Issue Brief on “Dwindling Religious Freedom in India- A Glimpse of the State Department Report “

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“Attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year” stated the recently released U.S State Department 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom.

Released on June 2, 2022,[1] the report  deals in length with the shrinking space for minorities in India. However, Article 25 of the Indian constitution clearly guarantees freedom of religion as “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”[2] Nonetheless, since the rise of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party under Narendra Modi, the minorities in India are increasingly being marginalised and victimised as is indicated in the US state department report.

The first part of the report deals with religious demography. As per the 2011 national census, Hindus are 79.8 percent of the population whereas, Muslims are 14.2, Christians 2.3 and Sikhs are 1.7 per cent of the total population of India. Muslim population is mostly concentrated in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Christians on the other hand are concentrated in states like Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Goa. Sikhs have their majority in the state of Punjab.

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