Limits On Religious Freedom In India By: Haley WATSON

In India there are several different religions such as, Hinduism, Muslim, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. However Hinduism is superior to all of the other religions in India.

If you are not Hindu you are considered a minority and stick out in the community. You are not see as equal in the eyes of the community and government including the court. There has been incidents such as when a Muslim police officer in India wanted to have a beard but was told it was against protocol. It's traditional for Muslim men to have a beard but not for Hindus. The issue went all the way to court but with the court being Hindu they favored the Hindu police officers over the Muslim police officer. He was told that even though it was tradition several Muslim men don't have beards and he doesn't have to have one. Being Hindu even makes you seen as not Indian. In the government right now is a rightist party making it very challenging for religious freedom. The government wants the people to stick to the Hindu traditions even if they do not practice Hinduism.

The constitution of India states that, "All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and probate religion...(and) the state shall not deny equal protection of laws to any person or group of persons on the basis of religion alone." Unfortunately India's government does not follow these laws. A Muslim man was arrested for posting a picture of a cow that he supposedly slaughtered. The police claimed that he had died from encephalitis after he had been arrested. Later when the autopsy was revealed it had proven that the police officers had beeten him to death. The police offices that are Hindu never got prosecuted. It is said that in India people are free to practice whatever religion they choose. However no matter what religion you follow you have to abide by the Hindu traditions.

Another event of Muslims being discriminated against is when a mob of Hindus beat to death a Muslim father of three because they thought he had eaten beef. Earlier in the month one of his killer died of dieses while in police custody. A Hindu minister attended the funeral where the killers casket was then draped in an India flag, a sign of a hero. Several Hindus recently have been killing Muslims because of cultural cleansing. The idea behind this is to get rid of all people in India that don't practice Hinduism and make India pure.

Being a Muslim in India today has several disadvantages. They aren't allowed to have interfaith friendships or marriage. They are generally poorer than the Hindus and only 2% attend school. They loose the benefit of affirmative action unless they convert to Hinduism. There is also a bill that allows immigrants from neighboring countries to apply for citizenship unless they are Muslim.

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