IN THE GARB OF HUMAN RIGHTS

What could be more dangerous than the worst human rights violators making it to the world body and raking up the so called human rights issue against the world’s largest democracy India that has a proven track record of having a vibrant institutionalized system which leaves the least scope for human rights violation at the hands of private parties or even at the hands of the state. It was in this context that today an unnecessary spar between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and human rights violations took place at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva, trading accusations and allegations over human rights violations and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The proceedings prepared by the HRC, besides centering on India and Pakistan not allowing a fact-finding mission to the Indian state and the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, focused on other allegations of human rights trying to single out India. The NGOs and civil society organizations, seemingly sponsored by none other than India’s neighbour Pakistan included The Association for the Protection of Women and Children’s Rights; Commission Africaine des Promoteurs de la Sante et des Droits de l’Homme; Liberation; Indigenous People of Africa Coordinating Committee; Centre for Organization Research and Education and last but not the least Tamil Uzhagam and left almost no stone unturned in painting India as the worst human rights violator. The allegations leveled were multiple a few of these being as follows: there was a need to focus on alleged increased human rights violations in Kashmir; that terrorism and systematic human rights violations in Kashmir required more attention by the High Commissioner besides unprovoked heavy shelling having resulted in deaths of civilians; that India was experiencing increasing religious intolerance under the pretext of the protection of the holy cow; that homes of non-Hindu minorities had been systematically destroyed and their products were regularly boycotted; that members of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes were victims of rape and honour killings and that human rights activists in Tamil Nadu needed the UNHRC’s protection. While all the aforesaid organizations received full support of the Pakistani Permanent Representative in Geneva, Farukh Amil who tried to further multiply the allegations against India, the Indian First Secretary in India’s UN Mission in Geneva Sumit Seth rightly rubbished the Pakistani as well as NGOs’ allegation with fully authenticated facts which make the record of India pertaining to human rights unchallengeable at any forum including the world bodies. There are facts which are self explanatory on the very face and as such those raking up issues against India are only going to get dwarfed in the International affairs with each passing day. Today the whole world is aware of the facts and acknowledges that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India and will always remain so despite Pakistan’s use of terrorism as a state policy for territorial acquisition. It is known to one and all that the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir is the direct result of sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The restraint displayed by Indian security forces under these difficult circumstances that has resulted in the high number of casualties sustained by Indian security forces itself speaks about the high regard for human rights by the Indian establishment. The world acknowledges that India has a robust institutional framework to ensure adherence to the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights of the people in India including Kashmir and that this framework is built on an independent judiciary, the National Human Rights Commission, vibrant civil society and free and vocal media. Last but not the least, the people of India regularly exercise their democratic rights without any fret and fear. On the contrary, the people of Pakistan as well as Pakistan occupied Kashmir have become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and severe economic hardship due to Pakistan’s authoritarian and discriminatory policies in complete disregard of human rights. It is high time for nations inimical to the world’s largest democracy to realize the might of India and stop dreaming about disintegrating it in the garb of Human Rights violation. The earlier they realize the better it would be.