Alert: India – Urge EU to act as recent LSE report issued stark warnings about India’s Muslims and Christian minorities

Relatives mourn Mohammad Mudasir, 31, killed in rioting in Delhi. Photograph Credit: Manish Swarup/AP

An alarming report warns that Muslims and Christians living in India face an “imminent existential threat” from PM Narendra Modi’s ultra-nationalist policies.

Summary

Background

Action required

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Summary

London School of Economics’ recent report entitled “Destructive Lies-Violence & Discrimination Against Minorities in India” has issued stark warnings about India’s Muslims and Christian minorities. The report, commissioned by Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog that urges the US administration to immediately organise an international fact-finding mission to investigate the acts of violence and other human rights violations against religious minorities in India.

The report highlighted that Ajay Bisht, an Indian Hindu monk and politician serving as the 22nd and current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has significantly influenced the BJP leaders in “incendiary and discriminatory politics” and religious vigilantism against minorities, especially Muslims.

The report states that the state governments have passed laws creating a false pretext for arresting Muslims under “love jihad” slogans. At the same time, charges are filed against Christians for converting Hindus or claiming state benefits.

The report warns about the complete isolation of religious minorities in India: “Overall, the complete abandonment of religious minorities by both their elected representatives as well as the government machinery has left them with an overwhelming sense of isolation since they are already living in oppressive social conditions, surrounded by a culture of majoritarianism.”

Background

As IHRC has been documenting, there have been alarming signs that religious minorities of India, especially Muslims, are facing an “imminent and existential threat” from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ultra-nationalist policies.

The most recent LSE report cites dozens of specific examples of bullying, harassment, violence and perversion of justice against Christians and Muslims. The report begins with the fact that incidents of collective and individual discrimination, violence, and atrocity against Muslims and Christians in India continue to rise, particularly in rural areas and against Dalit and Adivasi groups, and the atmosphere is one of “terror and existential threat.” Some of these including:

  • A collusion of local law enforcement with lynch-mobs from the Hindu community
  • Use of legal means to threaten or arrest Christian and Muslim victims/survivors of Hindu mob attacks
  • Demands that evidence of attacks be provided by the victims/ survivors even when the attackers have filmed the entire sequence and/or uploaded it to social media
  • Refusal by police and law enforcement to arrest or deter mobs from physically intimidating and violating the property and persons of Christians and Muslims
  • Arson against places of worship for Christians; arson against the possessions – for instance, books and religious texts – of Christians and Muslims
  • Intimidation and death threats against Christian and Muslim victims of Hindutva violence to prevent them from seeking justice

These findings concur with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament’s report. On April 13, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament adopted a report which raised concern regarding India’s human rights violations in general and anti-Muslim policies, including India’s Citizenship Amendment Act. The report “voices alarm regarding India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is fundamentally discriminatory in nature against Muslims and dangerously divisive.”

The report echoed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and several UN Special Rapporteurs’ comments on India’s deteriorating human rights situation. It also included “reports that human rights defenders and journalists in the country lack a safe working environment. There are also concerns about the difficult situation faced by Indian women and minority groups, caste-based discrimination, as well as the closure of Amnesty International’s India offices after its bank accounts were frozen over an alleged violation of India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a law three UN Special rapporteurs have asked to be amended.”

India has been gripped by anti-Muslim violence following the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act. The new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed at the end of 2019, has made religion the primary criteria for acquiring Indian citizenship. The Act assures refuge to persecuted religious minorities, except Muslims, from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This Act, read in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), is discriminatory and dangerous. The discriminatory policies adopted by the Indian government would inevitably lead to further escalation of the religious tension in India.

Action required

  1. Write to the Members of the European Parliament to urge them to take swift action against the Indian government and initiate an international effort to conduct a fact-finding mission.
  2. Forward any responses you receive to us on info@ihrc.org so we can develop this campaign further.
  3. Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign.
  4. Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation for decades, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases. 

Model template

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

Dear [Name of the MEP], Member of the European Parliament,

Re: Recent LSE report on shocking human rights violations against Muslims and Christians in India.

I am writing to bring your attention to the London School of Economics’ recent report entitled “Destructive Lies-Violence & Discrimination Against Minorities in India” has issued stark warnings about the Muslims and Christian minorities of India.

The report cites dozens of specific examples of bullying, harassment, violence and perversion of justice against Christians and Muslims. The report begins with the fact that incidents of collective and individual discrimination, violence, and atrocity against Muslims and Christians in India continue to rise, particularly in rural areas, and against Dalit and Adivasi groups, and the atmosphere is one of “terror and existential threat.” Some of these including:

  • A collusion of local law enforcement with lynch-mobs from the Hindu community
  • Use of legal means to threaten or arrest Christian and Muslim victims/survivors of Hindu mob attacks
  • Demands that evidence of attacks be provided by the victims/ survivors even when the attackers have filmed the entire sequence and/or uploaded it to social media
  • Refusal by police and law enforcement to arrest or deter mobs from physically intimidating and violating the property and persons of Christians and Muslims
  • Arson against places of worship for Christians; arson against the possessions for instance, books and religious texts – of Christians and Muslims
  • Intimidation and death threats against Christian and Muslim victims of Hindutva violence to prevent them from seeking justice

These findings concur with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament’s report. On April 13, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament adopted a report which raised concern regarding India’s human rights violations in general and anti-Muslim policies, including India’s Citizenship Amendment Act. The report “voices alarm regarding India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is fundamentally discriminatory in nature against Muslims and dangerously divisive.”

I, therefore, urge your office to take swift action against the Indian government and initiate an international effort to conduct a fact-finding mission.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

Recipient email address

The country list of Members of the European Parliaments can be found on this European Parliament website: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/home