India promotes the values of inclusion and tolerance, and does not need “selective outrage” from outsiders, the country’s top representative at the United Nations said on Saturday.

TS Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at a high-level event to discuss the role of education in countering hate speech. The event took place to mark the International Day on Countering Hate Speech.

His statement came in the backdrop of a large number of Muslim-majority countries criticising India for derogatory comments made by Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons about Prophet Muhammad.

Tirumurti on Saturday said that India’s multicultural edifice has historically made it a haven for those seeking refuge, including Jews, Zoroastrians and Tibetans.

“It is with this sense of history that India has continued to play a defining role to combat radicalisation and terrorism, and promote tolerance and inclusion,” he said. “Aberrations are dealt with within our legal framework and we do not need selective outrage from outsiders, especially when they are self-serving, even communal in nature, and pursuing a divisive agenda.”

The envoy added that “combating religio-phobia” cannot be a selective exercise and should apply equally to phobias against non-Abrahamic religions as well. “Till this is done, such international days will never achieve their objectives,” he said. Tirumurti added that there cannot be double standards concerning phobias against religious communities.

“India has been the greatest victim of terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism,” Tirumurti said. “We call on countries to develop an education system that truly contributes to combating them while promoting the principles of pluralism and democracy.”

Earlier this year, India had expressed concern about a United Nations resolution that proclaimed March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, PTI reported.

Tirumurti had at that time questioned why phobia against one religion was being “elevated to the level of an international day” to the exclusion of all others.

“In fact, there is clear evidence that over decades such religiophobias have, in fact, affected the followers of non-Abrahamic religions as well,” he had said. “This has contributed to the emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias.”