Human Rights Crisis in India

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Indian is holding general elections in seven parts from April 19 to June 1, 2024, to elect 543 Lok Sabha members. The votes will be tallied, and the results will be proclaimed on June 4, 2024. However, the international community’s attention will be directed at India’s human rights situation. A wide array of sources, such as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, portray a grim picture of a country racked by institutionalized discrimination, cruelty towards minorities, and the destruction of law. These revelations point out the need for remedial actions to displace the deep-rooted human rights problems in India, especially during the election phase.

UN Experts Alarmed by Escalating Attacks

United Nations human rights experts shared a joint press release that contained an alarm about aggravated violations of human rights against minorities, the media, and civil society in India.

United Nations human rights experts shared a joint press release that contained an alarm about aggravated violations of human rights against minorities, the media, and civil society in India. The experts emphasized manifest concern over the frequency of violence and hate crime, which has increased tremendously, targeting religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, as well as women and girls. These were among the issues pointed out that involve dehumanizing language, incitement to violence, arbitrary killing of minorities, forced disappearances of certain persons, and destruction of minority homes.

It was its attention-seeking, harassment, and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, journalists, and officials instead of using agencies for the good, which they should be under their codes of conduct. During the inducted reporting period, there were 78 communications sent by the UN human rights experts to India starting on March 7, 2019, out of which only 18 responses were received, representing a quite concerning level of response from Indian authorities. Refusing a UN Special Procedures delegation entry to monitor human rights conditions constitutes an additional obstacle to effectively preventing and eradicating human rights violations.

Controversial Legislative Measures Targeting Minorities

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which the government enforced in 2019, became subject to disapproval for the discriminatory provisions that the law entails. CAA has been introduced as a way of fast-tracking citizenship for migrants from neighbouring countries based on religion. This undermines the principle of secularism by excluding only Muslims. On the one hand, opponents of the bill claim that the law is a legalized form of discrimination and causes a breach of international human rights standards. Notably, there is also the case of the circular National Register of Citizens (NRC) together with Foreigners Tribunals that may, in effect, make many Muslims refugees and intensify their state of helplessness.

The Modi administration’s steppingstones in the Kashmir problem also include stripping the region of its autonomous status, and the consequences of the harsh clampdown on dissent have come under scrutiny for their impact on the rights of the natives. Rejoicing in the killing of people outside the jurisdiction of the law, internet disruptions, and control over freedom of expression demonstrate the gravity and funding system of a slipping human rights condition.

Also Read: Human Rights Violations in India: Sikh Minority Challenges

Escalating Violence and Discrimination

The chaotic Delhi clashes of 2020 and the fallout of subsequent protests are a clear depiction of the government’s failure to protect marginalized communities and hold violent assailants responsible.

Examples of communal violence, for instance, the Babri Masjid conflict, the Gujarat riots, and the Muzaffarnagar riots—have torn India’s social texture existentially to the extent that they have cost countless lives and widened the communal divide. Claims of cow-protection mobs along with “love jihad” allegations have only made it worse and resulted in vigilante violence against Muslims, which has fueled the existing tensions even more. The chaotic Delhi clashes of 2020 and the fallout of subsequent protests are a clear depiction of the government’s failure to protect marginalized communities and hold violent assailants responsible. The present circumstances, including the inauguration ceremony of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, have once again ignited communal tensions, culminating in intermittent violence across the country. An unresponsive approach to hate speech and failure to contain its impact has led to a prevailing culture of impunity, where perpetrators seize every opportunity to commit these rights violations.

International Response

The international community, especially the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch has urged India to do justice to its obligation to protect and promote human rights and address the issues of communal-based discrimination and violence. The Indian authorities’ failure to provide frail engagement and responsibility for the resolution of causes that bring about the violation of human rights plays a role in the undermining of attempts aimed at addressing the root causes of human rights abuses.

Call for Action

In the context of the 2024 elections, India should display its resolve to respect the rights of each citizen, irrespective of the ethnicity or religion of the particular citizen. Policies with concrete actions should be designed to stimulate the grievances of marginalized communities, bring those who commit violent crimes to justice, and uphold the core values as well as the principles of democracy and pluralism. As India stands at a crossroads, the choices made in the coming months will not only shape the nation’s future but also determine its standing on the global stage.

It is incumbent upon Indian authorities to heed the calls for justice, equality, and respect for human rights and to work towards building a society where diversity is celebrated, and everyone can live free from fear and discrimination. As India stands at a crossroads, the decisions made in the following months will not only influence the country’s future but also its worldwide stature. Indian authorities must respond to cries for justice, equality, and respect for human rights, as well as work towards the creation of a society in which variety is respected and everyone may live without fear of prejudice.

The opinions shared in this article reflect the author’s personal views and do not necessarily align with the institution’s official stance.

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