The UNCIRF Annual Report 2020; Downgrading of Modi’s Saffron India
As they say, this world is an ironic place for it makes one fall in the ditch one has dug for someone else. This is what has happened with India. Amid her efforts of downgrading Pakistan, she herself has fallen in the same pit. Sowing the seeds of world shame for her neighbor, she now has to reap the outcomes of her on malicious efforts. Finally, the expanding saffron color in her flag and the saffron turbans of the Hindutva factions have become evident enough to get some global limelight. From hardening life on the Muslims of IOK to stripping off the nationality of the Muslims of Assam and from calling them termites to killing them brutally on the streets of Delhi, India has made a record of persecuting minorities and being involved in state sponsored terrorism. Year 2020 doesn’t seem much different from that of 2004, for both these years have one thing in common; Mr. Narendra Modi, the face of the anti-minority Hindutva factions.
India had been declared the Country of Particular Concern in 2004 owing to the 2002 riots when Modi was the CM of Gujarat and he was then banned from entering in to the US. This time again, Modi’s India has been recommended to be on the list of countries abusing minorities’ rights. The UNCIRF -US Commission for International Religious Freedom- in its annual report of 2020 has recommended the US government to declare India as the Country of Particular Concern. It is clearly stated in the report, “In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault.”
“Perhaps the steepest, and most alarming, deterioration in religious freedom conditions was in India, the largest democracy in the world.” (Nadine Maenza USCIRF Vice Chair)
Furthermore, USCIRF held BJP led Indian government as the hand behind the anti-minority posture of the biggest democracy and mentioned that, “Following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) re-election in May, the national government used its strengthened parliamentary majority to institute national level policies violating religious freedom across India, especially for Muslims. The national 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.” This statement doesn’t appear astonishing to the world, for the world has already seen the saffron spade slitting the throats of minorities since 2002 in general but since Aug 2019 in particular. On the other hand USCIRF Commissioner has appreciated Pakistan’s effort in these words, “One of the things that has been important for us with Pakistan is that the government has been willing to engage in dialogue about how Religious Freedom concerns can be addressed."
From NRC to CAA and then killing Muslims in February riots to blaming them for the outbreak of Corona Virus, India has topped the list of the states coming really hard on minorities.
Some key observations of the UNCIRF reports were related to the BJP’s re-election as one of the determinants of the deceleration of the religious freedom. Moreover, the report also mentioned the acts of structural and cultural violence against the minorities allowed by the state. Not only this, but it also explains the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019 and its grave fallouts on the Muslim minority. Additionally, the report of US based federal commission highlighted Amit Shah’s xenophobic attitude towards migrants by calling them termites and BJP’s UP CM Yogi Adityanad’s promise to take the revenge from the anti CAA protestors. It has also shed some light on the fact that nearly 25 people died during anti-CAA protests in UP alone and somewhat 50 got killed during the three days riots in Delhi where police also danced at the Hindutva tunes. The violence against Christians has also been observed and it has been noted that 328 cases of violence against Christians have occurred in India. Furthermore, USCIRF Vice Chair Nadine Maenza stated, “Perhaps the steepest, and most alarming, deterioration in religious freedom conditions was in India, the largest democracy in the world.”
All these aforementioned facts appear to be in sheer violation of not only the US International Freedom Act 1998 but also the article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. It appears that Nehruvian principles have been buried down under the saffron mud and the once multi-colored land of India has lost all the colors but one; SAFFRON.