U.N. report says real risk of Indian religious strife

February 11, 2009

It did not get great publicity but a recent U.N. report on religious freedom in India offers a stinging image of a country suffering from communal divisions and mob-inspired religious persecution.

 It argues there is a very real risk of a repeat of a tragedy like the Gujarat riots of 2002, when more than 2,000 people, mainly Muslims,were killed by Hindu mobs.

The U.S. Special Rapporteur of religion or belief Asma Jahangir, a well-respected Pakistani human rights activist, travelled to India last March to prepare the report. It catalogues violence and discrimination faced by India’s religious minorities, whether Muslim or Christian or Sikh.

“Organised groups claiming roots in religious ideologies have unleashed all pervasive fear of mob violence in many parts of the country.” the report, released on Jan. 26, says.

 “There is at present a real risk that similar communal violence might happen again unless political exploitation of communal distinctions is effectively prevented,”

The report makes special mention of Gujarat,. It says the Hindu nationalist state government of Gujarat — headed by Narendra Modi and a favourite of many Indian business leaders—has done little to help victims who still live in fear of persecution.

Indeed, it says there is “is increasing ghettoization andisolation of Muslims in certain areas of Gujarat.”

The report comes after a series of incidents in India that have sparked widespread worries about the rise of religious mob violence.

Last month Hindu militants attacked a bar and assaulted women in the city of Mangalore in the Hindu nationalist-run Karnataka state. The militants – labelled the “Indian Taleban” by media – said they were trying to safeguard Indian culture.

Last year, dozens of mainly poor tribal Christians in the eastern state of Orissa were killed by Hindu mobs over the issues of religious conversion.  

 With general elections due by May, the political atmosphere is already charged with religious rhetoric. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party says it wants to rebuild a Hindu temple on Ayodhya, where a mosque was razed by Hindu mobs in 1992.

The report is a timely reminder that despite all the talk of a global India, religious tension may be as pervasive as ever — especially when political parties are vying for political power.

 

66 comments

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I really appreciate Reuters for publishing this article since this will give information to the whole world how other religions are persecuted by some ruthless people. I also hope that such persecution will be condemned by the whole world the way they condemn Bishop Williamson’s statements. How I wish this will also be reported and allot substantial time in other mainstream media such as CNN and BBC which covers more number of viewers and audiences. Such act of religious persecution by the extremists, be it Muslim or Hindu is highly reprehensible and abhorrent.

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Its hightime that UN also starts publishing the number of temples historically destroyed by muslim invaders. The Godhra massacre is a socio-political disaster made communal by political parties. This strife between so called ‘hindu’and ‘muslim’ groups needs sociological remediation and certainly not political intervention. Vote bank political agendas still top agendas of so called secular parties like congress [i]. The Godhra massacre is indeed condemnable yet to term it as religious extremism is equally ridiculous. Luring economically distressed into other religions by offering lucrative deals is undoubtedly ‘asecular’. It would be better if UN gets a scholarly Indian to write about Indian sociological problems duly considering historical antecedents of current issues.

Posted by Karthik | Report as abusive

For politicians, power is important than anything else. Politicians are least concerned about the life of common man.
Every political party is shamelessly chasing for the power.

The report is biased and does not reflect the true picture of India. Majority of Hindus are peace loving and are religiously tolerant towards other religions. The problems posed by fringe political groups now and then, get undue publicity and blur the overall image.Timely actions by the State & Central governments whenever problems occur should be ensured. Situation is not at all as bad as being depicted.

Posted by Sesi Sekhar | Report as abusive

How much more biased a reporting can get? Get a life.. And dont worry about India finding a place in the world community- if China with its human rights record can find it..We all in India know Asma Jahangir and Teesta Setlavads.. A six-digits-after-decimal weight to such reports would also be undue. Its election time and one can understand such reports being instigated and instituted by various dubious bodies- even under the garb of the UN. No wonder the UN carries so much weight these days!

“Move upward, working out the beast, And let the ape and tiger die.”

Posted by Shishir Manuj | Report as abusive

Asma Jahangir is surprisingly silent about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who were terrorized and driven out of their homes by Muslim mobs. She is silent on Godhra where a 58 hindu piligrims were burnt to death and the
“Secular” parties remained silent. Ms. Jahangir is silent on the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Bihar and the resulting communal tension there. She has no knowledge why the Friday prayers in Srinagar are followed by mobs pelting stones on security forces. No mention of religious conversions in the Tribal Areas by unfair means. The list is endless.
A hindu by nature is very tolerant and all encompassing. But that should not be taken as an excuse to corner him and believe that he will not retaliate. While the support to religious extremists like Ram Sene in the hindu society is minimal, a hindu as an induividual is not very happy with the way he is being treated in his own country.
Ms Jahangir, be more neutral when you prepare reports. That is expected of you.

Posted by Purnendu | Report as abusive

ya ya.. wht a news!!! A report made by pakistani muslim, of course the so called human rights activist, sees all the problems with hindus and will continue to say that it’s because of hindus everything is going awry… I don’t understand why he fails to mention casualities on the hindus side. why is that minority should always be protected and hindus always be blamed for everything when the above mentioned religious clashes were always started by the minorities… I still don’t understand how this person became “well-respected” when he conviniently ignores all the truths and skews his judgement in favor of the minorities..

Posted by raghavan | Report as abusive

it is a day-light truth that, India is getting in to narrow-minded-politically driven-religious goons and thugs….
it will be on the hands of Indians, to save our country…
better get away from communalising issues….

All over the world religious extremists are seizing power. Secular leaders have shown themselves to be so corrupt that they cannot be trusted. Greedy politicians show no shame at trading innocent peoples lives for political gain.

As long as people prefer a good story over reality we will suffer. As long as people use religion and culture to oppress the people around them we will have war. Opportunistic priests and clergy will exploit their ignorant followers by telling them that “God” justifies mass murder in His name, telling them that God blesses their faction or ideology. Superstition breeds fear and dependency. All religions are dependent on exploiting the fears of superstitious people.

A humanism that embraces all people is the only answer to the world’s problems.

Posted by larry Pryor | Report as abusive

Hindu militants ?? Since when did Sri rama sene members became militants ?? Somebody please provide the meaning of the word militant to Mr.Alistair Scrutton..

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

Mr.Alistair Scrutton does not know the meaning of the word militant ..

Few decades ago both in USA and UK, hate India in terms of DOT BUSTERS [ against indian woman with tilak ] and ANTI SIKH TURBAN campaigns were rampant.

Were they local militants???

Posted by bob babu | Report as abusive

what a news. Am i reading Reters or some PAK news chanel.

How can reuters allow such a blog even???

So much biased

Posted by kunal | Report as abusive

http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype =broadcast&broadcastid=112293

Aero India pics for those who missed. You can also see a ALH chopper that HAL, Bangalore manufactured for Ecuador air force.We have committed for 7 of them, 4 are handed over to Ecuador during this aero show and 3 more later down the year.

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

Hindu militants ?? Since when did Sri rama sene members became militants ?? Somebody please provide the meaning of the word militant to Mr.Alistair Scrutton..
- Posted by Anitha

—-Well, our Indian media has used the term “Taliban”, so what to say to Mr. Scrutton. It is hard to chew but Sri Ram Sena’s activity can not be left in the category of hooliganism since SRS is an organization with an agenda and same is true for Shive Sena, Bajrang Dal and …Samithi. Militancy is not aggression by having automatic weapons and killing, it can be done in the absence of that too. It is not some bunch of college kids, it is organization. People in Magalore bar who suffered will not hesitate to call SRS activists as militants. Do they know the meaning of values? I wonder how much they know about what they are trying to preach and about the culture? You give those SRS guys a pretty girl they will do the same thing what they were preventing (fare assumption). I know the agendas of all these band of organizations. For sure, it is not to kill people per se–but to enforce their values on everyone and I will not buy what they are selling. They are losers with loser leaders with vested interests. Same thing happened in Punjab militancy, those terrorists, who knew nothings about religion and culture, started imposing things on others. Let the parents take care of the kids and adults take care of themselves and shape the society they want, not imposed. Yes they have every right to preach their values–be non-violent (I am not A Gandhi here). Why don’t they have awareness programms–give some incentives-if they have got that much energy; so much to do, if they want. Throwing a Bihari out of Mumbai and preventing people from Valentine day is reaching limits–This is not the India I picture. I do not know about others. Of course there are reasons for it.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

“The one who does wrong is a sinner…. but the one who puts up with the wrong is an even bigger sinner…..”
Think about it…. and ACT.
– Bhagwad Gita

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

It will be a lie to deny that communal violence does not exist in India. Communal violence in India finds its roots in vicious local politics. However, it’s not limited to Hindus but Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have also used religious strife when it suited them.

By no means, I support religious antagonism but simply calling on Hindus is like telling half the story.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

It will be a lie to say that communal violence does not exist in India. Communal violence in India finds its roots in vicious local politics. However, it’s not limited to Hindus but Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have also used religious strife when it suited them.

By no means, I support religious antagonism but simply calling on Hindus is like telling half the story.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

i dont want voilence!

Posted by AAMBBAR | Report as abusive

Unlike our dear Pakistani friends, I will respect the views of Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani human rights activist, in the UN report on religious freedom in India. In my previous post, I said that multiple Hindu radical groups need to tone down and use non-intimidating measures to achieve their agenda so that communal/religious harmony is maintained.
This article talks about concerns that communal violence may happen and that minorities are discriminated. I wished that the article should have dared to touch the reason for it-the issue of how even majority Hindus also feel insecure when they see a fellow citizen cheering for Pakistan team, not Indian team, the rising Islamic terrorism and the declared agenda of terrorist of occupy the whole of India. Plus mass Conversions of Hindus by not only exploiting their poverty but also taking undue advantage of the tolerance of Hinduism that itself does not preach in spreading the faith by any kind of exploitation. All these together collectively are the reasons enough that a movement might arise. The easier one is radicalism. But majority of Hindus are aginst the radical version of Hinduism. It is important to point out that only a fraction of minorities feel insecure. Also a lot of the activitiies of radical Hindu groups are not targeted towards one community/religion (such as one mentioned here bar incident).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Hi blogger, the UN report is talking about relegious tolerance and I believe same is preached by your Bhagwat Gita. Here seems something wrong with your mentality which never accept the realities and kept propagating negative images of others.

Posted by Al Baloushi | Report as abusive

..yes the Mangalore PUB incident as we all see is not targeted against one community….the group has their own agenda which is not supported by the majority of the Hindus….having this incident and the Gujarath riot in the same space is rediculous….when we condem Gujarath Riots..we have to also condem the “Mass COnversion” taking place in orissa by exploiting the financial status of the people there…all said and done India has a Sikh PM..Had a Muslim President..a Christian Defence Minister….are there any better examples in the world for religious harmony…??

Posted by Subbu | Report as abusive

there is one God, but man had made religeons to fight with each other. Man has been doing it for centuries and will continue to do so in future.
Religeons teach brotherhood only within the sect… not with others .

RELIGEONS ARE LIKE FOOTBALL TEAMS. all players are friends off the field. but when the match is on… you know which side to score the goal.

i am not surprised by Asma Jahangir’s report. She should do one on Hindus living in Pakistan!!

Posted by jayant | Report as abusive

LIVE IN ROME AS THE ROMANS LIVE… most religious groups living in various countries are forgetting this… and as a consequence we have these tensions leading to fundamentalism

Posted by jayant | Report as abusive

Why are my comments in this article still waiting for moderation and the latest one about the Pope meeting the Rabbis were not posted? May I know the grounds?

Posted by Daniel Rosaupan | Report as abusive

Why do we need Asma Jehangir a Pakistani human right activist to do a documentary about India. If they want to do something they should visit NWFP or Swat valley and take stock of human rights situation there. As India we are a one United Country and like every other nation we have our own problems. We will address these problems together irrespective of the caste & religion we belong to. People in India are now are smart enough to understand the political motivation and compulsions of every political party and i am sure will not let any political outfit fulfil their agenda by exploiting religious sentiments. I am very confident that religious extremism will not be tolerated and all communities will coexsist peacefully. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it seems like a democarcy run by the Army / ISI with a sole agenda to create trouble India(26/11 is another example, luckily they were not succesful in raising any communal tensions in India).I hope sanity prevails and they move towards prosperity & social welfare and stop waging this war against India.

Posted by AND | Report as abusive

the media is an extended wholesale mouthpiece – completely at the will and wish of the owners and editors of the medium – to choose and publish and also exactly word the entire sensationalised report – while further coordinating indirectly with pre-chosen journalists and researchers.

this is the plain truth about the existence of the media as a democratic inseperable part of our life.

whether we like it or not – the media will run its business the way it thinks is right for its success as a business – and not always as a fair umpire of events and its implications…

which leaves us with little choice but to ignore it…and to focus on the essence of all religions – to tolerate and uphold ethics and morality at all times at all places with all people…

what we should not ignore is the golden chance of upholding the truth as humanity demands – across nations and peoples – for the very future of our children and the planet can blossom well only with peace and sensible solidarity across nations…

Posted by nags | Report as abusive

India is probably the oldest civilisation in the world or at least one of the oldest civilisationin the world. The Indian Soceity, which has been a Hindu majaority soceity has been a very civilsed soceity.

But the psyche of present day Indian Soceity is complex. Lot of illiterate people are there. Even the educated persons are silent in approving the religious riots.

Personally I strongly advocate that each and every human being should be protected, not harmed or abused, should be treated with respect and given equal opportunity irrespaective of their religion, caste, language, race..etc!

We condemn the killing of 2000 muslims during 2002.We dont accept any justification for the heinous crimes during those riots.

But the writer whether knowingly or unknowingly suppressed the other side of the coin. A day before Gujarath riots started, 67 hindus travelling in a train in Gujarath were lockedinside the train compartment and burnt alive!

The Gujarath Riots were the spontaneous reaction for the massacare of 67 hindus, who were locked in side the train and torched alive.

Because in India law enforcing agencies are not strict, hardly few get the punishment for the crime that 67 people are locked inside a train bogie and torched. This the common man know and he took the law into his hands. But we dont approve this.

We already told that we cant accept ANY justfiacation for killing 2000 muslims ,buring their properties, raping or rioting!

Bur narrating the killing of 2000 muslims without mentioning any word about the massacre of 67 Hindus inside a train bogie is an Indirect support for islaamic terrorism.

We condemn all terrorism-whether Islaamaic Terrorism, Jewis Terrorism, Nazi Terrorism, Hindu Terrorism…We condemn all terrorism.

But the author of this article is selective in condemning Hindu terrorism only- this is an obvious soft pedalling or ifact indirect support for Islamic Terrorism!

Posted by puramboakku | Report as abusive

It seems to me that Asma Jahangir’s report reeks of Pakistani propaganda against India. It is very one sided against the Hindus. I will not deny that there are a lot of unscrupulous local parties that perpetrate non-sense in the name of ‘Hindu culture’, but it should be noted that majority of Hindus don’t support these hooligans. There has been no comment on violence perpetrated by the ‘minorities’. It should be noted that the Godhra incident in Gujarat that is mentioned in the blog was started by Muslims by burning a train full of Hindus- the carnage that followed was a retaliation (again I’m not supporting it).

Posted by Shailesh | Report as abusive

Okay so a group of men who go out bashed people in a bar are militants now.
Shri Ram Sena member did not even carry sticks to that bar.

No i am not supporting them.They should be caught and tried in the court of law.

The meaning of terrorist is being loosely used.

If a man tries to kill another man … is he a terrorist?
If a man rapes a women ..is he a terrorist?

Lets draw a line between religious extremism and terrorism.

The article is a good one and one that Indians need to take heed of. The moment one ceases to give to consider all humans as equal is the moment one ceases to be human. Rights must be equal for all, it doesn’t matter if its an exalted right like the right to follow a faith of one’s choosing or a mundane(and to some, immoral) right of drinking at pubs. If the law of the land grants a right, it must be respected. Disagreements will exist but they should follow the democratic course for resolutions. If you think pubs are bad, bring it up in a court of law or contest the elections on that issue. Vigilantism is unacceptable. Also this tendency to polarize things into easily identifiable categories needs to go away. Muslims didn’t kill hindus nor did hindus kill muslims. Some people killed some other people and they deserve to hang for it. But then again they should be punished by the laws of the land and not you or me. Condemn them but don’t stoop to their level.

Posted by Auran | Report as abusive

I see that this article has offended a lot of Hindus. This is natural as people have failed to realize that the article points a finger not at Hinduism or Hindus but at Radical/militant political leaders from a Hindu background.
It does not single out Hindus only, instead it focuses on communal violence culminating in atrocities. It uses the example of Gujarat and Orissa because these two incidents were recent and resulted in a large number of people being killed. The reason people are upset is that in these two cases atrocities have been committed by right wing Hindutva fundamentalists.
However,the Hindu population will not get off lightly as they have voted these insane lunatics to run the country in whatever manner they seem fit. And by voting for these self-styled ‘Saviours of india culture ‘it is inferred that the Hindu population favours and follows the same ideals which is the exact opposite of the Bhagwat Gita.
It is best to focus on on’s job, family and not worry about such things.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood
Atheist

Posted by Zola | Report as abusive

Wonderful! The UN report is prepared by Asma jehangir- a Pakistani. Pakistan, where Hindu minorities shrinked to less than 2% from over 10%. It mentions persecution of ‘Tribal Christians’ in Orissa without mentioning the cold blood murder of Swami ji & his companions. When & how the tribals of India became christians? The census record of the area has other facts. This report neither mentions the evil ‘Project Joshua’ funded by America nor it mentions the plight of lakhs of displaced Kashmiri Pandits. Indeed, India is a wonderland where uniquely, the majority takes the burn & blame both.
salute to India!

Posted by Milind | Report as abusive

I don’t agree with the previous posts, such as the one by raghavan, that tend to put the blame for religious clashes in India on the minorities. Both sides have indulged, and are still indulging, in violence, repression and human-rights abuses.
Nor is it right to say that all Muslims, or Hindus for that matter, are monsters who revel in spreading regressive thought.
But on the matter of Asma Jahangir, who may actually be “a well-respected Pakistani human rights activist”, I am skeptical.
Jahangir, it has been reported, recently demanded that his job description at the UN be changed so he can seek out and condemn “abuses of free expression” including “defamation of religions and prophets”.
Johann Hari, “a well-respected” columnist for the Independent newspaper, writes that “anything which can be deemed “religious” is no longer allowed to be a subject of discussion at the UN”.
Such being the case, doesn’t Jahangir’s report on “religious freedom” in India smack of hypocrisy?
Read Johann Hari’s article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/com mentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-why-sh ould-i-respect-these-oppressive-religion s-1517789.html
The editor of Calcutta’s Statesman newspaper was arrested after the newspaper published Hari’s column. Why? Because it hurt “people’s religious sentiments”. Now that is a intolerance.

Posted by PN | Report as abusive

Oops, my previous post should end “Now that is intolerance.”, and NOT “Now that is A intolerance.”

Posted by PN | Report as abusive

Oops again. Asma Jahangir is a woman. My earlier post reflected otherwise.

Posted by PN | Report as abusive

And what’s up with Anitha’s first post? What does Aero India have to do with all this? Am i missing something?

Posted by PN | Report as abusive

@Anitha: Whoever uses violence to get the point across can and should be called and treated like a militant – be it hindus or muslims or brainwashed suicide bombers. Ram Sena had no right to attack bars and clubs. They say they’re protecting indian culture by beating up women – makes no sense to me! They are all jobless brainwashed people who can never do anything constructive in their lives.

Posted by Ankit | Report as abusive

ZOLA , an atheist, please read

No worries… no brainer… these senas will stop violence alright, but likely to morphose into a Gandhian resistance movement. Look around. Some Christian zealots in US blamed it on people not being Christian enough that god punished them(USA) with 9/11. Now,some in UK went on scaring people in UK with bus slogans to ‘pray or suffer’ unleashing an atheist counter campaign assuring of ‘no god and live fearless’ or whatever.

I was surprised to see a news item in papers that Maharashtra state assembly passed a bill to treat unwed couples to demand divorce benefits when they separate as do the divorced (married) couples. It is an Indian state not an American state if some of you don’t know.

Read abridged Vedas/Geeta (NO, NO, NO conversion here , believe me) to realize that those spiritual scientists were in agreement with(future) atheists. Firstly they set their stage in the backdrop of this endless and timeless universe, brushing aside this itsy bitsy planet we live on. Secondly, the multiple faith concept was highlighted (long long before the other contemporary faiths became a reality) to reach ones god/ allah. Karma and dharma concepts were emphasized to ensure good behavior. Catholics and Islam don’t accept other faiths as vehicles to nirvana. Or Am I ignorant?

The sages said it all in a subtle way:
The collective intelligence of human race, from its inception till its demise, can not find out the truth about us/universe.

Asma Jehangir was OK as a Human Right Activist till she added Kashmir as an issue – a favorite of all Muslims.

Human Right activist or not, Muslims always view matters in terms of Muslim and non-Muslim. Ms Asma should have concentrated on her country – Pakistan – and her people where mighty Islam is RIGHT!

As for India, so-called “secularist” Hindu politicians are nothing but pro-Muslim opportunists who promote Islamic fundamentalism.

Since when have the Abrahimic religions have started practicing “religious tolerance”?

Posted by Kokamal Biased | Report as abusive

it doesn’t matter who has written this article..We have to realizable that we live in a multi-diverse country and we have been suffering from this problem from last 6 decades ..We have been striving to give equal rights to everyone..We have to remain united if we want to see our INDIA progressing.We shouldn’t get carried away by our idiotic Politicians..

Posted by tushar | Report as abusive

Tushar represents typical Hindu mindset. Hindus think all religions and their teachings are same!

Only some moron may think so.

Does he REALIZE that he and his elk hasn’t learnt anything in last 60 years — even after Mumbai 26/11?

Posted by Kokamal Biased | Report as abusive

Since independence we have seen a lot of communal tensions but still INDIA has marched on Ms. Jehangir needs to know about it, yes we have communal divisions but it does not stop the talented person from becoming a President of this country or a adorable bollywood superstar.A by birth Italian Christian is the powerful political leader of this country can any other country can show this? I accept the problems are too many and it would not be overnight that it would get solved. The people of Gujarat have moved on in no means it means that the Muslims have forgiven Mr. Modi he has the numbers with him in democracy numbers play a important role. He would one day see the other side of the number. Let whatever the so called human right activist right we are marching ahead we would the be superpower in 2020

this report doesn’t have any authenticity as they are not showing any figures. examples or stats shown by them is not enough to judge the nature of a billion population country.
sample size is very bad. if you want to understand real india, first understand it’s culture. why people are still talking about Gujarat riots that happened 7 years back.
india is purely secular

I fail to understand why a pakistani human rights activist to do a report on the Godhra riots. Did she mention the number of Hindus killed before the riots? Did she mention what triggered off these riots? I am not justifying what happened to 2000 odd muslims, but be transparent about the whole episode. Does she not have enough work in paradise pakistan where the taliban is killing and slaughtering people of its own religion in the name of Shariya law? Why is taliban not critisised when they kill muslims? Cause they themselves are muslims? It is ok for Shiyas and Sunnis to Kill each other in Iraq but hindus are bad for reacting to a cold blooded murder to 67 odd people in the train?

Posted by kusum | Report as abusive

Its sad that even reuters is employing such tactics to increase its readership.
Such articles are fed by the pseudo secularist to the impoverished souls.

Posted by Rishabh | Report as abusive

We are not proud of what has happened in Gujarat and Orisa. But if reuters is not biased you should also report what are the incidents that triggered the riots.
The godra incident started gujarat riot.
The hindu religious leader was killed started problems in orisa.
The increase of rave parties(some girls ran nude on the road) caused the mangalore incidents.
There is no justification of any violence.
I being a christian would not blame all on the Hindus.
If you refer the history of pakistan it shows thats the white are on it flag represents the minorities of that country. But what is the percentage of minority in pakistan now? Where have they gone? But compare the minority of india (the muslims) it is growing at a steady rate.
India is a free country and no law here is based on religious influence. Here as long as I am an indian I have all the freedom and rights of any indian.
It is nice to see indian news from an external media as long as the news are unbiased. Please dont loose your reputation.

Posted by Indian Christian | Report as abusive

I do not think the report needs to be discredited coz of Ms.Jehangir being a Pakistani. We do not need an outsider to tell us that we are a deeply divided society. What strikes me as odd is that we bristle at the mention of it being so. Gujarat was a national shame – and we should not let the perpetrators of the crime to claim political glory. Be on your guard – for the politicians work for themselves and not for you or for God. For that matter, does God need you to salvage his repute or glory?

Posted by Vivek | Report as abusive

india is purely secular
- Posted by pradeepd

–pradeepd: Isn’t it an overstatement?

On the article: To an outsider with no clue of India and its pluralism, this article/web links might paint a scary picture since the postive side is missing here, which actually is huge thanks to a holy book–Indian constitution. Nevertheless such articles provide a time to pause and think.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Fully agree with the report.
India being a home of 36+ millions gods…everyone goes blind in the name of god. No outsider would be interested in the root cause of religious riots but will see only the global picture of india.

India should try atleast a DAY without following a religion.
People in india are less important than a religion.

Posted by prakash | Report as abusive

@I fail to understand why a pakistani human rights activist to do a report on the Godhra riots.”
-Posted by kusum
Kusum, In that case all the articles/reports by Indians (journalists/reporters) on Pakistan are not credible.

@Did she mention the number of Hindus killed before the riots? ……. Does she not have enough work in paradise pakistan where the taliban is killing and slaughtering people of its own religion in the name of Shariya law? Why is taliban not critisised when they kill muslims? Cause they themselves are muslims? It is ok for Shiyas and Sunnis to Kill each other in Iraq but hindus are bad for reacting to a cold blooded murder to 67 odd people in the train?”"”

-Definitely I agree that only one side is shown. It is not about Pakistan, Taliban, Shia/Sunnis, it is about India. Even in the absence of this report we know the situation is worsening, but is under control and the politicians better fix things and get their act straight.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

my gods bigger than your god.

Posted by me here | Report as abusive

All the above mentioned thing is wrong…It is just to done the bad publicity of India.

Posted by Ankur | Report as abusive

Ya this is really shame that some body from pakistan came and showing our reality. This is coz we dont have right media to show the fact, Indian media is much wider and stronger in the world, but every boday knows that they become a comercial more then a true informer. they show only what makes them money.
Friends India is very beautiful and diplomatic country in the world, But the same time we have the most worst and shamefull politician also. they are doing all this for there position, and we are fools who react.
So Don’t be bias we all know what is fact the only thing is to come across together and fight with all these conflicts.
Any Hindu party like Shivsena etc or Muslim,s Taliban are working for there benefits. All the top leaders of these organization are same and good friends and they planing togather how to make the Controversy for there benefit.
Im working in USA but ,Being a muslim of India I love my country and proud to be an INDIA.
Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan hamara.
Wish u all of us a Very Happy Indian Family.

The report may not be held invalid or unreliable just because the author is a Pakistani national. However the excerpts of report is not mentioned in the above article. And to call the mobs “Hindu” mobs is wrong and misrepresentation of facts, Hinduism is a way of life based on secular thinking and tolerance. Just because some hooligans with fascist attitude and their power, popularity and money hungry leaders trigger people to these kind of activities by misinterpreting Hinduism and Hindu ways of thoughts the miscreants cannot be la belled as Hindu mobs and Hindu terrorists and Hinduism(in that case any religion) cannot be maligned by such articles or news, especially by agencies like Reuters who enjoy and claim reliability and popularity of a mammoth scale.

Posted by SiD | Report as abusive

Although it hurts that it takes someone from the neighboring country to show the true picture, there can be no denying of the same. It is a fact that we have increasing talibanisation by these so called hindu activists who do everything totally opposite to what hinduism preaches. I personally feel that the level of tolerism has gone really down and the politicians know only how to play divisive politics which is resulting in these kind of incidences. Asma Jahangir although from Pakistan is a human rights activist and a very respected one at that and therefore, her report has to be credible. I hope the Indian media stops its sensationalistic news and looks at some real news for a change.

Posted by satyan | Report as abusive

@ Prakash I thing you have only superficial knowledge about religions. As far as I know Hindu religion is the most liberal religion in the word. If u look into the current position, any one who believes in various gods can be Hindu, any one who believes in only one god or almighty can be Hindu, even if he don’t believe in any god can be Hindu. any one who eats meat or drink alcohol can be Hindu, who don’t eat meat and alcohol can be Hindu. U can take any mode of praying, u can follow any religious test, u can do what ever u like , U can be Hindu.

This is why there are so many god of Hindus. This religion is not based on thinking or preaching of one person or self proclaimed gods. It is evolved in thousands of years.

I accept that there is bad thing in everywhere like caste system in this religion but with the time it is changing and Hindus always accepted changes that are why they survived through a long time.

Now if Christians do in the name of Crusades it is Ok. Muslims do in the name of jihad it is ok. Jews do in the name of there Nation it is ok but if a Hindu just speak for his religion, he is anti secular. If we use ‘Vande Matram’ (Salute to our Mother Country) it is anti secular and well criticizes by other Hindus because there is so much freedom. And if I worship my country as goddess or I try to protect my this independence by foreseeing the future (what happened with Indonesia, Malaysia and what going on in small African countries that can happen with India), we are anti secular.

This all propaganda is against our nation not the religion. If they believe in secularism or human rights so deeply why they don’t teach Saudi Arabia or Israel or Pakistan.

Posted by Only Indian | Report as abusive

They didnt find any one other than Azma Jehangir. We expect the same from a Pakistani Academician going to write about India’s religious harmony.

Only a section of media and self-seeking politicians(including those in the Government) are whipping up religious tensions in India for sensationalism and cheap gains.Even the much-maligned BJP has to garner votes from Muslim brethren for its survival as an all-India party.This report is needlessly alarmist.

Posted by N.K.Jha | Report as abusive

I’m not Muslim, Hindu,or any other faith. I was born into the christian faith but I have grown up since then.
The sooner people realise that all religion and I mean ALL, is a man made weapon to control and brainwash people into doing as they are told by people who crave power over others (sometimes giving death sentences for little or no other reason than they can)and as a means of getting money out of hard working people to enrich themselves, the sooner half the wars of the world will be eliminated. It was man who created religion not god. Its those same men who abuse what may fundamently have been created with good intention. Its time religion was brought into the 21st century and made obsolete in favour of a teaching of responsibility for our actions and caring in the community and family.

Posted by KRISSIE | Report as abusive

I have to agree with Kokamal Biased. I mean Islam is basically a terrorist religion teaching 200 ways to butcher innocents in some random country while Hinduism isn’t. So yes, all religions are not same.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

@ Krissie
I’m not Muslim, Hindu, or any other faith. I was born into the Christian faith but I have grown up since then.

–Swami Vivekananda, during late 1800s, in New York, told enthusiastic Americans not to bother to convert to Hinduism but instead encouraged them to read Gita and Vedas to become better Christians.

These thoroughly researched spiritual scriptures will provide insight into meaning of our existence in the universe. They do not separate people or encourage hatred. There is no crusade or Jihad element in them. Even atheists find them clearly acceptable. A certain IQ level makes it easy to understand the underlying concepts. You cannot ignore an established scientific research and start reinventing wheel, there simply is no need.

I have to agree with Kokamal Biased. I mean Islam is basically a terrorist religion teaching 200 ways to butcher innocents in some random country while Hinduism isn’t. So yes, all religions are not same.
- Posted by Nikhil

-Nikhil, then include all 3 Abrahamic religions as violent. Islam is lagging since Christanity already did that long time ago. It is crusade in Christanity and Jihad in Islam. Romans and pagans faced death and destruction by Christanity. The frescoes and paintings in Vatican and the ruins and the temples in Rome tell the story. Palestinians say that about Jews. I take cold bloooded murder of 100,000 (?) and so on…. in Iraq as an act of terrorism by USA, supposed to be secular but Church influenced in reality.

I feel there are 2 things for this: 1. expansionist tendencies due to conversion and 2. intolerance arising out of superiority complex (there is only 1 God and other faiths are wrong).

But I agree all religions are not the same.

Krissie:
@Its time religion was brought into the 21st century and made obsolete in favour of a teaching of responsibility for our actions and caring in the community and family.
–I understand you preaching atheism (which is OK). But is it your own conclusion or you believe in some atheist and got influenced, which is not any different from falling a religion. You can give a blanket statement by including all religions, but do you know all religions? But I can understand what you are trying to say.
An interesting link for you:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/artic leshow/msid-132248,prtpage-1.cms

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Nikhil:
I did not say clearly that rationally speaking, if you have not read these holy books, then it is hard to criticize.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Apropos your news item on UN Report On India, I just showed bias on the part of Ms Asma Jehangir based on her views on Kashmir.

As far as Hindus are concerned, the ONLY positive thing about them is that they do not proselytize as Christians do and they don’t want to establish the “Rule of their GOD” as Muslims want. Hindus don’t care what others’ religious beliefs are and how do others go about it. Hindus DO NOT need sermons on religious tolerance from followers of Abrahimic religions.

The communal violence is being dealt with by courts and/or by the law enforcement agencies.

Posted by Kokamal Biased | Report as abusive

I agree with what Krissie said about organised religions being political tool. I don’t think jesus wanted to found a religion. religion is a concept is not very old must be 2000 years old or little more than that.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

Whether it is written by a Pakistani or Indian, there is some truth in the report. Although it does not address the reasons causing these tensions. The real situation is not always black and white. Though it doesn’t give the right to kill Christians in Orissa, doesn’t mean they are innocent. Christians have been enticing poor Hindus to convert to Christianity. This isn’t right either. Why don’t we hear about Buddhists, Jews or Sikhs being attacked by Hindus these days? Why is it just on Muslims and Christians? Makes me think about it….

Posted by Munavalli | Report as abusive