Government policies under the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have put marginalized communities, critics of the government, and religious minorities, particularly Muslims, under increasing pressure. In August 2019, the government revoked the constitutional autonomy of India’s only Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state and split it into two federally governed territories, arbitrarily detaining activists and restricting internet access. Widespread protests broke out in late 2019 over a proposed citizenship verification process, which, combined with discriminatory citizenship law amendments enacted in December 2019, could leave millions of Muslims stateless. The authorities continue to arrest activists, journalists, and other peaceful critics under draconian counterterrorism and sedition laws, but often fail to act against violent BJP supporters or BJP leaders who incite violence. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed India’s vast marginalized populations to increased threats to their health and well-being.

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