Washington DC, Dec 9 : The exclusion of India, as a Country of Particular Concern, in the State Department’s release is a grave disappointment. It is also a gross misread by the State Department of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s intentions and actions in taking India towards a fascist majoritarian country, said a press statement issued by Justice For All, a US based advocacy group.
‘The designation of India would not be a punitive measure but a corrective one. Our work on genocide for over twenty years frames Justice For All’s concerns. The trajectory and speed is increasing, it added.
Country of Particular Concern” is a designation by the Secretary of State of a nation engaged in severe violations of religious freedom under US law. such as systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom, including violations such as torture, degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, abduction or clandestine detention, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons. India fmeets all these criteria.
Zahir Adil, leader of the Save India From Fascism project, said “Just as racial issues are a systemic problem in the United States, religious persecution and suppression is a systemic issue in India, brought to the forefront by the Modi government. This elevation of religious majoritarianism costs lives for the Muslims, Christians and Hindu lower castes. Perhaps the Secretary of State missed that detail.”
The CPC designation would be a serious nudge in bringing India back to the center of pluralism, back to the defining principles in the Indian constitution. India has seen a sharp rise in attacks ever since Prime Minister Modi came to power.
“It was disheartening that the Indian government refused to acknowledge USCIRF concerns on religious persecution in India, but it is outrageous for the United States State Department to reject this bi-partisan commission’s recommendation to designate India a country of particular concern. Why is the State Department afraid of India? Why it is tolerating the lynching of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits?” stated Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid.
Recently, Islamophobia has been institutionalized in the laws related to what is incorrectly termed as love-jihad. In addition to religious persecution, currently farmers in India are also under the yoke of various legislations that would give corporations more latitude in low-balling grain prices from producers, but allowing extended storage to corporations and middle-men, which may lead to high prices for the consumer.
The arrest of activists Faisal Khan, Father Stan Swamy, student leaders and anyone raising their voices against oppression are the tip of the iceberg. Justice For All continues to call on the U.S. government to use all channels to stop India from becoming another China.