British government lauds India’s religious diversity, inclusive tradition
It has defended India’s religious diversity over a debate on ‘Persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India’
At a time when Pakistan is engaged in a disinformation campaign against India and its’ communal harmony, the British government has profusely praised India’s diversity and its “rich tapestry of religious minorities alongside its sizable Hindu minority,” during a debate in Westminster Hall on ‘Persecution of Muslims, Christian and minority groups in India.’
Minister for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Nigel Adams on Tuesday highlighted the important work being done to promote UK- India Interfaith Dialogue and tackling global challenges.
Speaking about India, he said, “Those of us who have the pleasure of visiting India know that it is a magnificent country. It is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world”.
Nigel also added that any ‘difficult issues’ around human rights are raised in a free and open manner with Indian counterparts at the ministerial and consular levels. The UK's Minister for Asia Affairs also reiterated that India’s secular constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens.
Nigel confirmed that during the British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab’s visit to India in December, the UK raised a few issues with India including the situation in Kashmir and the concern about many consular cases adding that UK looks to India to address the concerns and protect right of people of all religions keeping with India’s Constitution and proud and inclusive tradition.
The debate was called in the UK's lower house by backbench members of parliament led by Democratic Unionist Party MP from Northern Ireland, Jim Shannon who had highlighted the ‘worrying and disturbing scale and trajectory’ of persecution being experienced in India by the minorities. However, most MPs challenged the view held by Shannon.
Theresaa Villers of the Labour Party challenged allegations of state involvement as she highlighted “India, is a stable and increasingly prosperous home to around 200 million Muslims and 32 million Christians.”
Villers, a former Cabinet Minister also added that in protection of freedom of religion and belief, the more important focus of the UK must be on places such as Pakistan, where forced conversion of young Hindu and Christian women is a serious problem or China where there is rampant incarceration and oppression of Uyghur Muslims.