The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), an umbrella coalition of progressive organizations across the United States, held a briefing in May on “Minority Rights Violations in India,” to mark the 3 year anniversary of BJP-led Hindu nationalist government in India.

A key aspect of the briefing was the release of a comprehensive report on violation of human rights and religious freedom of minorities in India over the course of the last 3 years.

“The same forces that have perpetuated caste discrimination are also spearheading India’s seemingly relentless drift away from secularism and religious pluralism, especially over the course of the last three years.

In 2016, a global index of human rights and social and religious freedoms by Pew Research Center placed India among the worst 10 of the world’s 198 countries when judged for ‘social hostilities,’” says the report.

“Laws curbing religious conversion, the ban on sale and possession of beef in many states and the curbs placed on NGOs represent the state’s response to forced conversions, the brutal violence of “cow protection” groups and the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders respectively. In all cases, the state has become an enabler of repression, often going to great lengths to defend and normalize the abuse,” the report further adds.

“The release of this report is a plea to the international community for help in influencing the government of India to safeguard the rights of “lower” castes and religious minorities,” said Mr. Ajit Sahi, IAMC’s new Advocacy Director.