New Delhi: While addressing an event to mark the 28th Founding Day of the National Human Rights Commission, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lashed out at “some” whose “selective” approach to human rights dents the country’s image as they “eye on political gains and loss”, hence, harm the practice of such rights and democracy.
“Some people see human rights violations in some incidents but not in others. Human rights are violated when viewed via political spectacles. Selective behaviour is harmful to democracy,” he said.
“Some try to dent the country’s image in the name of human rights… Looking at human rights with an eye on political gains and loss harms these rights as well as democracy,” he added.
The Prime Minister also lauded his government’s “sabka saath, sabka vikas” campaign slogan, and declared it reflected “basic principle of human rights for all”.
The PM’s comments come amid national fury (reflected in international publications as well) over the killing of four farmers in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month.
All four were taking part in a peaceful protest when they were run over by a car allegedly driven by junior Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra’s son.
Ashish Mishra – who has been named as a murder suspect – was finally arrested on Saturday (nearly a week after brutal attack) amid furious protests by opposition leaders and civil society voices that he was being protected because of his high-profile father.
Opposition parties slammed the BJP on what they say was abuse of even basic human rights – including the right to protest safely and the right to justice – in this matter.
The BJP hit back with Union Minister Anurag Thakur accusing them of “political tourism”; this was after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visits to the farmers’ families.
Mr Thakur, quoted by news agency ANI, then appeared to try and score a political point by flagging law and order issues in Congress-ruled states like Punjab and Rajasthan.
The question of human rights has loomed large over farmers’ protest, with horrific scenes of protesters being lathi charged by police of some states evoking outrage.
In August Supreme Court Chief Justice NV Ramana underlined the “sacrosanct” nature of human rights and said that if India were to remain “a society governed by rule of law” it was necessary to ensure that even the most vulnerable enjoyed its full protection.