New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed those who engage in "selective interpretation" of human rights and look at its violation with an eye on political loss and gains, saying such a conduct is harmful to these rights as well as democracy.
Speaking at the 28th foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Modi said similar incidents are seen differently by some people as they describe human rights keeping their own interests in mind. Some even try to dent the country's image in the name of human rights violation, and people should beware of them, he said.
#WATCH | …Some people see human rights violations in some incidents but not in other similar incidents. Human rights are violated when viewed via political spectacles. Selective behaviour harmful to democracy. They attempt to harm nation's image through selective behaviour.: PM pic.twitter.com/5RsaIkMExw— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2021
Though Modi did not name any person or organisation, the ruling BJP has been critical of a section of human rights groups, including those with a global presence, for allegedly highlighting cases of HR violations selectively and in a one-sided manner to target the government.
In his speech, the prime minister cited a number of measures taken by his government to deliver basic needs like toilets, cooking gas, electricity and homes to the poor and said this give rise to their aspirations and make them more aware of their rights.
He said by making a law against 'triple talaq', his government has bestowed new rights on Muslim women. The prime minister also spoke of the measures like 26-week maternity leave and more stringent law for rape to highlight his dispensation's empowerment of women.
The commission was set up under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, on October 12, 1993, for the promotion and protection of human rights. The NHRC takes cognisance of human rights violations, conducts enquiries and recommends compensation to victims from public authorities besides other remedial and legal measures against the erring public servants.
Modi said freedom struggle and India's history are a big source of inspiration and values for human rights.
NHRC Chairperson justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra echoed a similar sentiment on Tuesday at the same event, saying social service organisations and human rights defenders should strongly condemn political violence and terrorism as apathy on this issue engenders “fundamentalism".
In his address during an event at Vigyan Bhawan to mark the foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), he also underlined that it has become very common for external forces to level false allegations against India of human rights violations and this should be opposed.
“India has the spirit of ‘Sarvadharma Sambhav’ (harmony of religions). Everyone has freedom to build a temple or mosque or a church. But in many countries, such liberties are not there," the NHRC chief said. Lamenting that humans were hell-bent on destroying humanity, he said, in the 20th century a large number of people have died due to political violence globally.
“It is unfortunate that political violence has still not stopped in the country and abroad (‘Desh-videsh mey rajnaitik hinsa aaj bhi samapt nahin hui hai’)," he said. The NHRC chairperson also said that “killers of innocent people cannot be glorified".
“Calling such… terrorists, freedom fighters is inappropriate, (‘Aise… aatankwadiyon ko swatantra senani kehna anuchit hai’)," he said, without elaborating. “Social service organisations and human rights defenders should strongly condemn political violence and terrorism. Apathy on this issue, engenders fundamentalism and history will never forgive us for this," Mishra said.
Time has come, when “we should resolutely oppose it" and at least raise a voice against this violence, he said. In his speech, he also asserted that “untiring efforts" of Home Minister Shah for fostering a peaceful situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northeast, has “ushered in a new age".
India has emerged as a powerful entity on a global level and it has got recognition as a new power, and it is to be credited to people of India, country’s constitutional system and leadership, he said. The NHRC is working for the last 28 years even though in many powerful countries, such institutions have not been established yet, the rights panel chief said.
Nearly one-sixth of the world’s population resides in India. India has a democratic system, and resolves every issue in a peaceful and legitimate way, he said. Mishra said the press, media and cyberspace have been given freedom in the country, which is within the obligations of constitutional duties and human responsibilities. “But no one has the freedom to destroy the prestige of the Republic’s fundamental pillar, the judiciary, through contemptuous behaviour, and neither should anyone be given this freedom," he asserted.