The US Commission has recommended that India be blacklisted for the second year in a row for the worst treatment of minorities and violations of religious freedom.
According to the International News Agency, the Indian government had expressed outrage over the US Commission’s recommendation regarding India on religious freedom last year and it is unlikely that the US State Department will change its stance. India is expected to condemn again.
The Commission gives its recommendations but does not formulate US policy, and its new annual report states that India has continued to have a negative attitude towards religious freedom.
The report said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government promoted Hindu nationalist policies, which resulted in systematic violations of religious freedom.
It also pointed to allegations of police involvement in violence against Muslims during the deadly riots in New Delhi last year and continued to express concerns over the Modi-administered citizenship law, which critics say has been used against Muslims declared non-Indian.
According to the report, the Indian government is suppressing dissenting voices and has also expressed concern over the increase in restrictions on interfaith marriages across the country, including in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state.
The commission recommended that the State Department designate India as a ‘special protection country’ and blacklist it. The list also includes Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China.
Other countries on the State Department’s blacklist include Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and could face sanctions if they do not improve.
Johnnie Moore, a commissioner appointed by former President Donald Trump, disagreed with the recommendations regarding India.
In his statement, Moore said that India is the largest democracy in the world whose constitution guarantees religious freedom.
He said that out of all the countries in the world, India should not be called a ‘country with special reservations’. Their religious freedom is the greatest historical blessing.
The commission asked the State Department to blacklist India as well as Russia, Syria and Vietnam.