360° Coverage : US admits double standards in judging India

US admits double standards in judging India

Washington, Aug 16 (IANS) A top US official has admitted that Washington follows a double standard when criticising a democratic India over religious freedom while glossing over the misdeeds of its dictatorial allies.

Aug 16 2013, 5:40am CDT | by IANS

US admits double standards in judging India
Photo Credit: NARINDER NANU, Getty Images

Washington, Aug 16 — A top US official has admitted that Washington follows a double standard when criticising a democratic India over religious freedom while glossing over the misdeeds of its dictatorial allies.

"India is a great democracy and we tend to expect more of democracies than we do of dictatorships," Katrina Lantos Swett, vice chairperson of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said in an interview with the New York Times.

The bipartisan government commission reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes non-binding policy recommendations to the president, the secretary of state and the US Congress.

While acknowledging the criticism that the US International Religious Freedom Act is selectively invoked was "a valid one", Swett glibly suggested it was "a compliment to India that we hold India to a very high standard because India is the world's largest democracy".

"I would say that maybe India is held to that higher standard because you have shown that you embrace the values that we embrace in terms of democracy," she said.

Asked for the Commission's rationale for placing India on the Tier 2 list of countries, which includes Afghanistan, Russia, Cuba, Nigeria, Laos, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, Swett without giving any reasons insisted that "India merits being on the Tier 2 list for the state of its religious freedom".

Instead she sought to sidetrack the issue by citing the example of Myanmar to say how "It is sometimes frustrating to see some of the countries we are critical of on the grounds of religious freedom."

After the 2002 riots in Gujarat, the commission had recommended that India be on the "countries of particular concern" list, a global list of the worst offenders of religious freedom, but the State Department ignored it.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
 
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said.
 
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing".
 
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to OxfordDictionaries.com, the free online dictionary, in its largest quarterly update so far.