India in danger of becoming Hindu nationalist State: US Congressman Andy Levin

New Delhi(International Desk): India is facing the danger of becoming a Hindu nationalist State, the outgoing Democratic Congressman Andy Levin said on Thursday.

Describing himself as a “lifelong human rights advocate” Congressman Levin (62) in his last speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives said the US has had more success in human rights, although the situation was dire in many parts of the world.

“I have been a vocal advocate for human rights in places like India, which is in the danger of becoming a Hindu nationalist State rather than a secular democracy, the world’s largest democracy,” alleged Levin, who represented the ninth Congressional District from Michigan. In the next Congress, it will be represented by Lisa McClain of the Republican Party.

“I am a lover of Hinduism, a lover of Jainism, Buddhism and other religions that were born in India, but we need to protect the rights of all people there. Whether they’re Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Jains,” Levin said.

In his speech, he condemned the religious intolerance and communal violence prevalent in India at present. The Congressman also highlighted some other countries, including Egypt where he said thousands of political prisoners were languishing in jail.

As a lawmaker, Levin was known for making frequent statements against Modi’s governance, including his treatment of Kashmir. During a special Congressional briefing titled “India’s Brutal Persecution of Kashmir,” organised by multiple human rights groups, including the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), on April 20, Levin had called for international attention on the Kashmir-issue.

“While Kashmir may not be in the nightly news, what’s happening there deserves the world’s attention, and it’s still a prime example of how Prime Minister Modi is taking India in the wrong direction in terms of human rights and democracy,” Levin alleged. Levin is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is vice chair of the subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and non-proliferation.

He also spoke out against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019.