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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Plight of Religious Minorities in India

Date: 
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 10:30am
Location: 
Rayburn 2322

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the rights and freedoms of religious minorities in India.

In the months leading up to India's 2014 national elections, there has been a rise in acts of violence targeting religious minorities and an increase in discriminatory rhetoric that has polarized national politics along religious and class lines. Underlying problems have been exacerbated by the implementation of 'Freedom of Religion Acts' across five Indian states, which have led to higher reported incidents of intimidation, discrimination, harassment, and violence against minorities. Severe outbreaks of communal violence against religious minorities, including the 2002 Gujarat riots targeting Muslims, the 2007 mob attacks against Christians in Odisha, and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 have socially and economically marginalized large pockets of religious minority communities. As the 2014 Indian elections draw closer, it is important to examine the implications of this polarization in the context of the US-India relationship.

The hearing will focus on the human rights situation for religious minorities in India. In addition, the witnesses will provide recommendations for U.S. foreign policy in relation to India.

For any questions, please contact the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at 202-225-3599 or tlhrc@mail.house.gov, or Carson Middleton (Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411.

Hosted by:

Frank R. Wolf, Co-Chair, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, Member, TLHRC Executive Committee
James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC

Witnesses

  • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Vice Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Robin Phillips, Executive Director, The Advocates for Human Right
  • John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, Government of India

Transcript

Transcript [PDF]

Video

113th Congress