India ignores US report on rising religious intolerance

New Delhi: India on Tuesday said it took "no cognizance" of a report by a United States agency that lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over rising religious intolerance in the country. "We take no cognizance of their report," an external affairs ministry spokesperson said about the report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The report, the spokesperson said, "has failed to show proper understanding of India, its constitution and its society". "India is a vibrant pluralistic society founded on strong democratic principles. The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all its citizens, including the right to freedom of religion," the spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that the "government does not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens' constitutionally protected rights". The USCRIF report, released earlier, said religious intolerance was on the rise and religious freedom was violated in India, alleging that the ruling BJP "tacitly supported Hindu groups and used religiously-divisive language to further inflame tensions". IANS