Washington, DC
Welcome to a new weekly podcast series called “USCIRF Spotlight” hosted by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body.

Religion, Law and Citizenship in Assam, India
September 02, 2021

For the past two years, USCIRF has recommended that India be designated a Country of Particular of Concern (CPC) by the State Department due the government’s promotion of Hindu nationalist policies resulting in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom. One such policy is the 2019 passage of the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA)—a fast track to citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan residing in India—which led to nationwide protests against the CAA in early 2020 and spurred state and nonstate violence, largely targeting Muslims.

Today, USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza joins us to discuss a report on India that will be issued in the coming weeks by the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative, Center for Race and Gender, at the University of California, Berkeley. The report, called “BREAKING WORLDS: Religion, Law and Citizenship in Majoritarian India; The Story of Assam,” is authored by a team of researchers led by Dr. Angana Chatterji. The report is a case study of the Indian government’s attempt to alter the basis of Indian citizenship through the pilot implementation of the CAA and accompanying National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the northeastern state of Assam.

Read more of USCIRF’s reporting on India here.