Skip to main content

India's social restrictions index involving religion worse than Pakistan, hostility towards Dalits key factor: Pew

By Rajiv Shah
In its new report, well-known US-based Pew Research Centre has said that “among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria had the highest overall levels of government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.”
A peep into the data collected by Pew suggests that, on a scale of 10, India’s government restrictions index (GRI) as well as social hostilities index (SRI) has deteriorated. If it was 4.5 for GRI in December 2014, it reached 5.1 in December 2015. As for SRI, it was 7.9 in December 2014, which reached 8.7 in December 2015.
Worse, compared to the neighbouring Pakistan, India’s SRI is higher by 1.5 points: For Pakistan it is 7.2 in December 2015 (down from 8.1 in a year), as against India’s 8.7. As for GRI, Pakistan fares worse that India, with a score of 6.2 in December 2015 compared to India’s 5.1.
GRI has been arrived at by assessing the level of restrictions on religion by governments around the world by seeking answers to 20 questions from several published sources of information, including reports by the U.S. State Department, the United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations.
Answers sought include such questions like whether law allows freedom of religion, whether public preaching by religious groups limited by any level of government, and whether government interfere with worship or other religious practices.
As for SHI, these are based on answers on 13 questions from similar published sources of information. Here, the questions include whether there were incidents of hostility over proselytizing, whether there were crimes, malicious acts or violence motivated by religious hatred or bias, and whether there was mob violence related to religion.
Pointing out that “Egypt had the highest levels of government restrictions in 2015, while Nigeria had the highest levels of social hostilities”, specifically referring to India, the report, referring to Dalits, states, “In India, harassment of Hindus by both government and social groups was reported in 2015.”
It underlines, “Members of the lowest Hindu castes, also known as Dalits, often faced obstacles to basic government institutions and services such as education and health care. The United Nations also reported systematic abuse of Dalits by individuals, and many of the perpetrators of these crimes were not prosecuted by the government.”
“Coupled with harassment of Hindus in several other countries with considerable Hindu populations, including Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, this meant that 1 billion Hindus, or 99% of the world’s Hindus, lived in countries where Hindus were harassed in 2015.”
Examining the world’s 25 most populous countries, the report says, “More than 5 billion people – about 75% of humanity – live in these 25 countries. Among this group of populous countries, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria had the highest combined levels of government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion in 2015.”
The report further says, “Looking at just government restrictions, Egypt, China, Iran, Russia and Indonesia had the highest levels in 2015, with each country falling into the ‘very high’ restrictions category.”
It adds, “The fact that none of the 25 most populous countries fell into the ‘low’ social hostilities category may indicate that large populations carry an inherently greater risk of incidents of social hostilities, simply because there are more people.”

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”