UN Human Rights Chief warns India over treatment of minorities

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The treatment conditions of historically disadvantaged and marginalized sections of society in India are at an all time low during the Modi regime. This is creating a negative image of the country on the international platform and hurting the economic plans of India in the global market.

After the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections following a jingoistic wave, the hate crimes against the religious minorities took steep increase drawing flak from human rights groups from all over the world. There were reports of extremist right-wing groups physically assaulting Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims purely out of religious hatred and contempt.

Radicalized mobs repeatedly harassed, assaulted and even lynched many Muslims on suspicions of beef-eating and there was hardly any action taken against the perpetrators of hate. The cases of minor rapes out of religious hatred were also registered that brought the country to a standstill. There were country-wide protests and marches demanding justice for the victims and for bringing culprits behind bars.

There have been shameful cases where ruling party BJP came out in the support of alleged rapists, let alone bringing them to justice. In a bizarre incident, when Mohammad Akhlaq of Dadri was lynched amidst allegations of possessing beef, one of the accused Ravi Sisodia was hailed as a martyr and draped in tricolor when he died in police custody.

Mamata Banerjee has called that Mob Lynchings are a result of Modi government’s campaign of hate. She said that though cow is worshipped as a mother, people are being lynched in her name and creating an atmosphere similar to “Hindu Taliban”. It is due to some extremist religious groups and their hatred campaigning. They have taken law into their own hands and they are lynching people.

This has drawn criticism from United Nations Human Rights Chief who warned that India’s “divisive policies” could undermine economic growth while adding that the valley is widening between the oppressed and the oppressing in an already unequal society of India.

“We are receiving reports that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of minorities – in particular, Muslims and people from historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis,” Michelle Bachelet said in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

Bachelet’s warning came when Amnesty International recorded a “disturbing” number of hate crimes against minorities in 2018. As per their reports, there have been total of 218 hate crimes against minorities, out of which, 142 have been against lower-caste Dalits while 50 are against Muslims.

Delhi based social activist Kavita Krishnan disagreed with the terms used by United Nations Human Rights Chief and asserted that he should be concerned with the increasing number of hate crimes irrespective of whether it hurts the economic growth or not.

She also added that everything cannot be measured in terms of economic growth. India’s moral stature is stunted by these organized attacks on minorities which is justified in the name of protecting cows or in the name of protecting Hindu women.

This is also a shameful blot on the BJP government’s policies and shows its incompetent nature that most of the attacks took place in states ruled by the BJP. Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, topped the list with 27 cases. Bihar, with 10 cases, came second. The figures show a spike in alleged hate crimes after Modi took power in 2014.

This is the time for the Indian masses to pay heed to these warnings from inside the nation as well as abroad and make the decision to save the idea of India from extremists of all kinds.

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