A US congressional body has put India on a list of countries which have failed to protect its religious minorities adequately.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom says India was added to the list because of a "disturbing increase" in religious violence.
It mentioned the anti-Christian and anti-Muslim riots in Orissa and Gujarat in 2008 and 2002 respectively.
India has not yet commented on its inclusion on the "watch list".
Other countries on the list include Afghanistan, Somalia and Cuba.
Leonard Leo, the chair of USCIRF, said that it was "extremely disappointing" that India has done "so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege."
"India's democratic institutions charged with upholding the rule of law, most notably state and central judiciaries and police, have emerged as unwilling or unable to seek redress for victims of the violence," he said.
"More must be done to ensure future violence does not occur and that perpetrators are held accountable."
Last year, Kandhamal district in Orissa witnessed weeks of anti-Christian violence after a Hindu leader was shot dead.
The clashes erupted after Hindu groups blamed Christians for the killing.
And more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots in Gujarat which began after 60 Hindus died in a fire on a train in 2002.
The USCIRF says that the Obama administration should urge the Indian government to take measures to promote communal peace and protect religious minorities.
The panel issues an annual report on religious freedom every May.
But its India chapter was delayed after the Indian government declined to issue visas for the trip, the USCIRF said.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) plans to announce later today that it has placed India on its watch list because of its "inadequate" response to religious violence, particularly against the country's Muslim and Christian minorities.
USCIRF is an independent US agency whose job is to make sure religious freedom is taken into account in US foreign policy. Its watch list consists of countries with governments that tolerate "serious violations of religious freedom".
It is likely to annoy the State Department, which has long complained that foreign government mistakenly believe that the commission makes US policy. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited India last month, when the countries announced agreements to strengthen a relationship that has dramatically improved in recent years.
There are already signs that USCIRF's decision to place India on its watch list could cause problems between the US and India. Some of the eight members of USCIRF had planned a June trip to the country to look into reports of religious violence, but their applications for visas were turned down.
In an interview, USCIRF chairman Leonard Leo rejected the warnings that placing India on the watch list would jeopardise US-Indian relations.
US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today said it wants to have freedom of religion and belief to be an integral part of the Indo-US public diplomacy.
"The reason why we placed India on the 'watch list' is because as part of our growing relationship in order to make sure that it is productive and meaningful as possible.
"We believe human rights and freedom of religion and belief in particular need to be overlaid when you talk about other important economic and security issues," Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair, told the PTI in an interview.
In making its watch list determination, the USCIRF is hoping to have constructive discussion and dialogue about how it can make sure that freedom of religion and belief is an integrated part of the public diplomacy and foreign policy between the two countries.
"Because in our view, when you protect human rights fully, when you investigate and prosecute the kind of communal and sectarian violence we discussed in our report."
"You are creating better climate for stability and you are going to have better ability to achieve some of the objectives that Secretary Clinton discussed with some of the officials in India," he said. Leo hoped that USCIRF's watch list determination, will lead to recognition that protection of religious minorities and various forms of communal violence is one way of achieving our shared objective and vision.
"We recognise that and our hope is that by presenting in a very crisp way some of the challenges that are faced to some of the recent incidents that India would really sit down and try to come to terms of some of that development and good strategy for investigating and prosecuting the kind of misconduct and violent conduct that occurred ‘in Orissa for example," Leo said.
"By doing that, engaging in that kind of investigating and prosecuting activity you provide less space for extremist conduct. At the end of that day that creates a greater degree of stability, leads to the achievement of strategic objective that the United States and India have been discussing,” Leo said.
When asked about the Indian Government not issuing a visa to USCIRF members who were planning to go to India to have an on the spot assessment of the situation, Leo hoped that sometime in the future, the Indian Government will welcome them.
Leo hoped that the organisation will have an opportunity to talk with Indian officials in greater detail of how we can forge a productive partnership of how to ensure the utmost protection to religious minorities particularly in the wake of incidents in Orissa and Gujarat.
"We should put all this in a proper perspective. Yes, we put India on the watch list, but we also recognize that there is whole spectrum of problem around the world. For example Pakistan has far more serious problem than India.We recognize that," he said.
the same usa ignored blood telegram of usa consulate in east pakistan where million people got killed by awkward pakistan soldiers and also sent usn enterprise(iac) to bay of bengal to support this minority suppression
i dont know how a nation like usa blames india
usa should think over its past before advising others
hiroshima and nagasakhi(real time nuclear explosion)
all credit goes to the (th)great usa
Washington, Aug 13 (PTI) The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has placed India on its "Watch List" for New Delhi's largely inadequate response in protecting its religious minorities.
In a statement, USCIRF said India earned the "Watch List" designation due to the "disturbing increase" in communal violence against religious minorities - specifically Christians in eastern Indian state Orissa in 2008 and Muslims in western Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 ?- and the largely inadequate response from the Indian government to protect the rights of religious minorities.
"It is extremely disappointing that India, which has a multitude of religious communities, has done so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege," said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair.
USCIRF's India chapter was released this week to mark the first anniversary of the start of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa.
Nothing Personal guys, it is a very good news; if we are not able to tell our policy makers then why not US. These idiot politicians should be pulled by someone and exposed. There should be some mechanism to tell power hungry politicians that some one is watching you.
What physically US can do in India is very negligible to me. But a sense of pressure will always help the cause of religious prosperity in our country. We are not able to achieve the proper/text book religious harmony for minorities. Even if we are trying for the same is not good enough i bet.
Why we should distrust someone who is doing something good for us.
If am a real Indian, if am not a fundamentalist nor anyone who is reading this thread; then who is this preparators bringing vulnerability to security of minorities in India.
Is it because of majority(Hindus) and minorities(Muslim,Sikhs, Christians....) or the man in power?
I thinks its the man in power. What is your say...........
they are using them as vote bank as they cause some fear and show as they can only save so obviously all minority votes will go to them
media is doing a great(worst) job by spreading communal message across by splashing small things 24X7
Mostly that your logic is warped. For instance, why can't you tell your policy makers how you feel? Can't you vote? Can you not query a govt body under the RTI? Can you not approach the courts for redressal? Does the constitution not guarantee you a right to protest?
I'll be first to admit our system has deep flaws. The length of time for the resolution of a court case for one. These problems can be addressed and changed within the system. Clearly though a perfection or fix of the system is not what you're looking for. What you'd like goes beyond what the banal report would suggest and implies a surrender of sovereignty. You'd actually like the US to police our politicians.
Since you're unwilling to exercise any of those rights or duties and would like the US to play that role, I feel compelled to ask if you're an Indian citizen and if so, why?
Putting India on "watch list" of religious freedom
STAFF WRITER 19:23 HRS IST
New Delhi, Aug 13 (PTI) India today described as "regrettable" the action of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in putting the country on its "watch-list" along with Cuba and Afghanistan due to alleged rising communal violence.
"India, a country of 1.1 billion people, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society......Abberrations, if any, are dealt with promptly within our legal framework under the watchful eye of an independent judiciary and a vigilant media," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.
It is ""regrettable", he said while responding to a question about USCIRF's action.
USCIRF said India earned the "watch list" designation due to the "disturbing increase" in communal violence against religious minorities--specifically Christians in Orissa in 2008 and Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and the "largely inadequate" response from the Indian government to protect the rights of religious minorities.
I fail to understand why Indians are so enamoured with the US being the benchmark for everything pure and pristine.
We complain about corruption, communal violence and everything bad about India.
I will be the first to concede that India has to go a long way, However, mankind being what it is, there will be differences and there will be conflict.
Notwithstanding, India maybe terrible, but is the US any better?
Look at the economic fraud, corruption and cronyism that abounds the US. How are they the benchmark? They hector others for human rights violations, what is Guantanamo Bay – Disneyland? What about the secret detention centres they have around the world? Italy is having a legal case on where the CIA hijacked a mullah! Corruption? What about Enron, Freddie Mac and Fannie May and things like that?
So, what the US has to say, is not material. They can take a running jump and so can their fans in India.
India is India and we as Indians must find Indian solutions!
Now if there are people like Benny Hinn gassing in India, then it is worth a check.
How come Rajneesh was closed down in the US? Not that I found him fascinating!
x Controversies dog Benny Hinn's evangelic show
A three-day faith show here by American evangelist Benny Hinn may have concluded without any major trouble, but it has left behind a trail of controversies.
With the Karnataka government going all out to provide the logistics support for the Festival of Blessings that concluded here Sunday night, the high-tech show attracted nearly a million people from all over India and some from abroad.
Though massive protests, a 12-hour shutdown and stray incidents of violence in the city overshadowed the inaugural day, the congregation passed off peacefully during the weekend much to the relief of the organisers and the state government.
While prayers and high-decibel choir sessions under dazzling lights and special effects drew applause, the healing sessions at the end drew protests and questions by rationalists and rightwing Hindu activists on the “miracle powers” of the Israeli-born Hinn.
In fact, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded the resignation of Dharam Singh for permitting Hinn to conduct the festival and “mislead” the people with his healing powers to cure the sick and terminal patients.
Challenging Hinn's claims that several people got cured of their diseases by participating in the prayer-cum-healing sessions with the blessings of Jesus Christ, Hindu activists said an equal number of sick went home disappointed with no change in their health condition.
Refuting the charges, Hinn told the gathering that god alone was the healer and he simply prayed to invoke the lord's blessings to cure the sick and help the poor as Jesus Christ did over 2,000 years ago.
“I want to dispel apprehensions that I have come here to convert people. It is not true. I am only a servant of Jesus. I came here because people in India also need healing, just like anywhere in the world. God wants to heal. That is why millions of people have come to attend the festival and not for me,” Hinn asserted.
Thanking the state government, the city police and the Indian organisers for the peaceful conduct of the festival, Hinn told the gathering that he would return to India in February 2006 to hold a similar congregation at Hyderabad.
Apart from thousands of Hinn's followers making a beeline to the venue on the outskirts of the city, a galaxy of political leaders and other VIPs made their presence felt with special prayers and blessings from the controversial evangelist.
Among the prominent leaders who graced the occasion with their families included former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, central minister Oscar Fernandes, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and scores of Congress leaders like Margaret Alva.
State Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah declined to attend the meeting though some of his cabinet colleagues in the coalition government were present.