Issue Brief on “The Backsliding State of Minorities in India”


India is an amalgam of various ethnicities and religious groups. The Pew Research Centre estimates that 79.8% of India’s population comprises Hindus. Muslims formulate 14.2% of the country’s population while the remaining 6% include Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains.[1]

Source: Pew Research Center, Report 2021

The state of minorities in any country is indicative of its pluralistic charms and flourishing democracy. However, the recent Human Rights Watch Report 2022 highlights that there is an increase in crimes against minorities in India. [2] The report maintains that the discriminatory laws adopted by the government emboldens Hindu Nationalist group to operate with impunity and to target minorities.[3] Previously, India has hit the news due to the ill-treatment of minorities. In 2020, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent government agency granted India its lowest ranking i.e. “a country of particular concern.” The report states, “The national government allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence.”[4]

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