Circulating lists of who gets to be called a human or not, putting targets on members of minorities, rhetoric of “weeding out foreign infiltrators”- these were the characteristics of fascist states in the 20th century, whose dehumanising and genocidal tactics brought about the World War II, the 80th anniversary of which took place on Sunday.

Unfortunately, eighty years later, these very characteristics resemble the antics of a country present today, a country which, run by fascist nationalists, is going down an extremist path.

Apart from its atrocities in Kashmir, where India illegally revoked the region’s special status in order to forcefully resettle the Muslim population, India is now attempting ethnic cleansing in Assam as well. The BJP government has circulated a citizenship list in the northeast Indian region that has left almost two million people facing statelessness. According to the list, only those who can demonstrate that they or their forebears were in India before 1971 could be included in the list, which deprives millions of people born and raised in India out of citizenship.

This action of the Indian government is not a mere program to restrict refugees. It is a coordinated hateful campaign against minorities and Muslims. The rhetoric used by powerful Indian government figures demonstrates the venom and racism with which the government regards these alleged immigrants from 1971- Amit Shah, India’s Home Minister, has referred to those immigrants as “termites”- an echo of the language used by Nazi Germany to describe the Jewish population they aimed to annihilate.

The situation in Assam is nothing short of a tragedy, and could snowball into genocide if the world is not careful. Assam residents whose proof of citizenship has been rejected by tribunals, often arbitrarily, now face the risk of detention camps- with many committing suicide to escape the torturous fate that awaits them. The global organisation Genocide Watch has already issued two warning alerts for India, one in Kashmir and one in Assam. It is now up to the international community to decide whether it will finally stand up to India’s many atrocities, or it will continue appeasement.