BJP has strayed away from Nehruvian vales of secularism: IAMC report

The IAMC report highlights global impact of spread of Hindutva ideology amidst increasing cases of violence and infringement of rights of minorities

BJP Assam

The Indian American Muslim Council’s report titled ‘State of Religious Minorities in India: August -September 2022’ focuses on how the spread of Hindutva has led to the government passing anti-minority legislations as well as how far the current BJP administration has strayed from the Nehruvian values of secularism, enshrined in our Constitution. The said report, authored by Aisling Lynch Kelly, is an account of instances of violence, infringement of constitutional rights of minorities and the extension of impunity to perpetrators.

Covering crimes committed against the minority community in the last few years, especially the Muslim community, the report depicts how far the current BJP administration has been successful in polarizing the once secular and religiously tolerant India.

To highlight the state of disregard the BJP Union government has for the fundamental rights of religious minorities, the report begins by bringing to attention the recent release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case on the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence. Many other issues, such as the much delayed anti- lynching bill, passing of anti-conversion bill in BJP-ruled states, the impact of hijab case and the judgment of Karnataka High Court have also been highlighted. A brief of the issues covered is as follows:

Hindutva Impunity

Herein, the report highlights how the release of the 11 convicts involved in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case which occurred during the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, does not follow Union guidance on the Remission Policy or even the Gujarat Remission Policy, as those convicted of rape or murder cases are not considered for early release. Bano and her family have had to move nearly 12 times since her initial attack and have never been able to go home because the ‘Police and the state administration have always helped our attackers.’ HSe has now preferred an appeal before the apex court.

Violence and Discrimination Against Muslims

Under this section, multiple incidents of violence that have occurred in August-September, against people from the Muslim community have been presented. From being lynched on suspicion of selling cows or cow slaughter, offering namaz at public spaces or own homes, talking to or marrying Hindu girls, to approaching a doctor for removal of a birth control instrument that had been initially inserted without her consent, Muslim individuals have been victims of targeted discrimination and violence, stereotyped against at every step. Even their properties, houses, schools (Madrassas) and Mosques are demolished overnight, without any deliverance of justice on account of the happening on such illegal events. Members of Hindu organisations, such as the Bajrang dal and VHP, have openly been involved in excluding, targeting, beating and killing Muslims, as per the report. The reports uses the recent issue of exclusion of Muslim youth from garba pandals, making it an issue about ‘Love Jihad.’

1.  Anti-Lynching legislation

According to the report, Cow lynching attacks predominantly target Indian Muslims. In 2017, 86% of those who were victims of such attacks were Muslim. Efforts were made to bring in Anti-Lynching legislation in those states where these incidents were increasingly happening. As per the report, However, only the bill in West Bengal has been enacted into law, with the rest failing to receive Presidential assent. The consequences of the lack of anti-lynching legislation were clear when these brutal incidents continued to take place with impunity.

2.  Impact of Karnataka’s Hijab ban

While the Supreme Court has given a split verdict over the Hijab ban, the said report has relied on the interim study report issued by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties about the impact of Karnataka’s Hijab Ban on Educational Institutions. The report has highlighted how not only were the basic rights of the girls eroded, but the government’s ‘calculated silence’ and failure to ‘contain the spread of the communal vilification’ meant that the girls were put on trial, by the media, and the Hijab ban was able to be exploited by the Sangh Parivar as part of their ongoing communal campaign in the state and country.

3.  Saffronisation of Schools

The report highlights the ‘saffronization’ of Karnataka, following in Gujarat’s footsteps, by intorduing Bhagvad Gita in the state education’s syllabus. ex-Union Minister K Rahman Khan argued that such a policy was a ‘vested interest’ for the BJP. He went onto say ‘New Education Policy is a cover to bring Hindutva policy in syllabus, nothing else’.

Violence and Discrimination Against Christians

Forced Conversion and Anti-Conversion Law

According to the report, the anti-conversion law has been used as a pretext for Hindu extremists to commit violence against Christians and enables the authorities to arrest Christians under the false charge of forced conversion. Additionally, the burden of proof falls on the accused, which implies they have committed a crime regardless of the evidence. Such laws have reignited tensions between the majority Hindu and minority Christian communities, as the Sangh Parivar argues Christians present a threat to the Hindu community, and the laws re-enforce this sense of an internal threat.

Jammu and Kashmir

This report has highlighted how the BJP and Hindutva groups have been involved in the erosion of basic rights and freedoms of the people living there, as well as have also increased censorship, post abrogation of Article 370. From expanding voting rights to temporary residents of the people, such as enfranchised group of people including Indian military personnel, government bureaucrats and migrant workers, to imposing the archaic Public Safety Act and saffronising the schools, BJP has crawled into the day to day workings of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Global Impact of Hindutva

The report quotes the recent violence that took place in Leicester to demonstrate the growing impact of this extremist ideology outside of India. In the said incident, a group of extremist Hindus marched through a Muslim majority area, shouting nationalist slogans including ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ A mosque was then graffitied, and a Hindu flag burned. The division which has now found its origin in the New India, has been spreading throughout the globe.


To conclude, the report has provided some recommendations for the state and central governments as well as the judiciary to curb this environment of communal division and intolerance. These include setting aside of the decision to release convicts in Bilkis Bano case, repeal of anti-conversion laws, passing anti-lynching laws and so on.

The complete report may be read here:



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