Just days after Barack Obama’s statement that Joe Biden should take up the issue of protection of Indian Muslim minorities, Indian Finance Minister has lashed out on Barack Obama. She questioned his comments saying that the US under Obama had bombed 6 Muslim countries.
“The Honourable Prime Minister himself, in the press conference in the US, has said how his government works on the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ principle and doesn’t discriminate against any community. But the fact remains that when people join in this debate and highlight issues which are non-issues in a way,” Ms Sitharaman said at a news conference.
“Out of the 13 awards that he has been given as Prime Minister of the country, six have been given by countries where Muslims are in the majority,” she said.
“I was shocked. When PM Modi was campaigning in the US – and by campaigning, I mean speaking about India – a former President of the US is speaking about Indian Muslims.”
“And I am saying this with restraint because it involves another country. We want friendship with the US but there too we get remarks about religious freedom in India. A former President – under whose rule six Muslim-majority countries were bombed with more than 26,000 bombs – how will people trust his allegations?” said Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Finance Minister has also targeted the opposition, saying that since they do not have any issues to oppose the BJP or PM Modi electorally, they are making such a campaign without data and running it against PM Modi.
This comes after Barack Obama made a statement just hours before the joint press statement by US President Joe Biden and Indian PM Narendra Modi.
“If I had a conversation with Mr Modi – who I know well – part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility India at some point starts pulling apart. And we have seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts. That would be contrary to the interests of India,” he said in an interview with CNN.
“The protection of the Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India – that’s something worth mentioning,” he said.
Meanwhile, at a press statement at the White House in Washington, PM Modi said that “there is absolutely no space for discrimination” in India. He also added that, “democracy runs in our veins” during the press statement.
Earlier during his trip abroad, Rahul Gandhi had criticised PM Modi over treatment of Indian Muslims and minorities and replied to a question on security threat to Muslims in India saying, “The way you (Muslims) are feeling attacked, I can guarantee Sikhs, Christians, Dalits and Tribals are feeling the same way. Also, I want to point out another thing: This happens periodically in India. What is happening to Muslims in India today happened to Dalits in 1980s. We have to fight it with affection, not with hatred. We will do that.”