Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has come out all guns blazing against a report on International Religious Freedom published by the United States Department of State which has made critical comments on the status of minorities in India. Rejecting these comments, Thackeray has written in an editorial in Saamana that the US needs to first reflect on what it is guilty of rather than assessing other countries in the world.
While the US report claimed that there have been mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, India strongly rejected this with the Ministry of External Affairs underlining the country's strong secular credentials. Thackeray too rejected the report outright. "People in power in the US feel that their country alone is a democracy and feel that they have the responsibility of preaching moral responsibility to the world," Thackeray writes in the Saamana editorial. "They claim that the Narendra Modi government has been incapable of stopping attacks against minorities and are making their assessment by sitting thousands of miles away. These are just crocodile tears. To interfere in India's internal matters has always been a tradition in the US. Who has given them the right to interfere in India's internal matters? The government here is capable of ensuring and protecting the secular credentials of India."
Thackeray also dialled back time and accused the US of committing a number of blunders around the world in the years gone by. "The US had similarly seen weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when there were none. They then destroyed Iraq," he writes, adding that the US has always tried to interfere in the internal matters of many countries in West Asia and also finds itself in a spot of bother in Afghanistan. "The Trump administration needs to first see what is burning beneath their own feet."