India on Friday lashed out at a United States government report on religious freedom in the country, calling it ‘deeply biased’ adding that it lacks understanding of the nation’s social fabric. 

“As in the past, the report is deeply biased, lacks an understanding of India’s social fabric, and is visibly driven by votebank considerations and a prescriptive outlook. We therefore reject it. The excise itself is a mix of imputations, misrepresentations, selective usage of facts, reliance on biased sources, and a one-sided projection of issues,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at the weekly briefing. 

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The United States’ annual report on global religious freedom has expressed worries regarding India’s anti-conversion laws, incidents of hate speech, and alleged demolitions of residences and religious sites belonging to minority communities.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal

“In India, we see a concerning increase in anti-conversion laws, hate speech, demolitions of homes and places of worship for members of minority faith communities,” US secretary of state Antony Blinken said.

Continuing attack on the US report, Jaiswal said,”It (report) has selectively picked incidents to advance a preconceived narrative as well. In some cases, the very validity of laws and regulations are questioned by the report, as are the right of legislatures to enact them.”

“The report also appears to challenge the integrity of certain legal judgments given by indian courts. The report has also targeted regulations that monitor the misuse of financial flows into India, suggesting that the burden of compliance is unreasonable. It seeks to question the need for such measures,” the MEA spokesperson added. 

“In 2023, India has officially taken up numerous cases in the US of hate crimes, racial attacks on Indian nationals and other minorities, vandalization and targeting of places of worship, violence and mistreatment by law enforcement authorities, as well as according to political space to advocates of extremism and terrorism abroad,” Jaiswal added. 

There have been incidents of attack and vandalism at Hindu temples in the US by pro-Khalistani outfits. In January this year, a Hindu temple in California was allegedly defaced with pro-Khalistan graffiti. On December 23, the Swaminarayan Mandir in Newark was defaced with pro-Khalistan slogans.

“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” the Indian consulate in San Fransisco had posted on X.