The United States has yet again targeted India on human rights. State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller on Tuesday, August 8, said, “We regularly raise human rights concerns with countries with which we engage, have done that in the past with India, and we will do so in the future.”
Miller was responding to a question based on a report by “The Voice of the Martyrs”, a Christian religious propaganda organisation.
“In light of the Voice of the Martyrs, persecution.com reports on Christian persecution in India, and President Biden’s upcoming trip to India. What will President Biden be asking of Indian Prime Minister Modi regarding Christian persecution, who has failed to protect Christians from persecution in the wake of their anti-conversion laws?” the reporter asked.
To this, Miller replied, “So we regularly raise human rights concerns with countries with which we engage. Done that so in the past with India, and will do so in the future.”
The reporter with his keen and malafide intentions to target India over the issue, further asked if President Biden had been dealing with the so-called “issue of Christian persecution there?”
“Well, we have made very clear that we oppose persecution of religious groups. I have made it clear from this podium on a number of occasions. We have made very clear that we oppose the persecution of Christians and we oppose the persecution of any religious group, no matter where it takes place in the world,” the State Department Spokesperson said.
What is “The Voice of the Martyrs”
The Voice of the Martyrs is a Christian religious propaganda organisation that spreads Christianity through conversions in the most vulnerable areas around the world like areas hit by natural calamity, poverty etc. The organisation uses “Christian persecution” as a cover for its conversion activities. The organisation has, in tandem with the USCIRF, also targeted India over anti-conversion laws.
The United States is in the habit of releasing reports on “religious freedom and human rights violations” in India. Here is a list of the number of times America has meddled in India’s internal affairs:
22 June 2023: Barack Obama virtue-signals India on human rights
Former US President Barack Obama, who has a notorious record as a potential war criminal, suggested that the Indian Prime Minister must be told by the Biden administration about protecting the “Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India.” He also hinted at another “partition” if India, under the Modi government, did not mend its ways.
20 March 2023: US says it will continue to urge India to uphold human rights
The United States, on the release of 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, said it will “continue to strongly urge India to uphold its human rights obligations and commitments.” The report made the baseless charge that India in 2021 experienced significant human rights violations.
14 April 2022: Antony Blinken says “US monitoring cases of rights abuse in India”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had in April last year said that the US is monitoring some recent “concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials.” He was met with a strong rebuttal from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. “Look, people are entitled to have views about us but we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out,” EAM had said.
Moreover, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released several supercilious reports preaching human rights and religious freedom to India. This is rich coming from a country which is built on the graves of Native Americans.
The controversial statement from the US comes a month ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to India on 7th September for the G-20 summit.
America and its history of human rights violation
America is a country built at the cost of lakhs and crores of Native Americans, also called Indians, who were subjected to severe atrocities and genocide. At the root of this is deep-entrenched racism. Brown and black people have been deemed inferior by white supremacists, a social ill which continues to prevail in American society.
According to a poll by Washington Post-IPSOS, a significant number of Black Americans believe racism will worsen in their lifetime. Recently, protests had erupted across the United States after a black man named George Floyd was shot dead by a police officer in Minnesota.
In 2021, hate crimes in the United States surged 11.6%. The FBI reportedly said that 64.5% of victims were targeted for their race, or ethnicity while 14.1% were targeted for their religion. An Indian student was shot dead while he was working at a fuel station in Ohio in April this year.
According to the FBI’s 2018 Hate Crime Statistics Report, 14 offenses were recorded against Hindus in the US along with 12 reported incidents. In January this year, Shri Omkarnath Temple in Brazos Valley, Texas was robbed triggering insecurity among the resident Hindus of the area.
In January 2019, a Swaminarayan temple was vandalised in Kentucky where attackers wrote a threat on the walls with black spray paint. The threat read, “Jesus is the only lord” with a sign of the cross.
On 17 September 2022, a man identified as 27-year-old Sukhpal Singh of Douglaston was arrested by the New York Police in the Tulsi Mandir desecration case that took place on August 16. The accused, along with his associates, had vandalised the Gandhi statue placed at a temple premised located in South Richmond Hill.
In a statement, the Police said, “On 9/17 an arrest was made, but our job is not done yet. We are following up on additional leads to bring EVERYONE responsible to justice for our Hindu community. The perpetrator was charged with felony Criminal Mischief as a hate crime.”
America became a hub of slavery starting in 1619 when a ship with 20 captives was brought to Virginia from Africa. Interracial marriages were prohibited in the US till as recently as 2000. The Declaration of Independence did not extend any rights to the captives despite the words “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”
According to a report by the US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights (UIDHR), Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the most violated human right in the United States. Article 2 of UDHR states, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
As per the report, rampant racism, anti-semitism, and poor standard of living & economic opportunities for non-whites means the US is in violation of Article 2 of UIDHR.
Women’s rights too have suffered a blow in the US after the Supreme Court last year overturned the 1973 ruling which established the constitutional right to an abortion in the country.
Justice Samuel Alito backed by 5 other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The US has an impeccable track record of rights violations not only in its own country but also in foreign land. Take for example its military offensive in at least seven Muslim-majority nations.
Last year, experts from the United Nations urged the US government to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba. They had called it an “ugly chapter of relentless human rights violations”, adding, “20 years of arbitrary detention without trial accompanied by torture or ill-treatment is unacceptable.”
Moreover, the country is dealing with a growing challenge of substance abuse. In 18 months, nine people have died and 150 have overdosed on a fatal combination of fentanyl-laced with an animal sedative called “tranq”.
The United States of America is entwined in a slew of problems exclusive to its society. Recent statements by its own officials suggest that the US cannot afford to teach or preach to anyone, much less India, about human rights and the like.
“Each of our countries is imperfect. I don’t think the United States can or should be in a position where it lectures any other country,” this was said by a top official in the White House, Kurt Campbell last month.