India is among the the top 5 sources of migrants seeking asylum in OECD countries, according to OECD's International Migration Outlook 2017. The other four are: China, Syria, Romania and Poland. Is increasing religious violence in India, like Syria, contributing to growing numbers of asylum seekers from the South Asian nation?
UP CM Yogi Adiyanath with Indian PM Modi
Indian asylum seekers rank 2nd in New Zealand, 4th in Latvia and 6th in Finland and United Kingdom and 8th in Australia, the OECD report says. The numbers of Pakistanis seeking asylum remains stable but they still show up among the top 3 asylum seekers in some OECD nations such as the UK, Ireland, Italy, Greece and South Korea.
Indians have sought political asylum in more than 40 countries over the years, according to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
There's a long history of India's religious and ethnic minorities seeking asylum abroad after being persecuted at home, starting with the exodus of 8 million Muslim refugees fleeing to Pakistan after the Partition of India. Many more millions of Dalits, Muslims and Sikhs have left India to find refuge in Canada, Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Pakistan, too, has seen members of its religious minorities leave the country after persecution by the majority community.
Europe has historically seen a large number of new asylum applications from Indians---6,300 in 2012 and 2013. The United States has also experienced an increase in the number of Indian asylum seekers in recent years. Media reports show 2,100 Indians receiving asylum in the United States between 2012 and 2014. The rise of extreme right wing Hindu Nationalists and increasing violence against minorities are likely to further accelerate the trend.