The Indian state appeared as the largest violator of human rights which are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
According to human rights experts, from genocide in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to victimization of religious minorities, India had become an apartheid state where human rights and “equality” were distinct values.
Due to such a pathetic record and the prevalent human rights violations in India, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Complaints procedure Branch, issued a communication to India.
What is actually happening?
Two more chief ministers – Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu’s M.K. Stalin – have spoken against the Union government’s proposed changes to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had already been vocal against the proposed amendments, reiterated her strong disapproval on Sunday, January 23, accusing the Narendra Modi government of destroying the federal structure of the country. She has already written twice to Modi on the issue.
Earlier, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel, and Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren had also written to Modi to scrap the plans.
The Union government has proposed an amendment to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954, which would enable it to post IAS officers on central deputation, bypassing reservations of state governments.
Expressing deep concern about the draft amendments proposed by the Union government, Stalin wrote that it “strikes at the very root of our federal polity and state autonomy.”
While the Union is availing the common pool from Group-I officers at the national level, the state governments solely depend on the limited pool of IAS officers available in the state, he stressed in a letter to Modi.
UN General’s viewpoint on Kashmir
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday reiterated the world body’s position on the Kashmir dispute that it should be resolved on the basis of the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions, and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan, with the hope that human rights will be respected in the disputed territory.
“Well, the position of the UN … when the resolutions that were taken … remains the same,” he said in reply to a question, that reminded him of the statement he made on August 8, 2019, at his first press conference in the new year as he began his second term as the UN chief.
The secretary-general pointed out that the United Nations has a peacekeeping operation in Kashmir — the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the Line of Control in the disputed region.
He said he had offered his “good offices” to resolve the dispute several times, and “we hope that this is something that can be solved peacefully and that the situation in Kashmir is a situation in which human rights are respected and in which people can live in peace and security.”
A London-based law firm has filed an application with British police seeking the arrest of India’s army chief and a senior Indian government official over their alleged roles in war crimes in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Law firm Stoke White said it submitted extensive evidence to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit on Tuesday, documenting how Indian forces headed by General ManojMukundNaravane and Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah were responsible for the torture, kidnapping, and killing of activists, journalists and civilians – particularly Muslim – in the region.
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“There is strong reason to believe that Indian authorities are conducting war crimes and other violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir,” the report states, referring to the territory in the Himalayan region.
What do the testimonies say?
Based on more than 2,000 testimonies taken between 2020 and 2021, the report also accused eight unnamed senior Indian military officials of direct involvement in war crimes and torture in Kashmir.
The law firm’s investigation suggested that the abuse has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. It also included details about the arrest of KhurramParvez, the region’s most prominent rights activist, by India’s counterterrorism authorities last year.
“This report is dedicated to the families who have lost loved ones without a trace, and who experience daily threats when trying to attain justice,” Khalil Dewan, author of the report and head of the SWI unit, said in a statement.
One week after briefing the US Congress, where he warned “genocide could very well happen in India”, Gregory Stanton, the founding president of Genocide Watch, has said he’s asked, “the US Congress to pass a resolution that warns genocide should not be allowed to occur in India”. Stanton also said: “(President Joe) Biden should tell (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi if genocide occurs it will require us to re-assess all our relations with India.”
In a 28-minute interview with Karan Thapar, Stanton said that although his organization, Genocide Watch, does not rank countries, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum believes that, after Pakistan, India is the second most likely country for a genocide to happen.
In the interview, Stanton said, “the early warning signs of (genocide) are present in India.” Referring to Genocide Watch’s ’10 stages of genocide’, he said several of them had been fulfilled in India. The ones he identified are classification (distinguishing between people as us and them and othering them), symbolization (identifying people by the clothes they wear or calling them abbaJaan), discrimination (the Citizenship Amendment Act), dehumanization (calling them termites and telling them to go to Pakistan) and polarisation (accusing them of ‘love jihad’ and discriminatory laws against intermarriage). On top of all this, he said there have been actual calls for genocide which, he added, is akin to genocide under the Genocide Convention, to which India is a signatory.
Stanton said “just because a country is a democracy it’s not impossible for a genocide to happen” and cited the US’s own example where, he said, genocide has been carried out against Native Americans and also against African Americans.
He said whilst it’s not his case that genocide is happening in India at the moment, his fear is that the stages that lead to genocide, what he calls the early warning signs, have occurred. “Genocide is not an event, it’s a process. It develops,” he said.
Stanton said if genocide happens “it won’t be the state but mobs that will carry it out.”
Speaking specifically about Prime Minister Modi, Stanton said he has told the US Congress that he believes Modi encouraged the 2002 massacre and has also used anti-Muslim rhetoric to build his political base. “He has a record (and) he has to answer,” he said. “He needs to be accountable.”
World perception about India as a democratic and secular state has been changed already. The true ugly face of India has been exposed.
Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.