Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed elements who try to dent India’s image in the name of human rights violations and asked people to be aware of them.
Speaking at the 28th foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the PM castigated those who engage in “selective interpretation” of human rights and look at its violation with an eye on political loss and gains. He said such conduct is harmful to these rights as well as democracy.
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.
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. Modi also spoke of the measures like 26-week maternity leave and more stringent law for rape to highlight his dispensation’s empowerment of women.
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.
NHRC Chairperson Justice Arun Kumar Mishra said social service organisations 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 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”.