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India is the world’s largest democracy with over 1.4 billion people. It is a key economic and security partner to the US and others and plays a significant role in the region and globally. Since coming to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party have built considerable public support, but have also promoted a Hindu nationalist ideology that depicts India’s minority Muslim population as a threat to India's security and its national identity. Warning signs for mass atrocities include passing discriminatory laws, rampant hate speech and incitement to violence—including by political and religious leaders—and a rise in violent attacks. These acts are taking place alongside attacks on civil society, diminishing press freedom, and a culture of impunity. This exclusionary ideology also has the potential to harm other religious minorities and traditionally excluded groups, such as Christians and Dalits.

Preventive efforts to address the warning signs and avoid the risk of mass atrocities will safeguard both potential victims and regional and international security. Learn more about the risks to religious minorities and other vulnerable groups.

  • This brief details risk factors for mass atrocities in India, where rising discrimination and dehumanization of religious minority communities puts millions under threat. The brief focuses in particular on India’s minority Muslim population of 200 million people. The brief offers policy options that India and concerned governments like the US can take to mitigate these risks.

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  • Our assessment, from the Early Warning Project, estimates the risk of mass killing in India over the next year.

  • Human rights attorney Dr. Waris Husain discusses the risks, drivers, and dynamics of violence against civilians in India.