Skip to main content

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative 

Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”
The citizens urge the health minister to reject these amendments officially, and have also written to the Director General, WHO, explaining their stance. The amendments, they note, were carried out “by stealth”, without public consultation.
After the revision of the IHR in 2022, amendments will come into force within 12 months, unless states proactively file rejections. The deadline for such rejection is December 1, 2023; if India does not proactively reject the amendments, they will come into force from that date.
The citizens note that the matter has not been discussed in Parliament in India; there has also been no discussion of the amendments in the public domain. The amendments pose a threat to the Constitutional fabric of the country, and have a serious implication on the lives of citizens. Both the pandemic accord and the IHR are ultra vires of the Constitution of India, the citizens note.
Among the signatories to the letter include well-known epidemiologist Dr Amitav Banerjee, Prof Bhaskaran Raman of IIT-Bombay, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel, researcher Aruna Rodrigues, senior journalist Rosamma Thomas and associations and groups of citizens concerned about public health.
Dr Banerjee, writing in Counterview, objecting to the amendments, said recently, they would mean an even stringent response to the Covid-19-type actions which “violated all epidemiological and ethical principles.” During the pandemic, he claimed, “Most countries experienced a regime of suppression, censorship and coercion reminiscent of fascism.”
“Instead of detailed analysis of the pandemic response which went astray, it is strange that the WHO is pressing for amendments to the IHR which will have more stringent provisions”, he said, adding, the urgency for pushing through over 300 major amendments in “an unholy haste” raises doubts “whether the intentions of the WHO are honourable.”
Dr Banerjee
“If any world leader fails to reject the amendments to the IHR by 01 Dec 2023, by default that nation will surrender autonomy to the unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’”, he said.
According to him, “The amendments to the IHR is a misnomer – there is nothing about health in this documentation. It would be more appropriate to name the document, ‘International Surveillance, Monitoring, Reporting, Emergency Declaring, Fear-Mongering, and Controlling Regulations.’ This will become clear if one goes through the amendments.”
In fact, he believes, “The amendments can lead to perpetual lockdowns and threaten autonomy of nations.” Citing Dr David Bell, a former WHO scientist, who said that the pandemic preparedness will pave the way to International Fascism”, he underscores, “During a ‘declared pandemic’ it will take away the right of citizens to make their own decisions.”
Dr Banerjee noted, “Pandemics will become self sustaining by creating a bureaucracy whose existence will depend on them. Bureaucrats and career scientists will have a vested interest in finding outbreaks and declaring them potential pandemics. This will ensure better career prospects for all concerned at the cost of the common citizen. Lockdowns will become a permanent feature of the pandemic response. Corporate interests will dominate.”
“In such a scenario, the people will be at the mercy of the police and bureaucrats who will be immune to any penalty for any acts carried out in ‘good faith.’ The amendments will promote a police state. Mandatory medical procedures, forced entry into premises, forced isolation and quarantine, have all been proposed in the larger interest of humanity!”, he added.
Click here for text of the letters to Union Home Minister and WHO director and signatories



'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 The 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 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.

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. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.