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Rights Beyond Race, Religion And Social Status – OpEd

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It does not matter what your religion, language, nation or other status is; you have the same fundamental rights as everyone else. Customs, national constitutions, and international treaties all protect these fundamental human rights. General Assembly states basic rights and freedoms, as do other United Nations bodies. It was stated in the United Nations Declaration of Rights and Freedoms 217A that “everyone is entitled to enjoy the rights and freedoms set out in this Declaration without difference of any type,” such as race or colour.

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Human rights are included in almost every country’s constitution. India’s constitution, in its preamble, proclaims the country to be a sovereign socialist republic with a secular foundation. Many of these violations have gone on for decades, and the most notable and exposed to the world community include freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and protection for minorities. Unfortunately, it is only a piece of paper that India has not bothered to put into action since 1947. There is no safety for minorities attacked by extreme leaders and adherents of the Hindutva doctrine – rather they are humaiated.

Human Rights Watch recently released a study titled “2022” in which it revealed the genuine face of India to the world community. According to the research, the BJP-led government in India has hounded journalists, activists, businessmen, artists, and poets for their critical views. The current government has enacted laws and policies that target minorities, particularly Muslims in India. After India unilaterally revoked Article 35 A and 370, the state of Jammu and Kashmir went under lockdown and communication blackout. However, Kashmir’s political and indigenous movements continue to elude control.

The extrajudicial killings carried out by Indian security services were also noted in the study. In the first three months of 2021, there were 143 deaths in police custody and 104 allegations of extrajudicial killings, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

Other minorities in India, including the Christian minority, are being persecuted. The Hindu mob attacked and destroyed a church in Uttarakhand state in October 2021. In Chhattisgarh, an assault on a church was reported in a manner similar to this. Many Indian states made changes to their laws to prevent forced religious conversion, but the Indian government has not taken any action to prohibit this. Women and girls are more at risk, particularly those who are members of underrepresented groups.

The United States is similarly concerned about the human rights violations in India, as shown by this statement. Antony Blinken remarked that “we are watching the escalation in human rights violations by the government” during a joint news conference with Lloyd Austin, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Anti-Muslim campaigns in India have been on the rise recently, with Muslims women being targeted for wearing the hijab in schools, minorities being lynched for selling meat, and even Muslim businessmen being attacked.

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A number of UN-appointed independent human rights experts expressed alarm about the deterioration of human rights in India. Speaking at a seminar in Delhi with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Human Rights Watch Nordic Director Mns Molander spoke to the illegal demolition of Muslim property in Jahangirpuri. Europe’s leaders should raise the problem of human rights with Prime Minister Modi, he said.” Such unlawful demolitions of mostly Muslim properties are a common sight in India, as he pointed out.

International law and United Nations agreements have been repeatedly flouted by the government, and minorities have been denied fundamental human rights. As a result, the people of Kashmir have been denied their most fundamental right to freedom.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s, Human Rights Watch’s Nordic Director’s, and Human Rights Watch’s 2022 report reveal that the international community is aware of India’s steadily worsening human rights situation. An impartial inquiry overseen by foreign organisations should be accepted by the Indian government as well as the results of a Human Rights Watch study. 

The author holds an M.Phil from National Defence University and freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected]

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