Modi’s Human Rights Violations Being Highlighted Ahead of his UNGA Address
September 24, 2021
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the international community to spotlight the human rights abuses of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he prepares to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) forum in New York this week. The Indian prime minister’s address is expected to cover global issues as well as his government’s domestic achievements. However, authorities in his home country have chastised his government for politically motivated prosecutions, human rights violations, particularly against minorities, and a refusal to allow watchdogs to monitor the deteriorating situation.
HRW’s congressional briefing on “religious freedom in India” on September 22 revealed the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party’s(BJP)appalling record of human rights violations. The Asia Advocacy Director, John Sifton, testified that the Indian government’s assault on religious minorities in India was scathing. The US congressmen were informed that attacks on religious minorities, particularly Muslims, had increased in India since the BJP took power in 2014.
The testimony also detailed how Indian laws and policies discriminate against religious minorities, how the Indian justice system is biased against Muslims, the ongoing crackdown in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and how the BJP government empowers vigilantes and cracks down on civil society for raising these issues. It was pointed out that BJP leaders and affiliated groups had long labelled minority communities as a threat to national security and the Hindu way of life, as well as making hateful remarks about Muslims during state and national elections. Experts believe that while Indian citizens struggle to cope with the pandemic as their government spends billions of dollars.
In India, this polarizing political discourse has helped to normalize violence against minorities, particularly Muslims. The government’s prejudices have infiltrated independent institutions like the police, allowing nationalist groups to threaten, harass, and attack religious minorities without consequence.
Analysts believe that the Indian prime minister’s list of achievements to be presented at the UN forum and during his upcoming meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House on September 24will not hide his government’s failures to protect human rights. While Modi seeks global recognition on the world stage, the BJP’s legacy, mirage, remains.