Hindu nationalism ‘eroding’ India’s secular nature: US Congressional report

Hindu nationalism has been a rising political force in India in recent decades, “eroding” its secular nature, a US Congressional report has said, asserting that social media platforms provide “both tacit and overt sanction” for rising incidents of “majoritarian violence” in the country.

Sep 15, 2018


Washington: Hindu nationalism has been a rising political force in India in recent decades, “eroding” its secular nature, a US Congressional report has said, asserting that social media platforms provide “both tacit and overt sanction” for rising incidents of “majoritarian violence” in the country.
In its report, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) – an independent and bi-partisan research wing of US Congress – mentioned specific areas of alleged religiously-motivated repression and violence, including state-level anti-conversion laws, cow protection vigilantism and perceived assaults on freedom of expression and operations by non-governmental organisations that are seen as harmful to India’s secular traditions.
The CRS’ reports are neither an official report of the US Congress nor reflect the view of Congressmen. They are prepared by independent experts for the lawmakers to take informed decisions.
The report titled ‘India: Religious Freedom issues’, said, “Religious freedom is explicitly protected under its Constitution. Hindus account for a vast majority (nearly four-fifths) of the country’s populace. Hindu nationalism has been a rising political force in recent decades, by many accounts eroding India’s secular nature and leading to new assaults on the country’s religious freedom.”
Authored by South Asian Specialist Alan Kronstadt, the report was prepared for members of the US Congress ahead of the Indo-US 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on September 6. Several lawmakers had urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to raise the issue of religious freedom with Indian leaders during the 2+2 talks.

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