WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced a resolution in the Senate urging the U.S. government to engage with India to reverse policies that discriminate on the basis of religion and push for an end to violence against peaceful civilian protesters in India.
“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, and when any country infringes on it, the United States must stand up and speak out,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am calling on the United States to continue pushing the government of India to reverse course on the systematic religious and political persecution that is endangering and disenfranchising innocent civilians.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure has been marked by a troubling increase in violence, hate crimes, incendiary rhetoric by politicians, and an overall decline in religious freedom typically seen in healthy democracies. The Senate resolution introduced by Senator Baldwin urges the U.S. government to engage with the government of India to end the persecution of, and violence against, religious minorities and human rights defenders in India, and work to reverse government policies that discriminate against Muslims and Christians on the basis of faiths.
“India is a key partner of the United States and that makes it doubly important that the Indian government observe, practice and implement civil and political liberties as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Rising social conflict and democratic backslide in India will weaken and not strengthen India’s relevance as a global bulwark against anti-democratic forces. We applaud Senator Baldwin for introducing this significant resolution and we encourage the US Senate to pass it to send a clear and unequivocal message to both the Biden Administration and the Indian government,” said Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of Indian American Muslim Council.
“As a proud Indian-born American, I strongly believe in India’s Constitution as written, and if faithfully followed, would ensure that India remains the world’s largest secular democracy, as a role model for other countries,” said Masood Akhtar, a Wisconsin entrepreneur and activist.
Full text of the resolution is available here.