Reports indicate no major shift in U.S. stance on religious freedom in India
While much of the foreign policy for the Biden Administration is still taking shape, several watchdog organisations and experts keep an eye on India, and thus see little change so far.
The United States shares a close interdependent relationship with India regarding international trade, security policy, and geopolitics. However, India’s rapid decline in religious freedom and the ongoing persecution of religious minorities continues to be a trouble spot for the relationship.
The Trump administration failed to pursue a hard policy line on checking this decline in India. It even rejected recommendations by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to list India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). This decision was highly criticised by many stakeholders, human rights activists, and policy experts.
Early reports from meetings with the incoming Biden administration indicate that policy will not likely change much in the near future. Public statements denouncing India’s human rights violations are unlikely, but the administration will likely continue to raise the issue diplomatically with Indian counterparts.