Tag Archives: india

“G20 Tourism Summit in Kashmir Marred by Opposition and Absentees: Is the Region Ready for International Attention?”

The G20 tourism meeting scheduled to be held in Kashmir has encountered opposition from some local groups and governments, and several member countries have announced their non-participation. The summit, which aims to discuss and coordinate strategies on sustainable tourism, was planned to take place in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, from June 24 to 25.

However, some Kashmiri separatist groups and politicians have called for a boycott of the G20 event, claiming that it legitimizes the Indian government’s rule over the disputed region and ignores the human rights abuses and political turmoil there. The call for boycott has led to protests and clashes in some areas.

In addition, at least four G20 members, including Canada, the United States, Australia, and South Korea, have opted out of attending the summit, citing concerns about security, travel advisories, and the current situation in Kashmir. Some observers also speculate that the recent trade tensions and diplomatic disputes among G20 countries could have influenced the decision not to participate.

The absence of these major players could weaken the impact and scope of the G20 tourism meeting, which is supposed to address issues such as climate change, cultural heritage, and innovation in the tourism industry. Some participants and organizers have expressed disappointment and frustration, while others hope that the summit can still produce meaningful outcomes and promote dialogue among different stakeholders.



Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone were ruthlessly martyred by Indian agents on 21st May in 1990 and 2002 respectively. Seventy mourners were martyred when Indian troops opened indiscriminate fire on Molvi farooq’s funeral procession in ‘Hawal’ area of Srinagar. The freedom struggle of Kashmiris is adorned with the blood of martyrs and therefore no power on earth could defeat it through oppressive measures. Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone represented the essence of unity and oneness of the Kashmiri people. They strived and sacrificed their lives for this sacred cause and got their names written with honor and dignity in the annals of Kashmir history. Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar said that the best way to pay homage to the Kashmiri martyrs is to carry forward the ongoing freedom struggle till it reaches its logical conclusion. Meanwhile, APHC appealed to the freedom loving people of IIOJK to observe complete shutdown on 21 May to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of prominent liberation leaders Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone as well as the martyrs of Hawal. The observance of the shutdown is also aimed at protesting against the illegal detention of Hurriyat leaders and activists lodged in different jails of IIOJK and India and to pay homage to their dedication and commitment to the ongoing freedom movement. APHC leadership denounced the atmosphere of repression, coercion and intimidation created by Indian troops and continued detention of Hurriyat leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. It deplored that anyone who raises voice against Indian brutalities is detained and put in jails under draconian laws like Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Modi led Indian regime cannot suppress the Kashmiri people’s urge for freedom through such brutal measures, adding the dream of peace and prosperity in the region would remain elusive without resolving the Kashmir dispute. The only way to do this is to give the Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination promised to them by the comity of nations as well as the Indian leadership.


Mecca Masjid Hyderabad bombing occurred on 18 May 2007 during Friday prayers in which more than 50 people were injured and 14 had lost their lives. Ten persons allegedly belonging to extremist Hindutva groups were named as accused in the case. However, only five of them were arrested and faced trial in the case. Exposing the nexus between the ruling BJP and RSS, the ex-Indian home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde revealed in 2013 that they were behind the Samjhauta Express, Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts.

Central Bureau of Investigation produced Swami Aseemanand before the Court on 19 November 2010 in connection with the blast. Indian ‘Tehelka’ magazine had obtained a copy of 42 pages’ confession report. According to his confession, many of those involved in the bombing were members of RSS. Similarly, an RSS militant Kamal Chauhan was arrested for carrying out the Samjhauta Express attack in 2007 who had instead blamed the Muslim groups. Chauhan and other activists were also found to be involved in the Ajmer Dargah blast, Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, as well as the Malegaon Mosque Blast.

NIA Officer-in-charge of the case Pratibha Ambedkar was immediately removed and the judge who wrote the verdict was forced to resign. Indian government continued to systemize its ideological vision of a Hindu state at national and state level through the use of both existing and new laws and structural changes hostile to the country’s religious minorities. Recently, US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has urged the State Department to place India on the US list of “countries of particular concern”.

The independent bipartisan panel accused India of “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom”.


United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a governmental body has called for designating India as a country of particular concern for engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). In the latest report of 2023, USCIRF states that the Indian government promoted and enforced religiously discriminatory policies, including laws targeting religious conversion, interfaith relationships, wearing of hijabs and cow slaughter, which negatively impact Muslims, Christians, Sikhs,

Dalits, and Adivasis (indigenous peoples and scheduled tribes). Indian government invoked the UAPA and the Sedition Act throughout the year to target freedom of religion and expression, creating an increasing climate of intimidation and fear. Authorities surveilled, harassed, detained, and prosecuted a number of journalists, lawyers, rights activists, and religious minorities advocating for religious freedom. Hundreds of cases remained pending against individuals for involvement in the 2019 peaceful protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). As of 2022, only 92 of more than 700 cases had reached trial, and many of those arrested under the UAPA continued to languish in jail. During India’s fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR), UN member states emphasized protections for religious minorities and expressed concern over the broad application of India’s “anti-terror” laws. The continued enforcement of discriminatory laws facilitated a culture of impunity for widespread campaigns of threats and violence by mobs and vigilante groups. In March, for example, Karnataka’s state government issued a hijab ban in public schools. 

India’s state governments also continued to pass and enforce anti-conversion laws, currently existing in 12 states, including legislation in multiple states aimed to prohibit and criminalize interfaith marriages. Violent attacks were also perpetrated across India under the justification of protecting cows from slaughter or transport, which is illegal in 18 states. Examples of violence against Christians, Muslims, and Dalits around suspicions of cow smuggling were reported in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. In August, BJP member Gyan Dev Ahuja was recorded publicly calling for his listeners to “kill anyone involved in cow slaughter.” Throughout the year, the destruction of property—including places of worship in predominantly Muslim and Christian neighborhoods—continued. In June, local authorities demolished the homes of three Muslim families in Uttar Pradesh following protests against derogatory language used by members of the BJP. Hindu nationalists bulldozed a Catholic center near Mangalore in February and attacked, looted and destroyed the homes of hundreds of Christians in December for their refusal to convert to Hinduism.

In addition, at least four madrasas (Islamic seminaries) were demolished following a statement in May from the Chief Minister of Assam that madrasas should be eliminated. Social media platforms continued to facilitate widespread disinformation, hate speech, and incitement of violence toward religious minorities. 


British newspaper ‘Daily Mail’ has claimed that the violent ethnic clashes that took part in Leicester, United Kingdom last year were allegedly “stoked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party”. Daily Mail report points to the BJP’s ideology of Hindu nationalism, which prioritizes the interests of the Hindu majority and has been criticized for marginalizing religious and ethnic minorities. The report highlighted, “Those elements close to Indian Prime Minister Modi’s BJP are suspected of having incited British Hindus to confront Muslim youths in last summer’s explosive riots in Leicester.”

A UK security force member said that there was evidence of BJP-linked activists using cloud WhatsApp groups to encourage Hindi protesters to take on the streets. The report further says, “But the source warned that this was only the ‘most egregious’ example of Indian Hindu nationalists using private social media posts to interfere in the UK.

He warned: So far, it’s mainly local politics – Modi and his BJP doing that they would do in Gujarat [Mr Modi’s home state] to get this or that local councillor elected.’” The claims could provoke a diplomatic storm between London and New Delhi at a time when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – himself a practising Hindu – is trying to seal a lucrative post-Brexit trade deal with India. Last summer’s ethnic disturbances in Leicester followed months of simmering tensions between newly-arrived Hindu immigrants and the city’s settled Muslim residents, tarnishing its reputation as a beacon of racial harmony in Britain. Violent clashes broke out between Hindu and Muslim youths after an India-Pakistan cricket match in late August, grabbing international media attention, particularly in India where it was spun as Muslims attacking Hindu residents. Daily Mail was told that India-based BJP activists then started to issue messages and memes which were widely circulated within WhatsApp groups amongst Hindus in Leicester. Since the India-Pakistan cricket match on August 28, there were several nights of protests in Leicester until September 22, with youths marching on the streets shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, which has become a rallying cry of the Hindu Right in India. There were reports of attacks on Muslims and their homes, as well as attacks and vandalism against Hindu temples and homes. The security source told Daily Mail that the alleged interference appeared to be part of Modi’s desire to pose as the leader of Hindus across the world. After last year’s riots, several studies were done examining the role of social media in stoking the Leicester disturbances. A report by US-based Network Contagion Research Institute also showed evidence of so-called bot-farms operating out of India, which were retweeting messages on the Leicester disturbances on an industrial scale.