US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has submitted a resolution to the House of Representatives seeking the denomination of India as a ‘country of particular concern’ in light of the atrocities being committed against minorities in the country as right-wing Hindu-nationalism rises.
The resolution was co-sponsored by lawmakers Rashida Talib and Juan Vargas. It called on Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to designate India as a country of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
Additionally, it said that the House of Representatives condemns human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities.
The resolution also expressed grave concern about the worsening treatment of religious minorities in India.
The resolution was based on the findings of a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
The USCIRF report stated, “The government continued to systemize its ideological vision of a Hindu state at both the national and state levels through the use of both existing and new laws and structural changes hostile to the country’s religious minorities.”
The resolution also said that the report outlined emblematic cases of the Indian Government’s repression of religious minority leaders and voices for religious pluralism in India, citing the cases of Jesuit human rights defender Father Stan Swamy and Muslim human rights advocate Khurram Parvez as examples.
Furthermore, it said that the report lists numerous examples of the Indian Government criminalizing, harassing, and repressing interfaith couples and converts from Hinduism to Christianity or Islam.
The aforementioned examples were part of the grounds on which the lawmakers submitted the resolution.
The resolution has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.