U.S. Commission Says Modi Regime Is Attacking Religious Minorities
The witnesses in the hearing discussed the Modi government’s legal framework and enforcement of discriminatory policies.
By Rakesh Raman
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has said that prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s government has blatantly attacked the religious minorities in India during the past decade of Modi’s rule.
In a legal hearing held on September 20, 2023, USCIRF observed that the Modi government has enacted and enforced discriminatory policies targeting religious minorities, including anti-conversion laws, cow slaughter laws, legislation granting citizenship preferences based on religion, and restrictions on foreign funding for civil society organizations.
According to USCIRF, recent trends include the eruption of violence between Hindus and Muslims in Haryana in July and targeted attacks against Christian and Jewish minorities in Manipur, highlighting the need for new strategies to mitigate violence against religious minorities in India.
Since 2020, USCIRF has recommended that the U.S. Department of State designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.
The witnesses in the hearing discussed the Modi government’s legal framework and enforcement of discriminatory policies, explained current religious freedom conditions, and offered policy options for the United States to work with India to combat abuses of religious freedom and related human rights in the country.
In his written testimony during the USCIRF hearing, Fernand de Varennes, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, said that the human rights situation in India is “massive, systematic and dangerous.”
“Human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists, face harassment, surveillance or even detention under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have also been targeted and in some cases closed under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA),” Fernand de Varennes said.
He added that India risks becoming one of the world’s main generators of instability, atrocities and violence, because of the massive scale and gravity of the violations and abuses targeting mainly religious and other minorities such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others. “It is not just individual or local, it is systematic and a reflection of religious nationalism,” Fernand de Varennes said.
In 2022, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had also introduced a resolution to condemn human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities.
The resolution calls on the Secretary of State to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act, which has been recommended by the independent, bipartisan USCIRF for the past three years.
In July 2023, I sent an email to the U.S. Department of State to know – among other issues – the status of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s resolution (H. RES. 1196). In its response, the State Department said, “We have nothing to offer on this.”
Actually, the U.S. President Joe Biden who is facing an impeachment inquiry is so corrupt that he does not want to take any action against Modi because it appears that he colludes with Modi in dubious trade deals.
Despite numerous world reports and the observations by his own administration, Biden has provided impunity to Modi for his repeated human rights violations and dictatorial actions.
Since Modi is squandering billions of dollars of public money to buy redundant defence equipment and other products which are not required in India from foreign countries including the U.S., the dishonest world leaders condone Modi’s hostile actions. In other words, Modi uses Indian people’s money to virtually bribe the leaders like Biden to buy their silence on his criminality.
Today, nearly 1.4 billion Indians are suffering under the Modi regime with unprecedented poverty, corruption, inflation, unemployment, lawlessness, and religious animosity. But the corrupt world leaders are using Modi to loot Indian money.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He has also been publishing The Unrest news magazine that covers economic and political upheavals in the world.
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