India:Written question - HL5693

Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 12 March 2015
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
India
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the treatment by the government of India of Muslims, Sikhs and Christians in that country and its impact on the cohesiveness of that country.
Answered on: 26 March 2015

The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion. The Indian government has a range of policies and programmes to support religious minorities. More recently, Prime Minister Modi reassured religious groups that every citizen has the right to follow any faith without coercion and vowed to protect all religious groups in India. However, we are aware that incidents of discrimination against minority communities do happen.

British Ministers and officials from our High Commission in New Delhi discuss religious and minority issues with the Indian National Commission for Minorities and senior faith leaders. Most recently Minister of State at the Home Office with responsibility for Crime Prevention, my right Hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), met the Indian Minister for Minorities in January. During their visit to India in February, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association also met the Indian Minister for Minorities and discussed religious freedom. We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the new Indian government about religious and minority rights issues.

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