CHANDIGARH: “The rise of nationalist Hindutva ideology which defines ‘Indian’ as exclusively Hindu is leading to increased religious oppression and attacks against minorities,” states the report of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) of United Kingdom.
The report — titled ‘Commentary on the current state of Freedom of Religion or Belief’ — in its chapter on India, states, “Intercommunal violence has always been a reality in India. However, the rise of nationalist Hindutva ideology which defines ‘Indian’ as exclusively Hindu is leading to increased religious oppression.”
“Further, while the Constitution declares India to be a secular country, twenty one states have custodial sentences for slaughtering the Hindu sacred animal in Gujarat the sentence for illegal slaughter of cows has been increased from seven years to life imprisonment,” it adds.
The report states that anti-conversion laws in seven states are also used to threaten Muslims and Christians.
“PM (Narendra) Modi has, finally, condemned mob violence against minorities, but his government has remained largely inactive in proactively tackling spiralling religiously motivated violence. This is particularly worrying as it is reported that some members of the BJP have close affiliations to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh…,” it states.
“Sikhs have both historic and current issues affecting their religious freedoms and equality as a minority community... The most recent traumatic events are the wide-scale systematic and deliberate killing of an estimated 30,000 Sikhs (most burnt alive) in November 1984 in 18 states… The ten years following the 1984 genocides saw over 250,000 Sikhs illegally detained, tortured, disappeared and killed in extra judicial killings and fake encounters by the Punjab Police,” the report states.