Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not a man who minces his words. The opposition and liberals, apart from certain nefarious forces continuously seek to paint the Modi government with a fascist brush, and push forward the narrative that the Prime Minister has scant regard for human rights. So far, PM Modi has refrained from replying to such below-the-belt attacks made by those who want to see him out of power. On Tuesday, however, PM Modi grabbed these notorious forces by their horns, and let’s just say, threw them out of the stadium.
Addressing the 28th foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) virtually, Prime Minister Modi fired shots at fake human rights activists and exposed their hypocrisy – which makes them see the issue of human rights violations through a political prism alone. PM Modi warned against this “selective interpretation” as it is against the very concept of human rights.
He said, “Some people see human rights violations in certain incidents but not in other similar incidents. Human rights are violated when viewed through the lens of politics. Selective behaviour is harmful to democracy and tarnishes the nation’s image. We must be wary of such politics.” India, he said, has always been “committed and sensitive” towards issues concerning human rights. He also said such behaviour hurts the very concept of human rights.
Prime Minister Modi stressed on the fact that in India, respect for human rights in the country is largely due to the long freedom struggle that the nation went through. “We fought for our rights across centuries and, as a country and society, always protested against injustice and tyranny.”
The Prime Minister also spoke on an equally important issue. People usually dissociate their rights from duties. The concept of national duties is just as important, and every Indian must make it a point to fulfil their national duties. He said that duties were as important as rights and that these two should not be discussed separately. The government had worked to ensure the dignity of the poor as that was linked closely to the concept of human rights, he pointed out. He listed out schemes such as toilet construction under Swachh Bharat Mission and bank accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana as examples.
PM Modi took to remind people of how his government has ensured safety, dignity and justice for Muslim women from ridiculous theological practices. He said, “For decades, Muslim women had been demanding a law against triple talaq. We have given new rights to Muslim women by enacting a law against triple talaq.” Also, he reminded everyone how his government has introduced stern laws to deter crimes against women, and also set up over 650 fast track courts to deliver swift justice to victims. While the West continues to be toxically divided on the issue of abortions and maternity leaves, in India, the Modi government has granted 26 weeks of maternity leave to women and also reformed abortion laws to give reproductive freedom to women.
The National Human Rights Commission was established on October 12, 1993, for the promotion and protection of human rights. It takes suo moto cognisance of human rights violations in the country, apart from also acting on complaints, and takes steps to ensure that justice is served to the victims. It conducts enquiries and, if the violation is established, recommends various remedial and legal measures.