Citizens for Justice and Peace

2003: Annual Report on International Religious Freedoms

01, Jan 2003

The Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, 2003 released by the Government of the United States of America made the following remarks with regards to the imposition of Hindutava ideology in India and its subsequent dangerous trends:

The report stated that “there was a gradual but continual institutionalisation of Hindutva. This manifests itself through the spread of anti-conversion laws in some states, the rewriting of textbooks in favour of Hindu extremists’ interpretations of history and illegal surveys of Christians by police in some areas of Gujarat to collect statistical information not sought from other religious groups.”

The report also found that the Gujarat State Higher Secondary Board (GSHSB), to which nearly 98 percent of schools in Gujarat belong, uses certain textbooks in which Nazism is condoned.

It stated that the Gujarat government had aggressively surveyed Christian families and Christian agencies during the reporting period, allegedly under the orders of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The survey activities were carried out by the police, often in the middle of the night.

The report highlighted an incident in October 2002, wherein the Gujarat Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Karsan Patel, instructed 400 Dangs tribal children, who were boarders at a Christian school in Subir “to decide whether they want to live as Hindus or die as Christians?”

The report also brought to light, with regards to the communal carnage of 2002, the ineffective investigation and prosecution of attacks on religious minorities by extremists. It added that this was a signal that such violence may be committed with impunity.

Thus, this report highlighted the intolerance displayed by the Modi government and his brand of VHP, RSS supporters towards minorities and the unconstitutional means adopted by them.

The full report can be read here.


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