India: A Failed State – GNP


India: A Failed State
Adeel Mukhtar

In 2019, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was satisfied by significant advancement in religious freedom in numerous countries. As indicated by the latest USCIRF report, however, India took a sharp descending turn in 2019. The national government utilized its majority parliament to initiate national-level strategies disregarding basic human rights across India, particularly for Muslims. Most strikingly, it instituted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which gives a most optimized plan of attack to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim transients from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan previously dwelling in India. The national and different state governments additionally permitted across the nation crusades of badgering and brutality against strict minorities to proceed without risk of punishment.

That is why USCIRF has advised that India should be blacklisted over neglecting religious freedom of minorities under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is no possibility that the U.S. will follow its lead on India, an undeniably close partner. In the yearly report, the bipartisan board said that India should be put in the list of "nations of specific concern” until they don’t improve the situation of religious freedom in the country. “In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault,” according to the report. It approached the U.S. to force corrective measures, including visa bans, on Indian authorities in order to make them international human rights standards.

As per the Commission’s comments, Modi led extremist government, ” allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence”. It also highlighted remarks by the Indian Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah, who alluded Muslims as "termites”. It likewise featured the denial of the self-rule of the people of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The Indian government, which has for some time been disturbed by the commission’s remarks, immediately dismissed the report. “It’s biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this new occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels,” said foreign ministry spokesman, Anurag Srivastava, adding that “We regard it as an organization of particular concern and will treat it accordingly.”

Be that as it may, India has dismissed the discoveries of USCIRF, which has named it as a "nation of specific worry”, since the Hindu patriot Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was reappointed. The Indian government regarded the report as "one-sided” and "another degree of distortion”. In its key discoveries, the USCIRF report says that following the monstrous triumph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP in 2019, ” the national government used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national level policies violating religious freedom across India, especially for Muslims.” It additionally made notice to India’s questionable Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), including that ” Home Minister Amit Shah referred to migrants as "termites” to be eradicated.”

The Vice Chairman of the Religious Freedom Watchdog Nadine Maenza said that the CAA "potentially exposes millions of Muslims to detention, deportation, and statelessness when the government completes its planned nationwide National Register of Citizens.” “We reject the observations on India in the USCIRF annual report. Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new,” said Anurag Srivastava. "On this occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels. We regard it as an organisation of particular concern and will treat it accordingly.”

As far as recommendation by the Commission are concerned, it “targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious rights.” Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee said ” India does not belong to the same category as authoritarian regimes like China and North Korea. India is the largest democratic nation in the world, where the CAA has been challenged openly by the opposition Congress Party and law makers, civil society, and various groups.” The Indian American Muslim Council appreciated the report. In an announcement, it stated, "As a part of the Indian diaspora that only wishes well for the country of our birth, we view international criticism of India’s religious freedom record as distressing but painfully necessary, given the escalating level of persecution of minorities.” It further added in the month of March that, "along with its partners, International Christian Concern (ICC) and Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), it had written to USCIRF urging it to bring India into its list of the worst offenders of religious freedom violations in the world.”

Adeel Mukhtar

April 30, 2020