The Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Monday has slammed the UN for passing on ‘unwarranted’ and ‘unnecessary’ comments when the global agency highlighted India’s trajectory towards a rise in the gender-based violence.
The UN in India’s mission, on Monday, put up a statement on the latest row of rape cases, back to back from the same state of Uttar Pradesh, notorious for caste and gender-based violence, and that led to a public uproar across the nation.
In less than 48-hours of a 19-20 years-old Dalit Indian woman who was raped and brutally murdered, another case from the same state, 500 km away from the first surfaced, and stirred quite a furor among protestors across the nations’ metropolitans.
In a statement, the UN in India said: “Cases of the alleged rape, murder in Hathras, Balrampur are another reminder that women, girls from disadvantaged social groups are at greater risk of gender-based violence,” which apparently did not go well with the federal government lead by Modi’s Hindu-nationalist regime.
“Some unwarranted comments have been made by the UN Resident Coordinator regarding some recent cases of violence against women. UN Resident Coordinator in India should be aware that these cases have been taken extremely seriously by the government,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told the agency, NDTV reported.
The External Affairs spokesperson further added, “any unnecessary comments by an external agency are best avoided,” as the Indian constitution guarantees equality to all its citizens and as a democracy “we have a time-tested record of providing justice to all sections of society.”
While India is the world’s biggest and the most-successful democracy to date, but the statement that justice is delivered to all sections of the society is questionable, to say the least.
Ironically enough, India has screeched to the top of the list of countries that are worst for women.
A Thompson Reuters Foundation survey conducted in 2011 found India to be the fouth-worst nation to live in as a woman after Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan. But the same survey from 2018 showed India on the top of the unfortunate hierarchy.
An outdated yet unforgiving Hindu Cast system is often at the helm of the nation’s cast-based violence which is recorded on unprecedented scales and women, especially from the Dalit community are the most victims.
A report suggested, in 9-years, crimes against Dalits (the lowest rank of the Hindu hierarchy) has increased by 6 percent. But unfortunately, the vast majority of the atrocities go unreported.
In India, Uttar Pradesh leads the state as the worst place for women. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data between 2009-2019, UP is the leading state for crimes against marginalized women like Dalits and Valminks.
Many critics have pointed fingers at the state’s Hindu Supremacist leader and Chief Minister of the BJP who goes by the name Yogi Adityanath who is allegedly indifferent to safeguarding the right to equality in the state.
It must be noted, India is also the land of unprecedented numbers of religion-based crimes where the government does not recognize the crimes as a separate offense.
The first rape case, where the Dalit woman was raped and severely injured drew a comparison with the devastating Nirbhaya Case from 2012 that went on to have a rippling effect in the country’s law.
“The constitution has merely prescribed but has not given any description of the ground reality. We can make a dent only if we recognize the fact that the caste system is a major source, indeed an obnoxious one, of human rights violations,” Dr. R.M. Pal, formerly President of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Delhi’s president said.
Systematic bullying by the government?
The External Affairs Ministry’s comments come when one of the major human rights international organizations Amnesty Internation was forced to seize their India operations after the federal government froze its bank accounts.
Amnesty blamed the government’s ‘incessant witch-hunt’ for the cause of bringing the organization’s operations to a ‘grinding halt.’
Amnesty International India has been facing an onslaught of attacks, bullying, and harassment by the government in a very systematic manner,” Amnesty’s senior director of research, advocacy and policy Rajat Khosla told media.
Indian federal government under Narendra Modi has been subjected to criticism over its conservative stance on political that has time and again entwined religion in ruling — an ideal far cry for democracy.
A number of the party’s MPs are staunch Hindu nationalists, some of whom openly claim to make India the land of Hindus. The government is also blamed for a rising number of religious, caste, and gender-based crimes, and violence in the nation.
In her maiden speech, All India Trinamool Congress MP, Ms. Mahua Maira gave a fiery address that went viral and won plaudits where she highlighted 7 signs of fascism in India under the ages of BJP.
“The first sign is this,” she said: “There is a powerful and continuing nationalism being sneered into our national fabric. It is superficial; it is xenophobic, and it is narrow. It is the lust to divide; it is not a desire to unite.”
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