Skip to main content

India: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL10944, tabled on 1 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports (1) that Muslim and Christian minorities are being persecuted in India, and (2) that such persecution has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic following accusations that those minorities had spread COVID-19; and what discussions they have had with the government of India about (a) the reported marginalisation of the Dalit community, in particular Dalit sanitation workers, and (b) the level of poverty among religious minority groups in that country.

Answered on

15 December 2020

The UK continuously assesses the human rights situation in India. We oppose discrimination against minorities because of caste, religion or belief. I speak regularly to my opposite number in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi and the Indian High Commissioner in the UK, and raise concerns where we have them.

The British High Commission in New Delhi regularly meets minority representatives and runs projects promoting minority rights. In 2016-18, we funded a project in Uttar Pradesh empowering 400 Dalit human rights defenders to challenge discrimination and violence against Dalit women. Over the last 3 years, we have worked with local NGOs to bring together young people of diverse faiths to work together on social action projects to promote a culture of inter-faith tolerance.