Interfaith groups urge US govt to designate India ‘country of particular concern’

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Expressing their concern over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s advocation of Hindutva, thirty interfaith organizations in the United States last week moved the US Department of State to designate India as a country of ‘particular concern.

The resolution put forth by the organizations claims that the Indian government led by the BJP is promoting policies adhering to a Hindu nationalist agenda which in turn resulting is oppressing the religious freedoms and persecution of religious minorities, especially members of the Muslim faith.

The accusation against the Indian government is one of curbing dissent and curbing voices of “others speaking out against their violations.”

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The resolution chiefly mentioned the nationwide protests in response to Citizenship Amendment Act which led to violence in North East Delhi in early 2020, popularly known as the Delhi riots that targeted a huge population of Muslims.

It claims that the government on one hand is curbing press freedoms through “harassment, physical force and other means” and using social media to spread disinformation. The resolution also talks about the constitutional right of religious freedom being limited by the recent anti-conversion laws passed by various state governments.

The organisations in question believe that India is moving towards violating religious freedoms, civil and human right, and promoting intimidation of minorities especially the Muslim community that has been subject to violence over the past few years.

The organisations asked the State department of US to take the resolution to the United States administration and compel them to issue a bold statement against the BJP-RSS Hindutva ideology that is dominant in India today. The United States and President Biden have kept silent about the situation in India to preserve bilateral relations which is detrimental to the plight of the minorities in India.

Thirty organisations have already signed the resolution and more are likely to join, the speaker reading the resolution mentioned. The signatories include Action Alliance to Redress 1219, Ambedkar International Center, American Muslim Institution, Association of Indian Muslims of America, Cambodian Development Foundation, Center for Pluralism, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, Coalition Against Fascism in India, Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans, Council on American Islamic Relations among others.