Updated: October 13, 2021 2:17:33 am
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday slammed “selective outrage” over human rights, saying it hurt the country and was “dangerous” for democracy. Speaking about his government’s achievements, he also said that human rights only matter to people after their basic needs are met.
Speaking at the 28th Foundation Day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Modi said: “Some people characterise human rights from their own perspective these days. They see human rights violations in some cases but not in other similar cases. We have to be wary of such people.”
It was this that was the biggest “violation” of rights, Modi said. “The biggest human rights violation is when rights are seen from the lens of politics, and political loss or gain. This selective outrage harms the image of the country and we need to be cautious of such individuals.”
In his speech, NHRC Chairperson and former Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra also spoke about the “selective” defining of human rights, adding that “one cannot glorify terrorists and terrorism” in the name of rights. “History will not forgive us if human rights defenders do not criticise political violence,” he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke on the occasion.
The PM said India’s respect for human rights originates from its long struggle for Independence, when freedom fighters fought against injustice and violation of rights of their fellow citizens.
Highlighting what his government had done for the deprived and weaker sections of society, Modi stressed that human rights only matter when basic requirements have been fulfilled. “A poor person who has to seek recommendations to get a gas connection gets dignity when the connection reaches his home directly through the Ujjwala scheme,” he said.
Similarly, Modi said, 26 weeks of paid maternity by law ensures human rights of not only women but their newborns. He also talked about meeting the demand of Muslim women for a law against triple talaq and said, “we also guaranteed (them) the freedom to do Hajj without mahram (a male guardian)”. (Saudia Arabia changed the rules that had made this essential.)
Further, the PM said, rights and duties are two sides of the same coin and a discussion on rights must include a discussion on the duties of citizens.
In his speech, Shah said that since the Modi government had come to power, it had tackled poverty to address human rights. “It is the first time that transgenders are getting rights envisaged under the Constitution,” he said.
Justice Mishra, who took over as chairperson of the NHRC in June, said that since its inception, it had resolved over 20 lakh cases and awarded compensation worth Rs 205 crore to victims.
Justice Mishra also praised the Home Minister for “ensuring peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir”. “It is because of you that a new era has now begun in J&K.”
Referring to Covid-19, the NHRC Chairperson said universal vaccination must also be a human rights goal for the world.
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