Oppressed minorities


India’s brutal actions against minorities are causing dissent voices and raising questions in the international community about its claim as a secular country. In the particular case of illegal Indian-occupied Kashmir and Khalistan, India has committed grave human rights violations killing thousands. India has been avoiding the right of plebiscite according to the United Nations resolution. More than 0.9 million uniformed force is used to suppress their voice. Use of chemical weapons, pellet guns, illegal detention, extrajudicial killings, rape, and lock down altogether has not been able to suppress the struggle.
To cap it, in the RSS-controlled and BJP-led India, political and socioeconomic space is being systematically curtailed for the minorities. It is indeed a herculean task to demand one’s constitutional rights in the Indian states where RSS-BJP is ruling the roost. India claims itself to be the largest secular country but does not justify it because religious minorities and dissenting voices are being suppressed resulting in grave human rights violations.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the biggest advocate of Hindutva ideology and is highly critical of secular policies such as freedom of expression, and the right to freedom of religion and practices for the last eight years. This approach towards Hindu nationalist policies are resulting in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom which negatively impact non-Hindu religious communities including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and Adivasis.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had also been criticized in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) World Report 2022 which pointed out that BJP-led government adopted laws and policies that discriminated against religious minorities, especially Muslims. This, coupled with the vilification of Muslims by some BJP leaders and police failed to take action against BJP supporters who commit violence, emboldened Hindu nationalist groups to attack Muslims and government critics with impunity.
Even, the Indian government cracked down on activists, journalists, peaceful protesters, and even poets who were raising voices against this injustice. The recent controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) combined with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) provided a pathway to citizenship for non-Muslims but has no remedy for Muslims caught up in NRC processes. Those who were unable to prove their citizenship through documentation are subject to statelessness, deportation, and even detention.
Nationwide protests were witnessed against this cruel law but the Modi-led government suppressed these voices by use of force violating basic human rights. The 2021 annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended India be placed on a religious freedom blacklist.
However, during Modi’s regime minorities were suppressed expeditiously and due to this political trend, India is moving towards its disintegration and instability, for instance, in Khalistan’s movement. Furthermore, as far as the rights of the people of Kashmir, hundreds of people remained detained without charge in Jammu and Kashmir under the draconian Public Safety Act, which permits detention without trial for up to two years.
Similarly, BJP is linking the basic demands of Indian nationals including Sikhs as agenda of separation, such as Hundreds of thousands of farmers, many of them from the minority Sikh community, protesting amendments to farm laws since November 2020, was accused by BJP leaders and pro-government media of having a separatist agenda. For instance, according to Indian media, BJP alleged that the Khalistani agenda is being propagated under the garb of the Punjab farmers’ agitation.
While in February 2021, Prime Minister Modi described people participating in various peaceful protests as parasites.