India’s Muslims and Hindu Nationalism

Shaul M. Gabbay


India is in the midst of changing its definition of what it means to be Indian. For the first time since becoming an independent nation in 1947, the government of India has chosen to use religion as a criteria for citizenship. This paper examines the critical importance of this development as it pertains to Muslims currently living in India, as well as for anyone living in South Asia who may wish to seek asylum in India in the future. The paper also examines the significance of the world’s most populous democracy shifting from secular to sectarian governance, a development with local, regional, and global impacts.

The immediate effect of using religion as a criteria for citizenship has immediate and far-reaching consequences for India’s minority Muslim population. The criteria also impacts other religious groups in India and the south Asia region. This significant change has already resulted in deleterious effects including mob violence, internal displacement of Indian-born Muslims into newly constructed detention camps, and the expectation of massive deportation of Muslims from India.

The findings presented in this paper are based on information obtained from historical sources provided by human rights organizations, government foreign affairs reports, and current references including media, non-government organizations, and political think tanks.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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