Rising Hindu nationalism 'eroding' India's secular nature: US Congressional report

The CRS' reports are neither an official report of the US Congress nor reflect the view of Congressmen. They are prepared by independent experts for the lawmakers to take informed decisions.

Published: 14th September 2018 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2018 06:58 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

WASHINGTON: Hindu nationalism has been a rising political force in India in recent decades, "eroding" its secular nature, a US Congressional report has claimed, as it warned that social media platforms provide "both tacit and overt sanction" for rising incidents of "majoritarian violence" in the country.

In its report, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) -- an independent and bi-partisan research wing of US Congress -- mentioned specific areas of alleged religiously-motivated repression and violence, including state-level anti-conversion laws, cow protection vigilantism and perceived assaults on freedom of expression and operations by non-governmental organisations that are seen as harmful to India's secular traditions.

The CRS' reports are neither an official report of the US Congress nor reflect the view of Congressmen.

They are prepared by independent experts for the lawmakers to take informed decisions.

The report titled 'India: Religious Freedom issues', said, "Religious freedom is explicitly protected under its Constitution. Hindus account for a vast majority (nearly four-fifths) of the country's populace. Hindu nationalism has been a rising political force in recent decades, by many accounts eroding India's secular nature and leading to new assaults on the country's religious freedom."

A copy of the report dated August 30 was made available to PTI on Thursday.

Authored by South Asian Specialist Alan Kronstadt, the report was prepared for members of the US Congress ahead of the Indo-US 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on September 6.

Several lawmakers had urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to raise the issue of religious freedom with Indian leaders during the 2+2 talks.

Running into more than 20 pages, the report warned that India's social media platforms provide “both tacit and overt sanction for rising incidents of majoritarian violence in the country.

The report said the 2014 national election victory of the BJP brought newly-acute attention to the issue of religious freedom in India.

The BJP has since gone on to win control of numerous state governments, including in Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state with more than 200 million residents, one-fifth of them Muslim, it said.

The CRS report said perceived "abuses" have produced friction in the US-India relationship, including within the US Congress.

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Comments(7)

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  • Mashal Nasrin

    Hinduizm must be banned worldwide as it has three principles which are non-secular: Dar al-Harb
    8 days ago reply
  • Dominic Antony

    Partially correct report. As erosion caused by floods in Erode district of Kerala - due to torture of youth leaders and hacking to death with machete and knife is part of the problem.
    11 days ago reply
  • badri narayanan poondi

    The real concern of the members who had prepared the 'alert report' for the Congress is NOT the concern for secularism or freedom of expression
    11 days ago reply
  • Proud NRI

    What about rising christian (conservative) nationalism in US that happens under republican governments in US? They are probably Ok with it as they are all Christians...
    11 days ago reply
  • Vijay Venkataraman

    Go tell these stories to Hungary and Polland in EU. Go tell these stories in Saudi and other muslim nation. What did US do when Trump came to power? Indians know the truth.
    11 days ago reply
  • neem

    India has more religious freedom than anyother country in the world.In fact Majority population in India now asserting their religious belief
    11 days ago reply
  • Kane

    Time US got its own house ready. Heard some of the racist
    11 days ago reply