Former VP Hamid Ansari, four US Lawmakers express concerns over human rights situation in India

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Washington: Joined by former vice-president Hamid Ansari, four US lawmakers, including a senator, expressed  their concern about India’s current “dismal” human rights condition and “condemned the escalating violations of human rights, civil and political liberties, and religious freedom under the present Indian government.

In his address, Hamid Ansari also expressed his concern over the rising trend of Hindu nationalism: “In recent years, we have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interposes a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism…. It wants to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness, and promote disquiet and insecurity,” he said.

He also urged taking action against these human rights offenses by saying, “These trends need to be contested legally and contested politically.”

 “As the Indian government continues to target the practices of minority faiths, it creates an atmosphere where discrimination and violence can take root. In recent years, we have seen an uptick in online hate speeches and acts of hate, including vandalised mosques, torched churches, and communal violence,” said Democratic Senator Ed Markey, who is said to be taking anti-India stands.

The three other Congressmen who spoke during the panel discussion were Jim McGovern, Andy Levin and Jamie Raskin. “For the first time in 2019, a law was passed that links citizenship to religious identity. There is every reason to fear that this change combined with the proposal for a National Register of Citizens institutionalizes discrimination against Muslims,” McGovern said.

“In recent years, we have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interpose a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism…. It wants to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness, and promote disquiet and insecurity,” he alleged. With PTI inputs

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