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January 23, 2020

‘India is not a ‘theocratic’ state like Pakistan & America’

National

January 23, 2020

NEW DELHI: Unlike Pakistan and the United States, India is a secular country that tolerates all religions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has claimed, amid ongoing citizenship bill disputes.

Speaking in Delhi on Wednesday, Singh argued that India could not be described as theocratic because it has never had an official religion. He accused neighbouring Pakistan of being a “theocracy” because it “declared that their state has a religion,” noting that India has always remained secular. He argued that “Indian values” teach that “all religions are equal,” and that all faiths are welcome, reported foreign media.

Islam is the state religion of Pakistan, and an estimated 95 percent of Pakistanis identify as Muslim.

Singh’s comments come as the country’s Supreme Court considers legal challenges against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The new citizenship bill, which fast-tracks naturalisation for religious minorities arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, has been criticized as discriminatory for not extending to Muslims.

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