USCIRF: In India religious freedom conditions continued ‘downward trend’ in 2017

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A US federal government appointed commission has alleged said, religious freedom conditions continued a “downward trend” in India last year as Hindu-nationalist groups sought to “saffronise” it through violence, intimidation, and harassment of non-Hindus and Hindu Dalit.

The US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its latest report has placed India in the Tier 2 countries of particular concern along with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq,  ..

The USCIRF said, ”conditions for religious minorities have deteriorated over the last decade due to a multifaceted campaign by Hindu-nationalist groups like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS), Sangh Parivar, and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) to alienate non-Hindus or lower-caste Hindus.”

The victims of this campaign include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, as well as Dalit Hindus, who belong to the lowest rung in the Hindu caste system, the USCIRF said in its latest annual ..

It said, ”these groups face challenges ranging from acts of violence or intimidation, to the loss of political power, to increasing feelings of disenfranchisement and otherness.”

“India’s history as a multicultural and multireligious society remained threatened by an increasingly exclusionary conception of national identity based on religion. During the year, Hindu-nationalist groups sought to ‘saffronise’ India through violence, intimidation, and harassment against non-Hindus and Hindu Dalits,” it said.

Source: News18

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