Thanks to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for its recommendation of India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) designation in its 2021 Annual Report on April 21, 2021.
The designation is good for India (the current government) as it paves the way for restoring religious freedoms to her minorities, including Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and the average Hindus.
India will always remain a great nation and will continue to sustain its 5000-year history of Pluralistic ethos. Leaders come and go, but India will not be shaken.
The designation is not against India; it is against the Modi government, which has earned this condemnation for its gross violations of religious and civic freedoms. Add to that the mismanagement of Covid, economy, and social cohesion.
Unfortunately, it has severe consequences, and the Indian public will bear the brunt of it. Millions of employees and corporations who have benefited through the worldwide IT jobs and foreign direct investments stand to lose. All the gains they had in the last 30 years stand to vanish.
As an Indian-American, I am dedicated to saving my motherland and urge the Indian Public and the CEOs of major corporations to speak out against the nation’s destruction. Modi and his men can choose to bring in health, economic and social experts and listen to them instead of acting from the seat of his pants. As a last resort resign and let capable people run the nation until the new elections.
Modi is a slick snake oil salesman; he has promised many things and failed them in all. The only thing he has delivered is the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya. The question to my fellow Indians is, do they want a job, food on the table, comfortable housing, and a decent burial for their loved ones, or would the Temple satisfy them?
Look at Modi’s failures – the black money is not collected; he has kept it if it was ever collected. The promise of 150,000 Rupees in every Indian’s bank account was a lie to get the votes. The Demonetization wiped out many small businesses and savings of the average Indians, so did the GST. The farmers were betrayed, their life was made difficult for protesting against selling them to his friends without their knowledge. He has sold the likes of HAL, Railways, and other public companies for a phooti-kaudi-ke-daam (pennies) to his friends. Rafel deal is one of the many corruptions he got away with. He forgave billions in loans to his rich buddies and let farmers commit suicides for petty loans. He remained silent when 29 men from his state ran away with billions of dollars to the UK and other nations.
Modi does not listen to anyone and takes actions unilaterally like a dictator in the dark hours of the night. He gave four hours’ notice to the migrant workers throwing them helter-skelter on the roads with no food or water. He usurped the freedoms of Kashmiris without their consent, shut their internet down, and passed the disgusting discriminatory Citizens Amendment Act.
He has lost influence in South Asia. India was gathering momentum to earn a seat on the UN Security Council, and he blew it. He is destroying democratic institutions like the Supreme Court of India, the free press, educational and health care systems, and the list is endless.
The India Working Group/ International Religious Freedom Round Table (WG/IRF-RT) released the following statement, “Accordingly, we would like to express our collective affirmation of USCIRF’s recommendation due to the risk of India becoming even more emboldened to commit egregious religious freedom violations had they not been addressed by the international community. Such severe religious freedom violations include – but are not limited to – state anti-conversion legislation, the implementation of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, and a profound religious intolerance that has pervaded both culture and legislatures and has encouraged mob violence against India’s religious minorities. Religious freedom violations are further compounded by various other human rights violations, such as the closure of advocacy organizations, the targeting of journalists, and thus the breakdown of freedom of speech and association.”
CPC designation is not a punishment. Instead, it is guidance urging India to respect fundamental human rights, including free speech, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the people of India. Indeed, India is a signatory to the United Nations’ Human Rights declaration. Still, his actions are causing nearly 400 million Christians, Muslims, Dalits, and Sikhs to live in constant fear, leading to social unrest and civil war.
By designating India as a Country of Particular Concern, American will pave the way to strengthen its ally and help it retain its political stability, and avert a potential civil war. India may, after all, become America’s strongest ally against the spread of dictatorial regimes in South Asia and most certainly act as a bulwark against China.
We hope the State Department will endorse the CPC designation and the President will sign it, followed by sanctions to restore sanity, political stability, and social cohesion.
Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism, committed to offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the policymakers. More about Mike at https://www.TheGhouseDiary.com