By Muslim Mirror Web Desk
Washington (DC), April 30 : Religious freedom in India, especially for Muslim, Christian and Dalit minorities has deteriorated sharply in the last one year as India’s BJP government has allowed particularly serious campaigns of harassment and violence against them and police has declined to protect them. This is the conclusion of the US State Department’s Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for 2020. Based on that, the USCIRF has designated India as a ‘ country of particular concern’ along with 8 other countries where religious minorities face substantial persecution.
In addition to the ongoing organized violence against the minorities, especially Muslims, USCIRF quoted the recently promulgated Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC), that are likely to render a large number of Indian Muslims stateless by taking away their citizenship and either deporting them or putting them in concentration camps. USCIRF has recommended to the US State Department that the US government take action including sanctions against India and the leaders involved in such practices, to make them backtrack and ensure real protection and equal rights for the religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Kaleem Kawaja, Executive Director of Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM), Washington DC, said that this action of USCIRF puts India in the worst category of countries that it deems as serious violators of rights of religious minorities. Such negative labeling by US could conceivably result in US sanctions against India and significant reduction in Foreign Direct Investment in India from large multinational corporations with serious economic consequences. Obviously this is bad news for India which is suffering from much downturn of economy in the last few years and is trying hard to become a modern industrialized country.
Kawaja said that this situation is a cause for much alarm for all Indians and expatriate Indians who have been hoping for the resurgence of India. He hoped that India’s BJP government will learn a lesson from this harsh judgement and take strong and effective steps to stop organized violence and much discrimination in various walks of life in the next one year, so that the USCIRF annual report in 2021 removes this atrocious label, which may allow foreign capital investment in India.