‘Muslims in India…’: Nirmala Sitharaman on negative Western ‘perception’.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that Muslims in India are doing much better than the Muslims living in Pakistan as she was responding to the negative Western “perception” of India at an event in Washington on Monday.

Sitharaman arrived in Washington on Sunday to attend the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank and chair the second G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting under the Indian presidency.

Responding to a question on perceptions affecting investment in India or capital flows, Sitharaman, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), said, “I would think the answer for that lies with those investors who are coming to India, and they have been coming. And as somebody who is interested in receiving investments, I would only say, come have a look at what’s happening in India, rather than listen to perceptions being built by people who have not even visited on the ground and who produce reports.”

When PIIE president Adam S Posen asked about there being widespread reporting in the Western media about MPs in the opposition party losing status, and about Muslim minorities in India being subjected to violence, the finance minister replied, “India has the second-largest Muslim population in the world, and that population is only growing in numbers. If there is a perception, or if there’s in reality, their lives are difficult or made difficult with the support of the state, which is what is implied in most of these write-ups, I would ask, will this happen in India in the sense, will the Muslim population be growing than what it was in 1947?”

Sitharaman contrasted Pakistan, which was formed when India was divided into two, with India by stating that she would take the name of Pakistan to make the contrast sharper. Despite declaring itself an Islamic country that promised to protect minorities, every minority group in Pakistan has dwindled in number and even some Muslim sects have been decimated.

“Violence prevails against Muhajirs, Shia and every other group you can name which is not accepted by the mainstream. I don’t know, Sunnis probably. Whereas in India you would find every strand of Muslims doing their business, their children getting educated. Fellowships are being given by the government,” news agency ANI quoted her as saying.

She also urged World Trade Organisation (WTO) to be more progressive.

“I would love the WTO to be more progressive, a lot more listening to all countries, and more fair. It has to give space to voices of the countries which have something different to say and not just hear but also somewhat heed,” she added.

Source- Hindustan Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *