Visiting Countries Alone Does Not Raise Status, Mr Prime Minister!

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplane for Frankfurt on the way of his United States visit,  in New Delhi. — PTI file

The UN report criticizing the Government of India for severe “human rights violations” in Kashmir, though rejected by Modi govt, has bust the bubble of BJP claim that Modi has enhanced India’s reputation in the world.

Dr JAVED JAMIL | Caravan Daily

IN last few days, the UN has issued a report heavily criticizing the Government of India for severe “human rights violations” in Kashmir and CIA has described Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS as terrorist or communal organisations. Irrespective of the nature and merit behind these accusations, which Modi Government have rejected, they have bust the bubble of BJP claim that Modi has enhanced India’s reputation in the world.

After Vikas (Development), image building of India across the globe has been the biggest propaganda points of the 4-year old Modi raj. What to speak of “Sab ka Vikas”, the slogan shouted every single second, even “Vikas” of some of all is now being questioned. A few selected individual industrialists have of course been the only beneficiaries of “Economic Development”. If there has been a real vikas of anyone it is that of the organisations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP and their hatred campaigns through lynching, murders, rapes and sustained intellectual violence against minorities and Dalits.

A Hindustan Times report says, “The UN report focuses mainly on alleged serious violations committed in Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018. Activists estimate that up to 145 civilians were killed by security forces and up to 20 civilians killed by armed groups in the same period, it said. In responding to demonstrations that started in 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries,” the report said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called for maximum restraint and denounced the lack of prosecutions of Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir due to a 1990 law giving them what he called “virtual immunity”.

In a statement, Zeid called for the Human Rights Council – which opens a three-week session in Geneva on Monday – to launch a commission of inquiry into all violations. Alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region should be investigated, he said.”

If the allegations are even partially true, it does not augur well for the future of the region. Even if the allegations are totally baseless, as described by Indian Government, it speaks of the colossal failure of Modi dispensation in creating a positive image of the country. And if American Investigative agency has labeled VHP as an extremist outfit, this again raises questions at the international level about the state of communal harmony in the country under Modi Government. Surprisingly none of the “friendly” countries of India including America and Israel has supported India’s reaction on the two issues.

Now even Shiv Sena has used strong words against the BJP’s failure at the international level and has called Modi’s foreign visits as total failure. BJP is calling “Mahagathbandhan” as a proof of Modi’s success. The truth is otherwise. If the leader in power is popular, any large alliance of opposition parties is highly unlikely to emerge. Many of them would in fact gravitate towards the party in power. When there is widespread anger against the ruler, the opposition succeeds.

BJP and RSS should have realized by now that campaigns based on hatred rather than truth ultimately leads to unity against the perpetrators. And when the campaigns are not based on ideological positions, even allies tend to become adversaries. Not only the other political parties are uniting against BJP, there are clear signs of rift within the Hindutva lobby. Hopefully, sooner than later, the forces of power will return to sanity and allow India to remain a truly secure and secular country recognizing religious morality preached by the religions but not discriminating on the basis of religious identity.

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Dr Javed Jamil is an eminent Islamic scholar and author.

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