Washington, D.C.: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released the following new factsheet on India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act:
India Factsheet – In December 2019, the Indian Parliament passed into law the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). This law provides a fast track to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Quickly after the CAA’s passage, large scale protests broke out across India with the government instituting a violent crackdown against the protestors. In conjunction with a proposed nation-wide National Register of Citizens, there are fears that this law is part of an effort to create a religious test for Indian citizenship and could lead to the widespread disenfranchisement of Indian Muslims. This factsheet provides an overview of the CAA and explains why it represents a significant downward turn in religious freedom in India.
A US congressional body has put India on a list of countries that have failed to protect its religious minorities adequately.
It also said India was added to the list because of a “disturbing increase” in religious violence.
Leonard Leo, the chair of USCIRF, said that it was “extremely disappointing” that India has done “so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege.”