FIACONA WELCOMES THE USCIRF REPORT ON INDIA.
April 25, 2022, Washington DC. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations applauds the designation of India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for the 3rd consecutive year in its 2022 Report released today.
India has been going through tumultuous upheavals caused by the rise of Hindu nationalism in recent years. The formation of a Union (Federal) government by Hindu nationalists in 2014 and their re-election in 2019 under Mr. Narendra Modi has seriously jeopardized the foundational framework for a functioning democracy in India.
2021 has been the most violent year on record for the Christians in India. The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has documented an unprecedented 761 violent acts against Christians[i] in India by the groups directly affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Modi government.
The attacks against other religious minorities in India have also gone up several-fold in the last 7 years. These attacks are motivated in part by the perceived protection provided for the attackers by the government officials. The Modi government has maintained an eerie silence against such attacks giving the impression that the government tacitly supports such attacks.
While we are appreciative of the USCIRF 2022 Report on India, we are disappointed that the leaders and entities responsible for the worsening situation are “protected” in this report by not naming them.
FIACONA has called for sanctions against non-state actors like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal, and other such entities who are part of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP party, under the provisions of the Global Magnitsky Act.
Lately, India has been on a downward spiral mode in all democracy indicators. The United States has failed to recognize similar developments in Myanmar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, causing severe damage to America’s national security interests in that region in recent times.
So, FIACONA strongly recommends that the President and the US Administration accept the USCIRF recommendations and name India as a Country of Particular Concern while we could still help protect American interests in that region for the long term. This could also go a long way in helping the Union of India remain a functioning liberal democracy with respect for all religious and linguistic minorities.
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