Question asked to PM Modi in US 'motivated', say BJP; 'So weak answer?' Congress | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Question asked to PM Modi in US 'motivated', say BJP; 'So weak answer?' Congress

Jun 23, 2023 07:05 AM IST

A BJP versus Congress started back home as PM Modi in US answered a question on minority and said there is no discrimination in India.

PM Modi addressing a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden in white House said he is surprised that there are allegations of discrimination against his government and reiterated that there is no discrimination in India 'neither on basis of caste, creed, or age, or any kind of geographic location'. As it is unusual for PM Modi to take questions from the media, the episode led to a stand-off between the BJP and the Congress back home as the Congress called the response 'weak and lacklustre'. BJP's Amit Malviya said PM Modi 'destroyed' the 'motivted' question in a blow to the 'toolkit gang'.

US President Joe Biden and PM Modi addressed a joint press conference in White House.
US President Joe Biden and PM Modi addressed a joint press conference in White House.

What was PM Modi asked?

Mr Prime Minister, India has long prided itself as the world’s largest democracy, but there are many human rights groups who say that your government has discriminated against religious minorities and sought to silence its critics. As you stand here in the East Room of the White House, where so many world leaders have made commitments to protecting democracy, what steps are you and your government willing to take to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech?

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What was PM Modi's reply?

I’m actually really surprised that people say so. And so, people don’t say it. Indeed, India is a democracy.

And as President Biden also mentioned, India and America — both countries, democracy is in our DNA. Democracy is our spirit. Democracy runs in our veins. We live democracy. And our ancestors have actually put words to this concept, and that is in the form of our constitution.

Our government has taken the basic principles of democracy. And on that basis, our constitution is made and the entire country runs on that — our constitution and government. We have always proved that democracy can deliver. And when I say deliver, this is regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender. There’s absolutely no space for discrimination.

And when you talk of democracy, if there are no human values and there is no humanity, there are no human rights, then it’s not a democracy.

And that is why, when you say “democracy” and you accept democracy and when we live democracy, then there is absolutely no space for discrimination. And that is why India believes in moving ahead with everybody with trust and with everybody’s efforts.

These are our foundation principles, which are the basis of how we operate, how we live our lives. In India, the benefits that are provided by the government is accessible to all. Whoever deserves those benefits is available to everybody. And that is why, in India’s democratic values, there’s absolutely no discrimination neither on basis of caste, creed, or age, or any kind of geographic location.

What was Biden asked on 'targeting of religious minorities' in India

As you raise these broader issues of human rights and democracy, what is your message to those, including some members of your own party, who say that your administration is overlooking the targeting of religious minorities and crackdown on dissent in Prime Minister Modi’s country?

What did Biden say?

Well, look, the Prime Minister and I had a good discussion about democratic values. And — and there is a — there is the — that’s the nature of our relationship: We’re straightforward with each other, and — and we respect each other.

One of the fundamental reasons that I believe the U.S.-China relationship is not in the space it is with the U.S.- Indian relationship is that there’s an overwhelming respect for each other because we’re both democracies. And it’s a common democratic candida- — character of both our countries that — and our people — our diversity; our culture; our open, tolerant, robust debate.

And I believe that we believe in the dignity of every citizen. And it is in America’s DNA and, I believe, in India’s DNA that the whole world — the whole world has a stake in our success, both of us, in maintaining our democracies. It makes us appealing partners and enables us to expand democratic institutions across — around the world. And I believe this, and I still believe this.

Rahul Gandhi's US trip wasted: Malviya

Malviya said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's US trip just before PM Modi's three-day state visit was wated as America did not lecture India on human rights. Congress can 'weep copious tears' as Biden responded coldly to a 'rather loaded question' and ranked India-US relation over US-China.

PM Modi's reply weak, where is the 'roar': Supriya Shrinate

Calling PM Modi's reply to the question of minorities in India, Congress leader Surpriya Shrinate said PM Modi's 'roar' would have been heard on the global stage had he followed Gandhi's 'satyagraha' and 'rajdharma'. "He would have responded by thumping his chest shouting on the protection of the minority community of his country," the Congress spokesperson said.

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