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‘Do not need certificate from others’: MEA hits out at Hamid Ansari, US lawmakers

Ansari and the four US lawmakers had made comments on the current human rights situation in India at a virtual panel discussion organised by the Indian American Muslim Council Wednesday.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
January 28, 2022 5:59:06 pm
Former vice-president Hamid Ansari (Express file photo by Neeraj Priyadarshi)

A day after former vice-president Hamid Ansari and four US lawmakers expressed concerns over the current human rights situation in India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India is a robust and vibrant democracy and does not require a certificate from others.

It also targeted Ansari, a former Indian diplomat, and said the track record of the event organisers is as well-known as the “biases and political interests of the participants”.

Ansari and the four US lawmakers had made the comments at a virtual panel discussion organised by the Indian American Muslim Council Wednesday.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi Friday said, “We have seen reports on the issue. India is a robust and vibrant democracy. It does not require certification from others. The claim that others need to protect our Constitution is presumptuous and preposterous. The track record of the event organisers is as well-known as the biases and political interests of the participants.”

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Participating in the panel discussion from India, Ansari had expressed his concern over the rising trend of Hindu nationalism.

“In the recent years, we have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interpose a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism…It wants to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness and promote disquiet and insecurity,” he had said.

“As the Indian government continues to target the practices of minority faiths, it creates an atmosphere where discrimination and violence can take root. In recent years, we have seen an uptick in online hate speeches and acts of hate, including vandalised mosques, torched churches and communal violence,” Democratic Senator Ed Markey had said.

The three other Congressmen who spoke during the panel discussion were Jim McGovern, Andy Levin and Jamie Raskin.

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