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New Delhi issues firm rebuke to Biden

India’s economy “is not faltering” as the US leader claimed, the country’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar insists

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has rejected a claim by US President Joe Biden that the South Asian nation’s economy was slowing down because of xenophobia. It has one of the “most pluralistic” societies in the world, the senior New Delhi official also pointed out.

The country’s economy “is not faltering” and it has never had any dislike of foreigners, Jaishankar insisted, during a round table meeting on Friday hosted by the Economic Times newspaper.

In February, New Delhi announced that gross domestic product had grown 8.4% in the most recent October-to-December quarter, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

“India has been a very unique country… in the history of the world… it’s been a society which has been very open,” the foreign minister said. “Different people of different societies come to India,” he added.

”We’re the most open, most pluralistic, and in many ways the most understanding society in the world,” the diplomat added.

He reminded the group that New Delhi has introduced the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is intended “to open up doors for people who are in trouble. I think we should be open to people who have the need to come to India, who have a claim to come to India.”

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Activists shout slogans as they burn a copy of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) bill during a protest rally in Kolkata on March 12, 2024.
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The CAA, which came into force in March, halves the residency requirement for undocumented migrants from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Speaking at a fundraising event in Washington earlier this week, the US president claimed that migration was good for the US, while some other major countries were suffering setbacks due to their unwillingness to let foreigners in.

Why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan in trouble? Why is Russia in trouble? And India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants,” he said.

One of Washington’s main Asian allies, Tokyo, responded to the US leader with a government statement saying it was “unfortunate that comments not based on an accurate understanding of Japan’s policy were made.”

May 05, 2024 at 09:58PM

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