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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.