India: Freedom of Religion or Belief - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:14 pm on 16 April 2024.

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Photo of Lord Purvis of Tweed Lord Purvis of Tweed Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 3:14, 16 April 2024

My Lords, the democratic elections in India are a positive for the whole world and are to be commended to the Indian authorities. But all too often there has been harassment and intimidation by the Indian Government when there has been reporting of human rights concerns, as well as freedom of religion concerns, including the necessity for the BBC uniquely to restructure in India so that it is no longer operating there like it operates in any other country. Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that we are not offering market access to India for media, data and telecoms on an unequal basis? The freedoms that we should enjoy in this country when it comes to the BBC and open media to report human rights concerns should exist in India also. We should not give preferential market access here when we are not offered it there.