Every year on December 18 Minority Rights Day is celebrated in India but this year, the country topped the list of atrocities on minorities.


In the Northern Indian city of Ayodhya, once marred by communal rights because of Babri Mosque, Ram Mandir is about to be inaugurated on January 22. The establishment of Ram Mandir is a long overdue promise of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Ayodhya is expecting about 4.5 million tourists a month – more than Ayodhya’s entire population of three million – once the first stage of Ram Mandir opens in the upcoming days.

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Ayodhya made international headlines in 1992 when a Hindu mob razed Babri mosque – where the Mandir will stand – saying it had been built on the site of an earlier Hindu temple.


The incident spurred nationwide riots that left 2,000 people dead, most of them Muslims.


After decades of legal wrangling, India’s Supreme Court in 2019 awarded the site to Hindu groups for the temple.


While the $180 million temple project in Uttar Pradesh is funded by donations, the state government – controlled by PM Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP- is pulling out all the stops.


In a Reuters report cited by the Business Recorder where they interviewed people from the locality of the temple, Hindus expressed excitement for the launch because this will attract business for them. Muslims, on the other hand, fear being marginalized further.


The Supreme Court also said authorities must allocate the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, which advocates for Muslim rights, “suitable” land at a “prominent” place to build a new mosque.


The board was issued land 15 miles from the temple, just next to the city border.

That effectively means Muslims are excluded from the development boom-brought by the temple-downtown, said Azam Qadri, president of Ayodhya district committee of the board.


“Everyone is focused on the temple. There should have been a focus on promoting mosques too,” Qadri said.


Muslims still don’t have wide acceptance in the city and even if the community tried to build hotels, Hindu religious tourists might not visit, he added.


It’s not just Muslims, other minorities in India are suffering as well. On April 21, 2022, 50 thousand houses of Muslims were demolished in the state of Hyderabad, and in 2023, 400 incidents of violence against Christians were reported in 23 states of India. On August 25, Indian extremists killed hundreds of Christians and burned 600 villages in the Kandhamal district of Orissa, reports Samaa News.


Sikh riots intensified after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, in which around 17,000 Sikhs were killed. Farmers remain protesting across Punjab but the government did not pay any heed to their demands.


As per DW, 60,000 crimes against Dalit Hindus were reported. On average, an incident of violence against a Dalit occurred every 10 minutes in 2012.
National Crime Bureau said that over 250,000 hate crimes against lower castes were reported in the last 5 years while as per the report US Institute on Religious Affairs, there have been systematic attacks on Muslims, Christians, and Dalits in India.


The head of the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom said that religious freedom in India has suffered a sharp decline under the Modi regime.
Since 2020, the US Commission on Religious Affairs has included India in the list of countries of concern, and human rights organizations have declared India as a dangerous country for minorities.