PM Modi addresses human rights concerns in a first-ever press conference in US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there is no discrimination on the basis of religion or caste in India and the country is run on the basis of the Constitution and strong fundamentals of democracy “which is in its DNA.” Modi made this categorical assertion in Washington when asked about the status of religious minorities including Muslims during a media interaction after the summit with President Joe Biden. Modi also said relations with the US are at a stage where the “sky is not the limit,” in a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden.
Brushing aside apparent apprehensions of violation human rights in India, Modi said democracy in the country is based on respecting human values and human rights. The Prime Minister said India and the US have “overwhelming respect” for each other because “we are democracies and it is in US and India’s DNAs to expand democratic institutions”.
Asked about religious minority and dissent by a US reporter, Modi said “Regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender, there’s absolutely no space for discrimination”. He also said the resources and benefits are available to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender adding there is no discrimination.
#WATCH | “We are a democracy…India & America both have democracy in our DNA. Democracy is in our spirit & we live it and it’s written in our Constitution…So no question of discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed or religion arises. That is why, India believes in sabka… pic.twitter.com/orVkCVkLLf
— ANI (@ANI) June 22, 2023
There is no space for discrimination in India on the grounds of religion, caste or creed, Modi said. “We are a democracy… India and America both have democracy in our DNA. Democracy is in our spirit and we live it and it’s written in our Constitution. There is absolutely no space for discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed or religion,” Modi said speaking about the rights of ethnic minorities in India.
Asked about the measures his government is willing to take to improve the rights of minorities in India, PM Modi said: “India believes in sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayaas and walks with it.”
So, I am really surprised when people say so (discrimination against minorities). India is a real democracy,” he said adding there is no space for discrimination in a democracy and India believes in moving forward by taking everyone along, the Prime Minister asserted.
“When you say democracy and accept democracy, there is no space for discrimination. India believes in moving ahead, taking everybody together. The benefits of the government are available to all without any discrimination on caste, creed, age or geographic location,” he stressed.
President Biden said he discussed the issue of human rights in a straightforward manner with Prime Minister Modi adding democracy is in the DNA of both the countries. Modi also said the two countries discussed the entire spectrum of issues relating to their bilateral issues and the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Modi said India has all along maintained that peace and dialogue is the way out to resolve the conflict and is ready to do its bit in restoring peace.
Highlighting the growing defence ties between the two countries, Modi said the focus has shifted from buyer seller relationship to joint production and development of weapon systems and welcomed the move to manufacture GE-414 jet engines in India. He described it as a landmark agreement which will also provide jobs.
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