The Truth Cannot be Hidden: US Senate and Congress members spoke about human rights and democratic values violation in India

The Congress of the United States raised concerns about the cracks in Indian democracy before the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to America. United States Senator Chris Van Hollen and 75 other lawmakers wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, mentioning the growing contemporary aspect of the relationship between both countries and the concerns that directly threaten Indian democracy.

Although the relationship between the two countries was discussed in this letter, it also mentioned the topics visible to everyone about the growing development in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries and India’s importance in Indo-Pacific and Quad security dialogue. However, the crux of the letter emphasized the pillars of democracy in India and its direct connection with America’s stand for humanitarian causes. The American dream, an expression of opinion, freedom of the press, and pluralism, is also their reflection and an essential part of American foreign policy. Furthermore, these are the basic things that are critical aspects of democratic traditions beyond any regional or ethnic distinction.

In this context and from neutral sources, the political noose is tightening for minorities and other nations in India. Religious intolerance, cultural values, and action against journalists, such as the BBC, which made a documentary on the Gujarat riots,

India, known for its democratic values and constitutional guarantees, faces significant challenges in political freedom, religious tolerance, civil society organizations, journalistic freedoms, and internet access. This research examines various reputable and authoritative sources to gain insight into trends. This research aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the situation in India by examining and comparing the State Department’s findings on human rights practices and international religious freedom with the assessments of Reporters without Borders and Access Now.

According to the State Department’s 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in India, there is a concerning trend of narrowing political space and decreasing freedom of speech in the country. This paper examines the constraints imposed on individuals and organizations when they express dissent or engage in peaceful protests. Two examples of suppressing activism are the detention of activists through stringent laws and limiting their right to assemble peacefully. The observed behavior harms democratic procedures and the principles of free speech and open discourse.

The 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom in India, published by the United States Department of State, highlights a concerning increase in religious intolerance, mainly targeting minority groups. The study demonstrates how individuals and governmental entities have engaged in religiously motivated violence. Incidents such as this harm the core principles of religious liberty and contribute to the increasing division within societies based on religious beliefs. The increasing communal tensions present a significant threat to the overall stability of the nation.

According to the annual reports released by Reporters without Borders, it is evident that India’s press freedom is declining. The development concerns India’s tradition of a free and open press. The increase in cases of harassment, intimidation, and violence is negatively impacting journalists’ ability to report in a free and unbiased manner. Access Now’s report reveals a concerning trend of internet shutdowns in India, the country with the highest number of such incidents in the past five years. This raises concerns about the potential stifling of speech and the erosion of digital liberties.

The United States and Indian constitutions safeguard fundamental rights such as free expression, journalistic freedom, and religious liberty. Moral leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi played a significant role in shaping the history of their respective countries. They emphasized the importance of fostering harmony among diverse groups of people. Given the importance of this acknowledgement, it is crucial to promote a robust and amicable relationship between the citizens of the United States and India. This relationship should be founded not only on shared interests but also on preserving these core principles.

Abdul Mussawer Safi is a student of International Relations at the National Defense University Islamabad. He worked in many think tanks and his expertise lies in the regional dynamics of South Asia as well as with publications highlighting the different issues at various outlets. He tweets at @MussawerSafi and can be reached at mussawersafi1999@gmail.com

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

أنا حاصل على شاهدة الليسانس في العلوم السياسية والعلاقات الدولية بالإضافة إلى شاهدة الماستر في دراسات الأمنية الدولية، إلى جانب شغفي بتطوير الويب. اكتسبت خلال دراستي فهمًا قويًا للمفاهيم السياسية الأساسية والنظريات في العلاقات الدولية والدراسات الأمنية والاستراتيجية، فضلاً عن الأدوات وطرق البحث المستخدمة في هذه المجالات.

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