“Limited and misguided perspective”: India tears into Pakistan for raising Ram Temple, CAA at UNGA


New York, March 17: Tearing into Pakistan after its ambassador at the United Nations raised the opening of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the General Assembly, India’s permanent envoy to the world body, Ruchira Kamboj, said the country’s delegation, like a ‘broken record’, remains stagnant while the world progresses.

Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to UN, speaking at the Islamophobia meeting March 15, 2024. PHOTO videograb X @indiaUNNewYork

Hitting back at the Pakistani delegation after it brought up the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Ram Lalla at Ayodhya and the CAA to have a go at India, Kamboj said it was ‘unfortunate’ that the delegation of the neighboring country had a ‘limited and misguided’ perspective on matters related to India.

The grand opening of the Ram Temple on December 22, last year drew global eyeballs and saw a long line of VVIP guests from across the country and overseas descend on the ancient temple town of Uttar Pradesh. The CAA guarantees Indian citizenship to members of persecuted religious minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who are currently living in the country as refugees.

Articulating India’s position after it abstained from the adoption of a resolution on ‘Measures to Combat Islamophobia’ at the UNGA, Kamboj, responding to the Pakistani envoy, said, “This concerns a delegation that, much like a broken record, remains sadly stagnant while the world progresses.”

“It is unfortunate indeed to witness this delegation’s limited and misguided perspective on matters relating to my country, the more so when the General Assembly considers a matter that demands wisdom, depth, and a global outlook from the entire membership, perhaps not the forte of this delegation,” she added.

Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Munir Akram, in his address at the UNGA earlier brought up the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ and the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Akram introduced the resolution on ‘Measures to Combat Islamophobia’ during the 62nd plenary meeting of the General Assembly. The UNGA adopted the resolution, with 115 nations voting in favor and 44, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, India, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, abstaining.

Kamboj responded to Pakistan, saying that India strongly condemns all forms of religiophobia, be it anti-Semitism, Christianophobia, or Islamophobia, as much as it stands against all anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, and anti-Sikh sentiments.

She also warned against dividing the global body into religious camps while stressing India’s “rich history as a pluralistic and democratic nation embracing diverse religions” which “has long served as a refuge for those persecuted for their faith”.

“In our world today, we are confronted with escalating geopolitical tensions and unequal developments resulting in a concerning rise in intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief,” she said, adding, “India, as a proud champion of pluralism, firmly upholds the principle of equal protection and promotion of all religions and all faiths.”

Underscoring the larger message of ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’, which loosely translates to tolerance for all faiths, she said be it Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jews, or adherents of any other belief, they have consistently found India to be a sanctuary free from persecution or discrimination.
She added that 1.2 billion followers of Hinduism, as well as 35 million and 30 million followers of Buddhism and Sikhism globally, have experienced ‘religiophobia’.

“It is time that we acknowledge the prevalence of religiophobia rather than just single out one,” Kamboj said.

“I would ask all member states to consider the broader scope of religious discrimination that persists globally. While the issue of Islamophobia is undoubtedly significant, however, other religions are also facing discrimination and violence,” she added.

Allocating resources solely to combat Islamophobia while neglecting similar challenges faced by other faiths, might inadvertently perpetuate a sense of exclusion and inequality.

Highlighting the increasing attacks on religious places of worship, Kamboj said these contemporary forms of religiophobia are evident through such attacks on gurudwaras, monasteries, and temples, as well as the spreading of hatred and disinformation against non-Abrahamic religions in many countries.

“The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, violations of Gurudwara premises, massacres of Sikh pilgrims in Gurudwaras, attacks on temples, and the glorification of breaking idols in temples, all contribute to the rise of contemporary forms of religiophobia against nonabrahamic religions,” Kamboj said.



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