Saturday, February 24, 2024

Human Rights Movement and Hypocrisy

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Sanjay Dixit
Sanjay Dixit is a senior IAS of Rajasthan cadre and former secretary of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He has written extensively on agriculture, strategic matters and social issues. Dixit did his graduation in Marine Engineering and sailed with the Merchant Navy for 4 years before joining the IAS in 1986. He is Chairman of a popular Forum The Jaipur Dialogues. Follow him on Twitter @ Sanjay_Dixit

On 12th September, a curious story appeared in an Israeli newspaper. In an unprecedented ruling, a Jerusalem Court allowed some Palestinians Arabs to sue the Palestinian Authority for collaborating with Israeli authorities for their unlawful detention and torture. The lawyers, however, were faced with an unprecedented situation. Every Human Rights NGO they turned to for finding a doctor to assess the quantum of damages, refused to help them. They said that they assisted only those that sued Israel!

The anecdote is educative of the state of Human Rights Movement worldwide. A homogeneous world-wide Human Rights Movement is just a chimera. The International Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December, 1948, has been used by its signatories more in breach than in compliance. Other than the democracies, every despicable dictatorship, authoritarian regime, and Islamic regimes are its signatories. That’s where the charade begins.

Things reached such a pass that regimes like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China were weaving circles around the International Human rights structure. The UN Commission of Human Rights had to be wound up in 2005, and we are witness to the new structure of UN Human Rights Council since 2006.

So how is the new structure working. The crowning glory of the Council is that in the 2016 elections, China and Saudi Arabia became members from Asia without even a vote — two countries that doubtlessly have a stellar record in espousal of Human Rights. China follows the Communist doctrine, in which the people have no rights, only the Party has. As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, it has even better record. It follows the Shari’a Law at home that has institutionalised systems of discrimination against women, minorities and dissenters; besides exporting violent brand of radical Islam all over the world in the form of financing jihadi groups. The Body is headed by a Jordanian prince, whose country follows Shari’a Law at home. Shari’a Law prescribes death for Mushrikeen (Idol worshippers), Munafiqeen (religious dissenters), Murtid (Apostates), and majdeef/gustakh (Blasphemers). Besides, it also prescribes inhuman punishments such as whipping and stoning to death for normal crimes. It institutionalises slavery, subordination of women and minorities. When did we last hear anything against Shari’a Law by the human rights cabal? A fat chance of that happening as long as you have an Arab steeped in Shari’a as the UNCHR High Commissioner. He has been pushed to that position to minimise scrutiny against Arab countries for their human rights record.

With such excellent credentials, do we need to ask how much credibility they will carry? Next to nil, I would contend. There is a shloka in the Bhagawadgita : yadyadA charati shreshthah tattadevetarO janah/ sa yat pramAnam kurute lokastadanuvartate (Bhagvadgita 3:21). It translates as ‘People behave like their leader. Whatever the leader puts his stamp on, lay public follows that’. Is it, therefore, a surprise that an organisation which is hostage to the Arab hypocrisy, permeates that trend right down to its activists? Leaders of both the UN Human Rights Commission, and the UN Council of Human Rights have failed the movement. It should, therefore, occasion, no surprise, that the attitude has percolated right down to the smallest activist.

The UNDHR came in the wake of inclusion of the words ‘fundamental freedoms’ and ‘human rights’ in the UN Charter itself, the impulse was provided by the 2nd World War. Public position of a war for freedom taken by the Allied powers was translated into the written commitment. The romanticism and idealism did not even outlast even the drying of the ink on the UNDHR document. Today, it appears to me as an atavistic flight of fancy, that is used by nations and the HR cabal (some even refer to it as HR mafia) to further their interests, ideologies, and even crimes against humanity.

The result of these hypocrisies is that Tibet has disappeared from the human rights discourse of the world. Little surprise that Tibet is now off the radar of Indian activists as well. Muslim


Today’s Human Rights movement in India and abroad is plagued by extreme ideological skulduggery. This has led to an incredible credibility of crisis. From UNCHR to NHRC, all institutions are losing their mojo by selectivity and positioning of NGOs. Besides, the western nations are having a different set of problems. their espousal of human rights issue is contingent on their business interests. Let us look at a few examples (besides the ones quoted above).

Some good work was done in the human rights sphere, specially with regards to bonded labours, prisoners, and child labour. Within the 21st century, the movement has become clouded by its open ideological and political positioning. The human rights NGOs are under a cloud after receiving FCRA notices, and cancellations of FCRA licences in bulk. Certain events need to be recounted to put things in perspective:

  1. It is ironical that human rights NGOs seem to concentrate exclusively on the aberrational occurrences, and give a complete free pass to the totalitarian doctrines of Shari’a Law, and Marxism. It is well documented that Communism alone has killed more than 100 million people in the 20th and 21st century, in about100 years since the Russian Revolution. Jihadis and Shari’a States have killed at least 40 million people in these two centuries, including 15 million Armenians, 1 million Hindus, and 3 million Bengalis. Others include people killed by various Islamic militia around the world, including the ISIS. If people displaced due to these two extreme ideologies are counted, the figure would be another 100 million.
  2. Western countries, whose NGOs are the most well funded, are selling arms and ammunition worth hundreds of billions of dollars to the countries with the worst records of institutionalised oppression, such as Saudi Arabia. Besides, they are silent on countries with whom they have strong business interests. Do you hear any NGO in India criticising China on its human rights violations in Xinjiang or Tibet? Do you hear NGOs in India criticising Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen. It is the worst crime currently going on in the world. Hardly any HR organisation in India or the World talks about these issues. These are not fashionable issues. Issues of Darfur genocide, Somali Al-Shabab, or Nigerian Boko Haram are rarely raised in India. You do hear a few murmurs, but the fashion of the day is to be anti-Israel.
  3. The Rohingya issue has been picked up by the NGOs in conjunction with the Islamists of the world. Marxists, Islamists, and Liberals have joined hands on this issue. they received a bad jolt when China and India joined hands in supporting Myanmar crackdown on the Rohingya terrorists, but the selective approach of the human rights lobby is too glaring to escape notice. When the separatist sympathiser like Prashant Bhushan raise these issues in public, or before the Supreme Court, they have no regard to the nation’s security. They openly support the disintegration of India, as they did during the ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ episode in JNU. That is the reason that I wrote a damning piece against this hypocrisy. It was widely acclaimed.
  4. Within India, the human rights NGO, Islamists, Marxists, and liberals are on the same side. Their fake narrative building like Award Wapasi campaigns, Not In My Name marches, and Gauri Lankesh issue has completely discredited them.
  5. Triple Talaq issue reached the Supreme Court only because the sufferer women kept the flag of resistance flying high. The people who jumped out of their skin to do Award Wapasi were all conspicuous by their absence. Not one Human Rights NGO joined these suffering women.
  6. Internationally, how many activists have condemned Hamas and Hezbollah for undermining the human rights of the Palestinians? The people who show up in every anti-Israel campaign are never seen when Hamas mentally booby traps Gaza and West Bank citizens into carrying out knife attacks against Israelis. While mush is heard about Israel’s occuaption of Palestinian lands, not merely a murmur is not heard about Arab refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist, but not even about the Arab refusal to recognise the Jews’ right to exist.
  7. There was rightly a worldwide outrage against the most bestial atrocities on Yazidis. As long as the ISIS was fighting against the west, the outrage remained. As soon as the ISIS fell, and Kurds started inflicting atrocities against the same Yazidis, the world fell silent. Of course, we have to admit that nothing can match the ISIS brutalities. Yet, the Kurds’ violation of Yazidi human rights is of a much greater severity than Israel’s violation of Palestinians’ human rights. The Palestine human rights global industry did not question the orchestrated orgy of knifing the Israelis even once. Maybe because shari’a law explicitly allows killing of Jews!
  8. Has anyone heard of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square lately? It used to be celebrated with great gusto, but has slowly died out. The rate of its dying out has been in direct proportion to the rise of China’s economic clout on the world stage.
  9. The blackest mark on the Indian human rights movement has been its abandonment of the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley. They have to fight for their own cause. The Hindu refugees who displaced from West Punjab in 1947 are still living without their basic rights. They are citizens of India but not citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. They suffered unspeakable crimes against them in the late eighties and nineties. The Kashmir legal system was either complicit or incompetent that it was not able to bring a single criminal to book. When the KPs went to the Supreme Court for reopening their case, a Bench headed by Justice Khehar threw out their case on the ground that too much time had passed. Did you hear a squeak from human rights lobby?
  10. India’s human rights lobby went after Lt Col Leetul Gogoi for tying up a Kashmiri separatists. That a military officer acting on behalf the country saved precious lives of government servants, and the public, by his presence of mind in a quasi-war like situation was of no consequence to them. Liberals, Marxists, and Lutyen journalists joined the bandwagon in maligning India’s Army, which is battling to save J&K from separatists and Jihadis for Indian nation. I have never heard this lobby condemn the terrorists and Hurriyat leaders for violating the human rights of Kashmiris and Indians.
  11. Indian human rights lobby spared no effort in getting Yakub Memon off the gallows. The luminaries even went to the extent of having the Supreme Court opened at 2 o’clock in the night. Yet, these people do not utter a word when innocent people from the RSS are killed in Kerala in what is widely suspected to be State inspired operations.
  12. Human rights activists like John Dayal even defended Zakir Naik, who is facing prosecution for disseminating hate against Hindus. The benign eye of the human rights activists stands with Islamists in their quest of jihad, but never with persecuted Hindus. I had brought out Zakir Naik’s story in my piece a few months back.
  13. Rohith Vemulla’s suicide for unknown reasons is a signal Human Rights issue for the HR activists as being symptomatic of Dalit oppression , but when E. Rajesh, a genuine Dalit unlike Vemulla, is brutally hacked by Marxists in Kerala, not one of them stands up.
  14. The saga of Gauri Lankesh is even more curious. Since 2013, 22 journalists were killed all over India. Gauri Lankesh was the 22nd. A vile, abusive, hate preaching Urban Naxal of unexceptionable kind, she was the only one that had the human rights lobby in India rise as one to support. Aakar Patel of Amnesty International wrote paeans of prose in her praise, imputing motives all the while. She had once personally threatened me with a public beating. Yet, she becomes the face of humanity and rights violations, with scant regard to how she was the worst violator of others’ rights and had even been convicted for criminal defamation.
  15. John Dayal, whom I referred to with reference to Zakir Naik is an evangelist who is also doing human rights activism in India. He would have been in jail in China or Russia, but in India he is on any advocacy group that has breaking India as its open or hidden agenda. He openly goes and testifies against India in the USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom). Instead of being charged with sedition, the Indian human rights lobby adopts him as its favourite child. This self-same individual refuses to answer a pointed question — Will people like Mahatma Gandhi or Swami Vivekananda go to heaven or hell, according to the doctrine he preaches. He always evades the question because in the Evengelical doctrine, a man can be saved only by Jesus. All others have to burn in eternal hellfire, regardless of how good human beings they were. That such a person is a leading human rights activist in India is an abiding shame.
  16. The shameful conduct of Indian human rights lobby in the Basirhat riots of West Bengal will never be forgotten. Not only did they keep quiet against the jihadi marauders, they did not even speak up when a juvenile was booked as an adult in spite of incontrovertible evidence that he was a juvenile. It was to the credit of Tapan Ghosh and his Hindu Samhati that obtained judicial relief for the boy who had been booked.
  17. Kerala murders go on unabated. Even a CPM MP has now come out and exposed the role of the State in these murders of the right wing activists. Even in Karnataka, murders of the political activists, mostly from the right wing, continue unabated. What have we heard from the human rights lobby? Precisely nothing.
  18. Beyond all these, and the most sinister aspect of human rights activism in India has been the environmental activism as an aspect of human rights activism. Right to a good Environment as a part of fundamental freedoms of the UN Charter is well established. However, led by the Medha Patkars (Narmada Dam), and Udayakumars (Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant) of the environmental activists lobby, every project of any consequence was sought to be stalled. If it could not be stalled, it was sought to be delayed. Even border roads were not beyond the nation devouring activism of this lobby. Human Rights masquerading as environmental fundamentalism has set India back by many decades. It borders on sedition

The ineluctable conclusion follows: Human Rights remain only in the realm of high principles. The way they have been practised by the International and Indian institutions, and the NGOs, it only suffers scorn. Certainly no plaudits.

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