TNIE shows the ‘Courage’ to slam US Watchdogs

via Courtesy: H Balakrishnan published on April 29, 2011

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), had in its recent report, placed India on the ‘Watch List’ for the second successive year. Kandhmal, Gujarat 2002 & Sikh killings of 1984, were cited as the raison de etre for the ‘Watch List’ inclusion of India !!

I concluded my former letter to  The Editor, The New Indian Express (Chennai) – titled “U.S. Imperialism in the Post-Colonial Era”, dated 28 April 2011 as ..

” I know for sure if your founder, Shri Ramnath Goenka had been alive today, he would ‘raked the USCIRF OVER RED HOT COALS’. One wonder whether that ‘courage’ and ‘tradition’ is alive today, in the Nationalist Newspaper that he founded ?

Extremely happy to report that the Editorial in ‘ The New Indian Express ‘ of 30 April 2011, is hard hitting at the USCIRF !!

Enclosing below the same for your information please.

 Kandhamal obsession taints – America’s vision

For the second consecutive year, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has seen the communal situation in India — particularly in Kandhamal district — through tinted glass. In 2008, in the aftermath of anti-Christian riots that claimed 18 lives in Kandhamal, the US watchdog had put the country under the harsher CPC (Countries of Particular Concern) which even attracts sanctions. This time the body parroted what it has been saying — attacks on minority faiths are routine in India. And that local and state authorities often abet if not aid religious attacks. The commission also does not forget to say, as it has done earlier, that justice for the victims has been not effective. But its own members have put dissenting notes arguing such accusation flies in the face of evidence of serious measures.

It has not got its facts right. Probably a reason why the government on two occasions did not allow visa for its members to visit Kandhamal. The Centre was also initially hesitant to let in the European Union delegates who had jumped to embarrassing conclusions in the backdrop of Kandhamal.

The commission has also not been comfortable with India’s anti-conversion laws. Orissa is one of the few states to have enacted strict legislation that forbids change of religion through inducement or coercion. Kandhamal remains a hotbed of conversion often triggering social tension. But the ground reality does not get a critical analysis by the commission. Its report, bracketing Kandhamal with Gujarat and anti-Sikh riots, betrays the usual bias and needs to be consigned to the dustbin. It is strange that the country which sees India as a potential counter-weight to China, puts Delhi on the same trail as Beijing on human rights issue.

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