Skip to main content

Why hasn't US even touched upon sharp rise in human rights violations in India?, asks Human Rights Watch

By Our Representative
Washington-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has taken strong exception to American President Donald Trump failing to raise human rights violations with India. In its "World Report 2018", the HRW has cited the US-India joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US to say that it did not even have "a token mention of pressing human rights issues in India, including limits on free speech and attacks on religious minorities."
Pointing out that the joint statement only "reiterated cooperation on increasing trade and combating terrorism", the HRW says, this happened against the backdrop of several countries raising human rights issues, even as reminding India "to fulfil it's past commitments to ratify human rights conventions, including the Convention against Torture" at the United Nations Human Rights Council meet in May.
"Several countries, including the US, Norway, South Korea, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, and Sweden raised concerns over restrictions on civil society and called on India to ensure freedom of association", the HRW says, pointing out how "vigilante violence aimed at religious minorities, marginalized communities, and critics of the government -- often carried out by groups claiming to support the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- became an increasing threat in India in 2017."
The HRW notes, "The government failed to promptly or credibly investigate the attacks, while many senior BJP leaders publicly promoted Hindu supremacy and ultra-nationalism, which encouraged further violence. Dissent was labeled anti-national, and activists, journalists, and academics were targeted for their views, chilling free expression."
Pointing out that foreign funding regulations have been used in India "to target nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) critical of government actions or policies", HRW says, "Activists and human rights defenders faced harassment including under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which governs access to foreign funding for NGOs."
Recalling how the government "canceled the FCRA license of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), one of country’s largest public health advocacy groups, accusing it of diverting foreign funds to lobby parliamentarians, media, and the government", the HRW says, "The government’s political motivations became evident after the Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC) challenged the government’s decision in the Delhi High Court."
Thus, it says, "A January 2017 government affidavit accused CPSC of using foreign funding to share information with United Nations special rapporteurs and foreign embassies, 'portraying India’s human rights record in negative light.' In November 2016, India’s National Human Rights Commission questioned the government’s decision not to renew the FCRA for CPSC and concluded: 'Prima-facie it appears FCRA license non-renewal is neither legal nor objective'.”
HRW raise's n it's a large number of human rights violation issues, including "lack of accountability for past abuses committed by security forces", new allegations of "torture and extrajudicial killings" in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, and Jammu & Kashmir, and failure to review and repeal the "abusive" Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in force in J&K and in parts of northeastern region.
It also raises issues of mob attacks by "extremist Hindu groups" against minority communities amidst rumours that they "sold, bought, or killed cows for beef", leading to the death of 10 people in 2017, death of 39 people on "being trapped in toxic sewage lines, revealing how the inhuman practice of manual scavenging... continues because of the failure to implement laws banning the practice", and institution of "sedition and criminal defamation laws against government critics."

Comments

TRENDING

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.