12th April 2010
The Ambassador to India,
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110021
We wish to draw your attention to a German delegation consisting of Members of Parliament supported by Missio, a Catholic non-governmental organization (NGO) which is currently touring India.
The delegation members are: Shri. Ute Granold, Christian Democratic Union, Shri. Pascal Kober, Free Democratic Party, Shri. Jan Bittner, Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union and Shri Otmar Ochring, Director, Human Rights, Missio.
It is reported in the news media that this delegation was on a two day visit to study the condition of minorities in Gujarat.
The team in its 48 hour visit has met with a few people of their choice and has concluded on religious freedom. It has sat on judgment on the Chief Minister of Gujarat, on whom, till date, not a single case is registered for any offence. They have called him ‘dictatorial’ and claim that ‘he has a wrong perception of religious freedom’. They have accused the Chief Minister of “partial dictatorial and hostile brand of politics.”(DNA, Mumbai, 09 April, 2010)
Claiming that their visit is ‘unofficial’ they have been freely briefing the media on their judgment.
The BJP takes objection to the conduct of this delegation-official or otherwise. We feel they have misused the freedom this country cherishes and extends to its visitors too. As reported, if the delegation has come here for a study, we are worried about the credibility of this study. The inferences are to be based on the few meetings they held with people whom they chose to meet. They have not met the Chief Minister on whom they have made baseless allegations.
They have commented on an Act passed in the Gujarat Assembly which has been ratified by the Governor. This Act prohibits religious conversion by monetary lure or material incentives. A similar Act exists in Arunachal Pradesh too.
If elected representatives in the due Legislature pass a Bill, we find it unacceptable for a self appointed delegation from a foreign country, sponsored/supported by a religious body to criticize it. This tantamounts to interfering in our internal affairs.
Shri Pascal Kober, is in fact reported to have said to the media, “conversion has become difficult under the new religious freedom law where baptizing ceremonies were getting reported.”(Times of India, Ahmedabad, 09 April, 2010). Can we conclude that this betrays the Catholic Church’s agenda of this delegation?
This delegation’s comments to the press are so sweeping and irresponsible. They are reported to have said: “…our report will influence the perception of this State (Gujarat) in Germany.”
We allege that on the basis of a two-day visit with partisan opinion-gathering meetings, this delegation is out to tarnish the image of a Constitutional authority – the Chief Minister of the Gujarat and the state of Gujarat itself.
The Delegation has claimed that Shri Narender Modi continues to be a persona non grata in Europe. The Chief Minister of Gujarat has travelled to the United Kingdom and Switzerland post 2002. He has subsequently never had the occasion to seek a visa for visiting any EU country. The issue of the EU declaring the Chief Minister as a ‘persona non-grata’ seems to be completely out of context and far removed from the truth. The delegation, by commenting on this issue, is only reinforcing a bogey that vested interest groups are actively propagating. This is objectionable and the BJP wonders if they are here to create trouble or to undertake a study.
You may be aware that the Chief Minister of Gujarat has written to the Prime Minister of India, “to direct (the) Ministry of External Affairs to take up these two specific issues with the German Ambassador…”
Your Excellency, we wish to state here that the BJP wishes and actively engages in building a cordial and friendly relationship between our two countries. But here is an instance of blatant violation and misuse of this cordiality, which we condemn. If unchecked, this may lead to mistrust and ill-will which diplomatic efforts will find difficult to remove.
We demand an unconditional apology from the embassy for the unfriendly behavior of these self appointed purveyors of human rights. Their time may be well spent in Malaysia for the Hindus who are being denied their fundamental rights, or in Afghanistan for the Sikhs who are been brutal slashed to death for extortion, or in North Western China for the ethnic Muslims suffering a military crackdown.
India is a vibrant democracy with its institutions such as the Judiciary, Parliament and the Press actively engaged in keeping our country well taken care off.
The delegation of the Christian Democratic Union backed by a Catholic organization should remember not to misuse its visitor status.
We earnestly hope that you will understand the gravity of the matter and take due and necessary step with a sense of urgency.
Thanking you and Guten Tag.
|MUKHTAR ABBAS NAQVI|
BJP National Vice President
Jt. Convenor Foreign Cell
SMT. NIRMALA SITHARAMAN
BJP National Spokesperson
SIDHARTH NATH SINGH
National Executive Member