India: Freedom of Religion or Belief - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:14 pm on 16 April 2024.

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Photo of Lord Singh of Wimbledon Lord Singh of Wimbledon Crossbench 3:14, 16 April 2024

My Lords, it is almost exactly 10 years since the Minister stated, in the other place, that the mass killing of tens of thousands of Sikhs in 1984 was one of the greatest blots on the history of post-partition India. It is true that India has what is called a secular constitution, but since then, we have had the riots in Ayodhya where tens of thousands of Muslims were killed; then we had its Home Minister describing the Muslims as termites; then a Hindu temple was built on a razed mosque. Christians have been persecuted again and again, and Sikhs are told that if they behave like Hindus, they are fine; otherwise, they are termed separatists. Does the Minister agree that India is a member of the Commonwealth, and should not freedom of belief be at the forefront of the Commonwealth charter?