US praises UPA govt for its commitment to religious freedom

US praises UPA govt for its commitment to religious freedom

Washington, Oct 27, (PTI):

India’s UPA-led government at the centre is quite committed to religious freedom, but it has “concerns” on this issues at the local level, specially those States ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Obama Administration’s first Annual Report on International Religions Freedom, between July 2008 and June 2009 has said.

(Pala S – This instance is one where a Democratic regime under the left-liberal President Shri Barack Hussein Obama meddles, Neo-Conservative style, in Hindusthan’s internal affairs. Not just this, it doubts the ability of Hindusthan’s government – Union and State, to deal with situations at the “local level” fairly. If Hindus may forgive this trespass as an American malady; it is more difficult to reconcile it with Shri Obama’s home-grown anti-Christian, left-liberal persona. I’ll explain under varta)

“The Government at the central level is quite committed and it’s also, as you know, a very diverse– religiously diverse society, where, in fact, a lot of religions were born and nurtured. I think at a local level we have some concerns, and there are some specific instances mentioned in the report,” Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Michael H Posner, told reporters after the release of the Congressionally mandated annual report.

(Pala S – The observation wrt religious diversity is quite correct. Sanatana Dharma is intrinsically very diverse and that is the reason “a lot of religions were born and nurtured”. This has very little or nothing at all to do with how committed the “Government at the central level is” to this diversity. It has everything to do with how Hindus have conducted themselves throughout history)

“The response to violence, for example, in one case where a Hindu religious leader was killed and there was a spate of violence that affected mainly a Christian population and 40-some people killed.” “So we are very mindful that there are still inner religious tensions within the society, and I think our focus would be on the lack of response at a local level rather than a national – the national policy is good. It’s a question of how it’s implemented at a local level,” Posner said.

(Pala S – I think here’s where this (Obama) administration starts to take a typically liberal line. It has mentioned the Hindu Swamiji being killed. It has also noted that a *mainly* Christian populace was effected and a number of them killed. Then it speaks of a “lack of response at a local level” and certifies the “national policy” as good.

Well then, how do we connect the dots? If this report is to be given any credence (in my opinion, giving it any will retard our sense of National self-respect), but for the sake of argument let’s say we take it seriously, what should be our response? I think we simply have to talk facts. This Wikipedia submission is pretty comprehensive and well attested. I have linked to information on the assassination of Swami Lakshmanananda and information on violence in the state of Orissa.

So given this background how does the US “religious freedom” ensuring department think things will get any better at the “local level”? Is this department prepared to address or use it’s influence to address issues arising out of Christian evangelism? If not, what does it think is the solution? Suppression of legitimate Hindu rights?)

In its section on India which is spread over 30 pages, the report gives UPA-led Union Government the highest mark, but goes on to say that some state and local governments limited this freedom by enacting or amending “anti-conversion” legislation and by not efficiently or effectively prosecuting those who attacked religious minorities.

(Pala S – The convenient and shall we say, self-serving assumption being; there have been attacks on religious minorities, period. Just like that. Hindus are basically mad brutes and on any good day they just up and at ’em! I’m beginning to wonder if the ultra-liberal UPA regime is being given brownie points because this is the image of Hindus it projects internationally. The fact that Shri MM Singh, this unfortunate country’s Prime Minister, called the violence in Orissa a “national shame” without even pretending to be even-handed, let alone speaking the whole truth, proves it)

The report refers to the allegations of non-governmental organisations that BJP stoked communally sensitive matter as State elections grew near. While there was no report of any religious violence during the general elections held early this year, the report did mention the alleged inflammatory speech of the young BJP leader Varun Gandhi.

(Pala S – In Hindusthan, “stoking communally sensitive matters” and especially when Hindus tend to do it, should translate into speaking the harsh truth or calling a spade and bloody shovel. This position is never admitted to by this country’s liberals and communists though; because they see it as something that can cause hate against minorities. How can anybody speak the truth when it causes hate against “vulnerable” sections of our society? Huh? Readers may see details on the Varun Gandhi related issue here)

The State Department in its report also mentions the anti-conversion bills in the BJP-ruled States of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh an Himachal Pradesh; besides the BJD-ruled Orissa. The BJP continued to advocate contentious measures, such as the passage of “anticonversion” legislation in all states, the construction of a Hindu temple on the Ayodhya site, and the enactment of a uniform civil code. “During the reporting period, the government of Maharashtra took no action on regional Shiv Sena party chief Bal Thackeray for his June 2008 remarks advocating creation of “Hindu suicide squads” to fight “Islamic terrorism.”, it said. 

(Pala S – For this foreign “State Department” and our own anti-national UPA regime, protecting Hindus in Hindusthan from predatory evangelists, building a Temple to Sri Rama in Ayodhya – very much a part of Hindusthan’s State of Uttar Pradesh and an enactment of a secular Civil Code (This is indeed an uber-irony! Liberals (national and foreign) rejecting a secular legal proposition – a proposition I have previously rejected totally) And what of a Hindu leader’s call for Hindu “suicide squads” against Islamic terror? How can such fight-back ever make sense to liberals?)

According to the report, Christian church groups in Karnataka alleged attempts by state police to gather information on their pastorates under the guise of providing official sanction to function in their local areas. “For example, on September 26, 2008, a police notice asked Christian prayer groups in Moodabidri police station’s jurisdiction in Mangalore for documentation pertaining to building ownership, activities, and membership.

(Pala S – How can this be wrong? Unless of course we automatically assume religious minorities are somehow special and above the law)

Christian groups feared the information would be passed to Hindu extremist groups planning to organise anti-Christian violence, it said. “In general, India’s democratic system, open society, independent legal institutions, vibrant civil society, and press all provided mechanisms to address violations of religious freedom when they did occur,” the State Department said.

(Pala S – Isn’t this marvelous? Christian groups do not oblige the law with required information on the pretext that these will be mis-used by Hindu groups. Hindu groups are constantly watchful of their rights and this makes Christian groups paranoid. There is a way out of all this – end evangelical conversion. There is no need for it in Hindusthan)

The Annual Report on International Religions Freedom, which records status of respect for religious freedom in all countries during the period from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, was released by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, on Monday afternoon. “Although the vast majority of citizens of every religious group lived in peaceful co-existence, some organised societal attacks against minority religious groups occurred,” the report said in its section related to India, adding that State police and enforcement agencies often did not act swiftly to effectively counter such attacks.

(Pala S – Enough said)

–Varta–

Palahalli S – The first point I raised bothers me somewhat. I can see that US neo-cons have a *freedom and democracy* spreading agenda. They also speak of/or are not against spreading Christianity amongst non-Christians. It’s understandable if such folk wield the “The Annual Report on International Religions Freedom”. What I cannot understand nor reconcile with is when a left-liberal regime that purportedly does not believe in the afore-mentioned neo-con agenda wields The Report. Why or how does that happen?

I think the impulse may lie in the fact that there’s a basic conviction that any restriction on evangelism is denial of religious freedom. This is argued so from the point of view that evangelism to a Christian is *religion* and *religious duty*. Therefore any kind of restriction is also deemed oppressive of his religion and his freedom to practice it. It is this last element that the liberal grain fights for. The freedom of it all. Any responsibility for adverse fall-out is of course and typically not taken seriously.

Interestingly, I had argued the point of restriction on evangelism at VFR and the responses I drew were along the lines of The Report. It’s interesting because the commenters who opposed were conservative Christian Traditionalists – not neo-conservatives or liberals.

As Christian traditionalists, they seem to assert the freedom to practice Christianity including evangelism everywhere in the world. I just don’t think they take the peculiar problems it generates in Hindusthan seriously enough.

I could be wrong though and therefore the need is to create greater awareness.

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