World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


INDIA: How to improve the national image?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-219-2012
November 2, 2012
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

INDIA: How to improve the national image?

The statement by Mr. L. K. Advani, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that the country's global image is at an all-time low is partially correct. It is reflected in manifold forms, including in the treatment Indians receive when they present their passport at the immigration counters in foreign nations and in the monstrous corruption that India is infamous for, globally. At a deeper and microscopic domestic level, it is reflected in the entrenched practice of caste and gender based discrimination, in the malnourished faces of millions of children who call India home and in the violence committed by the law enforcement agencies with impunity against Indians across the wide expanse of this nation with a rich cultural and intellectual history. However to blame any particular political party for this is mere cowardice and denying one's own responsibility, a character Advani shares with most of the political leadership in India.

How could events like the 2002 Gujarat riots, the shameful remarks made against women by politicians like Mr. Narendra Modi and the corruption scam exposed against BJP's own president place the BJP at a moral high ground than the Indian National Congress? In fact malnutrition is reported to be the highest in the country in all BJP or its allies-ruled states as well as in the state of West Bengal, which was until recently under the Communist rule. Is it not equally condemnable and criminal, the statement that was made by the incumbent external affairs' minister against civil society activists, when allegations of corruption were made against his family business, that the minister claims to be a welfare organisation? Was it not the same intolerance of clinical criticism that prompted the government to register a concocted criminal charge against an activist like Mr. Aseem Trivedi? Haven't all these contributed substantially to damage the country's image?

What is at stake here is the dignity of every Indian. The country has an extremely poor human rights record. Out of the 193 member states at the United Nations, India is one of those countries that is yet to ratify all of the most important human rights treaties, more commonly known as "core human rights conventions", for instance the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Of the conventions India has ratified, it has opted out from the jurisdiction of the treaty body mechanisms, the Human Rights Committee and the Economic Social and Cultural Rights Committee for instance, to decide on individual complaints.

However, ratification of a convention or the number of conventions ratified is by no means to measure domestic human rights standards. Countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Cambodia are example to this.

At the core is a nation's resolve to ensure dignity to its people. How could a country expect global dignity, when it fails to guarantee it to its own people? The concept of human dignity is built upon the bedrock of equality and freedom.

The constitution of India is a basic document that promises, to every Indian, dignity, based on equality and freedom. How could this solemn constitutional guarantee be realised without adequate internal mechanisms that are almost non-functional, most importantly justice institutions, taking within its sweep, the entire criminal justice apparatus? How many judges and prosecutors in India could claim that they are neither intellectually nor materially corrupt?

A country where torture is practiced with impunity is intellectually discordant with notions of fair trial, presumption of innocence and the very concepts of equality and dignity. Where fair trial is impossible, democracy cannot sustain. It is in such a country, massive and petty corruption, malnutrition and discrimination of all forms could survive, as it is in India at the moment. In such a quagmire of a nation, investment would be mere exploitation, and development exceptionally selective that will unjustifiably benefit only a few. It is in this context the statement issued by Standard and Poor that India's sovereign credit rating may be cut to junk grade within two years if steps are not taken to check fiscal deficit and improve investment climate becomes relevant.

The responsibility to improve the dignity of a nation is upon its own people, more importantly upon its leadership. Is it not true that in India, a political leadership that is willing and capable to take head-on this challenge is almost absent? When a country is infamous for a substantial number of its legislators and a corrupt executive that trash the dignity, equality and freedom of its own people, how could the rest of the world treat it with dignity? How could such a country have a good global image?

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>


MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news