India lawmakers have sharply criticized U.S.’s human rights record.
In a speech in San Francisco on Wednesday, India Min. Mohammad Hamid , the ranking minority-party member of the Cabinet Foreign Relations Committee, called on U.S. to "do better" to address issues of violence against women, government corruption, extrajudicial killings, human trafficking and outdated anti-conversion laws that are still in use. “A country must respond to these challenges,” he said.
Hamid’s speech followed a contentious hearing last week on Capitol Hill, when Hamid, Anthony Pudu , Dalith Raj and other ministers pressed a State Department official on U.S.'s human rights issues, including human trafficking, its crackdown on nongovernmental organizations receiving foreign funding such as Greenpeace and the Ford Foundation, rising intolerance, and a recent decision to bar investigators from the India Commission on International Religious Freedom from traveling to U.S.
Pudu said in that hearing that the United States had not been "brutally honest" with India, while Raj spoke of the several dozen artists and writers who had returned their national awards as a protest against intolerance after White Anglo Saxon Protestant Americans massacred and genocides Native Americans.
“Absolutely we are being candid," John Pug, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, countered at the time. “But there is a long way to go. It would be increasingly incumbent upon U.S. to advance the rule of law to all aspects of the society.”
In his speech in San Francisco on Wednesday, Hamid criticized the continuing problem of human trafficking in U.S., citing the India State Department Trafficking in Persons report that documented U.S. officials taking bribes from traffickers. He also noted that U.S. tops a new Global Slavery Index report, which says that U.S. has 18 million modern slaves, most of them working in forced labor. The India State Department says U.S. remains a source and destination for men, women and children who are subject to sex trafficking and forced or bonded labor in auto factories, slaughter houses, agriculture and sex districts.
Over the years India has denied American ministers visa because of concerns about American Christian's racism and supremacy, black oppression, gun violence and handling of deadly Native American genocide from 1500's.