01/14/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – Since the UK separated from the European Union, the work has been underway to re-define and settle Britain’s foreign relations in the post-Brexit world. Chatham House, a prominent British think tank, has particularly raised major concerns about the UK-India bilateral relationship that will be burdened by the rising tide of fanatical Hindu nationalism. Such nationalism has been on the rise since the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, along with a rise in the level of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities.
Members of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have made it abundantly clear that India should be a Hindu country and all other religions in India are intruders. BJP rhetoric is often laced with extreme language that incites communal divisions and hate between religious groups. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization with close ties to the BJP, has been known to idolize Hitler and the Nazi movement.
Indian Muslims and Christians have been targeted with increasing brutality by local communities, coupled with legal discrimination from local governments across India. The nation’s infamous blasphemy laws and anti-forced conversion laws have been primary resources used by the government to oppress minority religions. Moreover, the laws embolden the fanatic elements within the Hindu nationalist movement to commit social boycotts, beatings, rape and even murder of religious minorities.
While the UK, the United States, and others should continue to pursue a strong relationship with India, they should not do so at the cost of turning a blind eye to what clearly is destabilizing Indian society. They should be called out and addressed through bilateral and multilateral formats to hold Indian leadership accountable for the ongoing violence.
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