The Organiser editorial discusses how the concept of human rights is not uniform. Criticising an Amnesty International report for its focus on “alleged human rights violations by security force personnel” in Kashmir, the editorial reminds Amnesty that the “armed groups” that perpetrate human rights violations in the state are “nothing but trained and supported by another state called Pakistan”. It adds, “the more tormenting reality is [that] the whole report is Kashmir Valley-centric” and “the discrimination and violence incurred on Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists of Jammu and Ladakh regions are not even taken into consideration”. It says Amnesty does not make the same noises about the complete absence of any democratic mechanisms or rights of Kashmiris in PoK.
Cautioning that such an approach to human rights would generate the impression that even such NGOs are creations of vested interests, it says, “Rights irrespective of duties will not be accepted by any nation, [on] which these international NGOs miss out. Unless we revise the human rights discourse, address [the] rights of all individuals and groups concerned equally and link them with some form of proportionate duties, human rights will never be truly universal.”
BJP vs TMC
An article in the Organiser projects the BJP as the party most effectively opposing the TMC in West Bengal. It rubbishes critics who saw the recent civic polls results as a sign of the BJP losing its ground. Pointing out that media reports about the BJP’s activities in the state are an indicator of the party’s “tremendous success” in one year, the article takes a swipe at the CPM for unleashing a “sinister campaign in such a manner that people can be misguided very easily”.
The article refers to CPM leader Gautam Deb’s advice to his party to make an alliance with the Congress for the 2016 assembly polls: “Later, Sitaram Yechury, the new general secretary of the CPM, had rushed to Kolkata to counter the statement of Gautam Deb and said that there was no such decision on the part of the CPM. All they have decided in the central committee meeting was to keep equidistance [from] the Congress and the BJP. Why… this unusual hurry on the part of Mr Yechury?” The answer, it says, is the CPM’s political interests in Kerala, where it hopes to capture power. The article also expresses doubts as to whether the Congress would agree to Deb’s suggestion and, even if the two parties agreed, if that would send a positive signal to the cadres.
“There are many other smaller Left parties which have their own sphere of influence… They will not extend their support… to the CPM, which has established its ugliest face during the last three and half decades,” it says. It adds that such “utopian ideas” have been floated by CPM leaders out of frustration because they know that resurrecting the party is impossible. It’s the BJP that has emerged as the only party to counter each and every wrongdoing of the TMC.
An article in Panchajanya talks about how large sums of money have been mismanaged in the name of Haj by the Saudi government. The Indian government provides financial assistance and accommodation facilities for poor Haj pilgrims: “The pilgrims are given extensive facilities to stay. Indian government showers money… on each step…” It also accuses the Saudi king of “looting” these pilgrims. According to the article, the royal family lead a luxurious life exploiting these pilgrims, while the Saudi government keeps constructing new buildings in the name of arrangements. Although Muslims are concerned about the construction works in the name of Haj, people are scared to speak out, it claims.
Compiled by Liz Mathew