By Ashif Shamim
In its inaugural assessment on global minorities, the Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA) ranked India #1 amongst nations for how it treated religious minorities. On measures of inclusivity towards religious minorities, India has come out on top.
According to the Global Minority Report’s analysis of 110 nations, India has the highest level of religious minorities acceptance, followed by South Korea, Japan, Panama, and the US. Maldives, Afghanistan, and Somalia are at the bottom of the list, with the UK and the UAE coming in at positions 54 and 61, respectively.
According to the research, India’s minority policy is based on an approach that emphasises diversity enhancement.
The Constitution of India contains specific and exclusive provisions for the advancement of religious minorities in culture and education. According to the report, there are no explicit provisions for the promotion of linguistic and religious minorities in any other Constitution.
It highlights how, unlike many other nations, there is no restriction on any religious sects in India.
Due to its inclusiveness and lack of discrimination against many religions and their sects, the UN may utilise India’s minority policy as a model for other nations, according to the report. However, it frequently does not provide the expected outcomes because there are numerous reports of conflicts between the majority and minority communities, notably with the Muslim community, over a variety of concerns.
In light of this, the report extensively highlights India’s minority policy to be reviewed and re-examined from time to time. It further states that, if India wishes to keep the country free of conflicts, it must rationalise its approach towards minorities.
The purpose of the CPA-created Global Minority Report is also to educate the world community on the prevalence of discrimination against minorities based on their faith in different nations.
This research also considers the issues that various religious groups and sects deal with internationally.
The significance of this study as claimed by its proponents resides in the fact that it is the first international assessment to assign a grade to nations based on how they treat their respective religious minorities. In addition, it is the first report by a group of non-Western and Afro-Asian nations to index different nations according to specific standards.
Since there is no religionist majority in every country, this research takes a therapeutic general strategy that is in the best interests of all religionists. If a religion’s adherents are the majority in some nations, they are the minority in other nations.
In this research, countries have been graded according to how they treat minority religions and religionists, how inclusive they are of religious minorities, and how they treat religious minorities with discrimination through their laws and policies. The paper claims that it was astonishing to see that several nations that are regarded as developing slowly and having weak economies had more progressive religious laws than many developed and wealthy nations.
There are 3 components to The Global Minority Report. The first examines theoretical concerns with regard to human rights, the rights of minorities, the idea of religious freedom and its flaws, and how to balance them. Additionally, it covers cultural difficulties, the predicament faced by religious minorities, and the root of religious diversity. There are several important reasons behind any atheist or secular nation’s discriminatory policies against religious minorities. Furthermore, it covers a wide range of topics concerning religion, conversion, and culture.
The differences in the underlying orientations of religions are categorised into large categories and explained in this report.
The policies towards minorities in various nations are covered in the second part. While case studies of numerous other nations are also constructed, the minority model in India is explained as a specific case study. According to a set of criteria, the survey ranks India as the most inclusive nation out of 110.
The third component contains statistical information, which includes four separate indices: the State Religion Neutrality Index, the State Inclusive Index, the State Discrimination Index, and the Global Minority Index. A group of indicators for the condition of religious minorities in a nation are made up of all the indices.
Additionally, other G20 nations are also included. Final recommendations are made for the United Nations and other nations based on the findings of the study.
The study discusses religious minorities’ responsibilities to protect the sovereignty and general welfare of the nation in which they dwell. According to the report, the United Nations shouldn’t disregard minorities’ commitments to the country when the state is susceptible to being contested.
According to the report, certain rights must be granted with the understanding that they must fulfil certain minimum requirements. Minority rights shouldn’t be used as a threat against any nation. In order to make the relationship between the State and its minorities cordial and to eliminate the “trust deficit” between them, this study firmly believes that some obligations must be decided for the beneficiary of the rights, even though it endorses all of the privileges suggested for minorities by the UN.
The report states that the protection of minority rights becomes challenging if minority groups question a nation’s territorial integrity, the report said. There are other nations that are struggling with this issue. When a nation’s sovereignty is questioned by religious minorities, there is a “trust gap” in the relationship between the minorities and the State. According to the report, under these situations, the State punishes minorities, which leads to their persecution. The report also notes that a significant problem is the under-recognition of minorities.
Certain sects in both Abrahamic religions go unrecognised as minorities and frequently experience hostile treatment. For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology are treated unfavourably in nations with a dominant Christian population, whereas Ahmadis and Baha’is are treated poorly in Islamic nations.
The issue of acknowledgements for sectarian minorities exists in many nations. For instance, a sizeable portion of the Alevi community wants to be recognised as a minority, but Turkey, which is dominated by Sunni Muslims, is hesitant to do so. Therefore, it is crucial that a standard be established on a global scale in order to be eligible for minority status in a nation.
Author: Ashif Shamim is a communicator by Profession, A Blogger by Choice, A Layman’s Photographer, Politically updated and sees life in terms of music.
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This article was first published in The Critical Script and we have republished it with kind permission.