A US government panel has asked authorities to place India on the religious freedom blacklist amidst Prime Minister Modi’s inhuman tactics against the Muslim and other minority groups in India.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its annual report has placed India on the countries of ‘Particular Concern’ in the manner of religious freedom after significant research made in this account. It is funded by an independent arbiter to look at the religious freedom record of nations without considering their relations with the USA.
The report is primarily based on the recent citizenship curbs imposed by the Indian government on Muslims in Assam which the USA had previously termed as ‘fundamentally discriminatory’.
In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault.
The commission highlighted that after a convincing win in election 2019, Modi’s government allowed violence against minorities and worship places (mosques and churches) were attacked.
It mentions comments of the home minister, Amit Shah, who called Muslims migrants as “termites”, and to a citizenship law that has triggered nationwide protests.
The report also noted the annexation of Occupied Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and how Delhi police turned a blind eye to mobs attacking Muslim populated areas in February this year.
It suggests placing a ban on India if it does not improve its record. It calls for punitive measures including visa bans on Indian officials believed responsible and increasing funding of civil society groups that monitor hate speech.
However, the USA is not likely to take any action against the country on the base of this report as the bipartisan panel does not set policy in the State Department. Nonetheless, the report has earned sharp criticism from New Delhi.
The Indian government, which has always denied commissions comments, was quick to reject the report this time as well.
“It’s biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this new occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels,” a foreign ministry spokesman, Anurag Srivastava said.