Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Gujarat government quotes US crime rates

[India News] Ahmedabad, March 18 : Accused by the US of a questionable record in human rights, the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat Friday hit back by highlighting America's crime records.

"What kind of human rights is the US administration talking about? Human rights of African-Americans are violated day in and day out in the US," it said in a statement distributed at a news conference here by Modi.

Modi addressed the press shortly after the US publicly denied him a visa to visit that country for his alleged role in the 2002 sectarian violence in Gujarat.

"India has a population of over 1,000 million compared to the US population of less than 300 million. India's police force is not as well equipped as the US law enforcement authorities. And yet, India's crime rate has been far lower than that in the US," the statement said.

It compared crime rates for one million of the population in Gujarat, India and the US, recording 2.2, 3.1 and 4.1 murders, respectively.

"Washington sees about 2,000 murders a year, which is more than the number of murders that take place in the whole of Gujarat. The US needs to first look at the plight of its own citizens, who constantly live in the shadow of fear, rather than teach India humanity and human rights," the statement said.

"Is the US the sole guardian of religious minorities all over the world? A fairly large number of hate crimes took place in the US after 9/11. Some of them have been sorted out and some have not been. Should President Bush be held responsible for those crimes?

"In the US, hate crimes have risen steadily from 2001 onwards, that is, post-9/11. Should India stop issuing visas to visiting US officials?" it said.

--Indo-Asian News Service


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