In response to an article by Mr. Jonatan Alfven from Aftonbladet on May 21, Ambassador has sent the following letter to the writer of the article

In response to an article by Mr. Jonatan Alfven from Aftonbladet on May 21, Ambassador has sent the following letter to the writer of the article

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From the desk of the Ambassador of India to Sweden & Latvia

Dear Mr Alfven,

I have read your article in the Aftonbladet of May 21. I feel really sorry that the Indian festival Namaste Stockholm seems to have provoked you to write this article. The Indian greeting 'Namaste' is meant to show mutual respect and the purpose of the festival Namaste Stockholm was to strengthen mutual awareness respect between the peoples of India and Sweden.

You have focussed on a very serious problem which India and many other countries in the world face. However, with all due respect, I would like to say that Indians are not monsters who do not care what happens to their children. Certainly, there are  many challenges that we face, often stemming  from the poverty that we are determined to eliminate but it is somewhat unfair to  imply that the people and government simply do not care  about the exploitation of children or girls for sex slavery. The Government of India takes its responsibilities under the many International agreements on the subject very seriously and I could give you more facts in this regard if you are interested.

I would also like to tell you that I was present at the meeting between Prime Minister Lofven and the Indian Prime Minister in Mumbai in February 2016.  As two responsible leaders of committed democracies, they discussed the importance of gender equality, respect for women's and girls' rights, and empowerment of women and girls in all spheres of life and agreed on the need to continue and step up efforts to ensure these basic human rights. Among other things, my Prime Minister told Prime Minister Lofven about the programme that the government has launched called 'Educate a Girl Child, Save a Girl Child' which is meant to ensure that all girl children get educated. However, no specific issue or organization related to 'sex slavery' was mentioned by Prime Minister Lofven. Therefore, the raid that you mention in your article must have been taken by Indian authorities based on information received.

I would, therefore, like to request you to share any further specific details that you may have so that the Indian authorities can take immediate action to find and punish the criminals. In case it would interest you I would be happy to see you for a meeting.