PM Modi warns against selective interpretation of human rights issues
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said “some even try to dent” India’s image in the name of human rights violations and people should be aware of them. He 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. Prime Minister was 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 violations, and people should beware of them, he said. Though Modi did not name any person or organization, 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.
Modi also spoke of the measures like 26-week maternity leave and more stringent laws for rape to highlight his dispensation’s empowerment of women.
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 gives rise to their aspirations and makes them more aware of their rights. He said by making a law against ‘triple talaq‘, his government has bestowed new rights on Muslim women. Modi also spoke of the measures like 26-week maternity leave and more stringent laws for rape to highlight his dispensation’s empowerment of women.
NHRC Chairperson Justice Arun Mishra said social service organizations and human rights defenders should strongly condemn political violence and terrorism as apathy on this issue engenders “fundamentalism”. Noting that a large number of people have lost their lives to political violence globally in the last century, he said it was unfortunate that political violence has “still not stopped” in the country and abroad.
“India has the spirit of ‘Sarvadharma Sambhav‘ (harmony of religions). Everyone has the freedom to build a temple or mosque or 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.”
“Social service organizations 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.
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.
Addressing the foundation day of the NHRC, Home Minister Amit Shah appreciated the work being carried out by the rights body for creating awareness among people of the country about their human rights over the last 28 years of its existence. The Home Minister said the NHRC, since its inception, has disposed of 20 lakh cases and awarded Rs.205 crore compensation to scores of people for violation of human rights, which is commendable.
The NHRC was set up under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, on October 12, 1993, for the promotion and protection of human rights.
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