”.

He also urged action against these human rights abuses saying, “These trends must be challenged legally and challenged politically.”

However, other speakers were much more direct and incisive in their criticisms.

Nadine Maenza, chair of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), called on the State Department to redlist India for human rights abuses. Kerry Kennedy, the niece of former US President John F Kennedy, highlighted her friendship with imprisoned Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez and alleged that New Delhi is targeting anyone who plays a vital role in holding governments accountable for human rights abuses .

Amnesty International’s Carolyn Nash described the Indian government’s definition of terrorists as “too broad” and said the stories of human rights defenders victimized by UAPA “must be a wake-up call to show solidarity. towards civil society and frontline human rights defenders”. of India today.

Meanwhile, the event’s organizers, the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), said its aim was that “a strong strategic partnership between the United States and India should be rooted in the understanding that their geopolitical interests are best served by advancing democracy, human rights and religion. freedom”.

He disputed Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s allegation that the IAMC was linked to the ISI and the banned SIMI. Its only mention is in a Tripura police report that mentions a website, “which has emerged in recent months as a fake news factory connected to the universe of Hindutva disinformation”, said ADRIC said.

“This website provides absolutely no information regarding the name of any registered entity that owns it; no registered address or office address; no names for directors or editors or any other officials; no author name of his reports. It is unbelievable that Tripura Police actually offer such shady websites as evidence against us in court,” he said.

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