Targeting minorities.

AS India undergoes a transformation from a relatively secular state into a Hindutva-inspired rashtra, under the watchful eye of the ruling BJP and its ideological fellow travellers in the Sangh Parivar, the country's minorities - particularly its Muslims - have received the rough end of the stick. However, due to geopolitical expediencies, India has often been touted by some of its foreign friends as a 'model' democracy, despite stark evidence illustrating the fact that the Indian state has promoted patently undemocratic behaviour when it comes to minorities. Therefore, the comments from some of these allies castigating New Delhi's rights record at the UN Human Rights Council's recent Universal Periodic Review of India was a welcome display of honesty. At least 21 states felt India needed to do more to protect its religious minorities, with violence and hate speech targeted at minorities being a major concern. Others felt that India needed to improve the protection of freedom of expression and assembly, and that New Delhi was using counterterrorism laws against activists and journalists. Canada called for investigating violence 'including against Muslims', while Germany said it was 'concerned' about marginalised groups. The Indian state's blatant disregard for human rights is perhaps most painfully evident in held Kashmir, where it continues to treat the local population like a...

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