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INDIA: Will the new government prioritise the rule of law?

INDIA: Will the new government prioritise the rule of law?

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India and the Election Commission for successfully concluding a free and fair national election. This election has shown once again that the people of India value their ballot and are capable of changing governments through democratic and peaceful means.

The task now falls upon the political parties that will form a new government to ensure that the vibrancy of this democratic process is preserved. The new government will have the responsibility of resolving issues concerning justice, equality, dignity and opportunity in the country. The AHRC hopes that the new government will deliver on its promises, on the basis of which Indians have voted it to power.

Emphasis must be placed on improving the quality of life of all Indians. Despite all claims of economic achievement, 60% of the population live in poverty. The government will be judged, domestically and internationally, on how it tackles child malnutrition. Public expenditure on health and education will also be of vital interest.

Establishing a stable regime of the rule of law will be fundamental to the government being able to address such issues. The AHRC has been communicating with the Government of India about its failures in establishing the rule of law. Often, the people have had to take to the streets to demonstrate their anger against the government for its failure to address crime, particularly concerning sexual violence.

The impact of corruption on India has yet to be addressed. Will the new government continue business as usual or will it implement structural changes to end the culture of corruption? Policing policy, and the radical changes needed to reform primitive policing in India, is a related matter. Torture and extrajudicial executions in India must end. Development, as promised, is impossible without a rule of law regime; and establishment of the rule of law necessitates that India be unchained from the corruption, violence, and impunity that prevails.

Ends

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