Washington(June 19, 2018): Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of US has classified two Hindu groups namely Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as ‘militant religious outfits’ and called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a nationalist organisation.
The entries in the latest update of the CIA World Factbook stirred tension and protests in India where protesters also claimed that a map posted also shows a section of the India held Kashmir and the entire Azad Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan.They claimed that such changes exposed the ‘CIA’s anti-India’ stance.
In statements published, militant Hindu groups also claimed that CIA itself was a terrorist organisation, which spreads terror across the world for the benefit of America.
An entry in the CIA Factbook notes that India has dozens of national and regional political parties’ pressure groups and leaders, including All Parties Hurriyat Conference, which was described as a separatist group in the Kashmir Valley which annoyed protesters in India even more.The demonstrators noted that the CIA was also lenient to another Muslim group, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, which is led by Maulana Mahmood Madani simply as a religious organisation while listing similar Hindu groups as militants.The report points out that despite high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt in 2015 and 2016, resulting in low credit growth. The economy slowed in 2017 due to shocks of demonetisation and introduction of GST.The CIA report notes that the outlook for India’s long-term growth is moderately positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy.
But it also identifies long-term challenges confronting India, including: Discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.