NEW YORK - The Indian government undermined its aspirations for global leadership as a rights-respecting democracy during 2023 with its persistent policies and practices that discriminate and stigmatize religious and other minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2024.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government also arrested activists, journalists, opposition politicians, and other critics of the government on politically motivated criminal charges, including terrorism.

“The BJP government’s discriminatory and divisive policies have led to increased violence against minorities, creating a pervasive environment of fear and a chilling effect on government critics,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Instead of holding those responsible for abuses to account, the authorities chose to punish the victims, and persecuted anyone who questioned these actions.”