The US commission on international religious freedom recommends but does not set policy, and there is virtually no chance the state department will follow its lead on India, an increasingly close US ally. In an annual report, the bipartisan panel said that India should join the ranks of “countries of particular concern” that would be subject to sanctions if they do not improve their records.
“In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault,” the report said.The Guardian
The commission said that Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, which won a convincing election victory last year, “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 pointed to comments by the home minister, Amit Shah, who referred to mostly Muslim migrants as “termites”, and to a citizenship law that has triggered nationwide protests. It also highlighted the revocation of the autonomy of Kashmir, which was India’s only Muslim-majority state, and allegations that Delhi police turned a blind eye to mobs who attacked Muslim neighborhoods in February this year.
Also read: Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan dies at 54