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UNHRC’s Smearing of India's Democracy Casts Doubt on Global Body’s Credibility

© AP Photo / SALVATORE DI NOLFIA general view of the assembly hall during the 6th United Nations Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007. The Human Rights Council opened a three-week session Monday.
A general view of the assembly hall during the 6th United Nations Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007. The Human Rights Council opened a three-week session Monday. - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.03.2024
The UN Human Rights Council has criticised India and Bangladesh over their respective political situations. While Bangladesh concluded a successful election this year, India will go to polls in coming months.
The credibility of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has come into question as its chief Volker Turk launched a broadside over the "increasing restrictions on the civic space" in the country under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the national election in coming months.
In his "global update" to the Human Rights Council at the Geneva headquarters of the inter-governmental organisation, Turk expressed concerns over allegedly targetting of journalists, human rights defenders and critics by the Indian authorities. He also claimed that "hate speech" and "discrimination" directed at minorities in India was on the rise.
Turk's comments have drawn a sharp response from Arindam Bagchi, India's Permanent Representative to the UN organisations in Geneva, who labelled them as "unwarranted".
Bagchi stated that the Human Rights' Council's chief's observations "don't reflect the reality of the largest democracy in the world" and were clouded by propaganda.

UN Becoming a 'Platform for Hit Jobs', Political Analyst Says

Questioning the UN Human Rights' Council selective approach in criticism developing nations like India, Binay Kumar Singh, a senior fellow at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-linked think tank Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) questioned why was the organisation silent on flagging concerns in western countries like the US.
"The concept of human rights has become an ideological scam. It is no longer rooted in realities," Singh told Sputnik India

The Indian political analyst said that the UN in general has become a "platform for hit jobs" at the behest of vested interests.

"The UN has been used as a platform for hit jobs against so many countries. In this particular case, it remains to be seen who sponsored it? On whose behalf they are criticising India remains a matter of investigation," remarked Singh.

The think tanker stated that "vested attacks on India's democratic credentials puts into question the credibility of these UN institutions". He added that the UN system was already turning "obsolete" due to lack of reforms despite growing clamour to do so in the Global South.

"The UN Human Rights Council's attempts at demeaning a vibrant democracy is damaging to its own reputation. They won't be able to demean India in any way," Singh asserted.

He pointed out that the issue of electoral bonds had nothing whatsoever to do with promotion of human rights, yet it was flagged by Turk in his comment on India's democracy.

Further, Singh questioned the "track record" of the UN Human Rights Council in promoting an anti-India narrative.
He noted that New Delhi has equivocally rejected the Council's criticism of the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh stated that the Council has refused to acknowledge the developmental strides made by India and in Jammu and Kashmir in the last few years, which include a drop in the number of terrorism incidents.
"The biggest human rights failure of the UN system is not reaching a definition on terrorism. Terrorism is the biggest violation of human rights. The UN, till date, has failed to reach a common definition on terrorism in spite of India's efforts," the expert said, echoing New Delhi's stance on the issue.

UNHRC's Comment on Bangladesh 'Not Rooted in Reality', Awami League Says

In his global update, Turk was vocal in his criticism of the Bangladeshi government as well.
The Austrian diplomat expressed concern over "thousands of opposition party leaders and activists" being in detention since last year and alleged custodial deaths under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who won her fifth term in the January election.

Ambassador Muhammad Zamir, the chair of the International Affairs Sub-committee of Awami League, told Sputnik India that Turk's remarks weren't "rooted in reality".

"We don't have thousands of opposition activists in jail at all, as he has wrongly claimed. We have a good track record on human rights under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," Zamir said.

Like the Indian expert, Zamir also raised questions on the double standards of the UNHRC in not questioning the human rights situation in developed nations like the US.
He pointed out that under Hasina, Bangladesh had made great progress on various human rights and development parameters, a point which has been missed by the Council.
'"For instance, we have made significant progress in ensuring women rights. We are one of the few countries which has successively elected a woman as the head of state," Zaman remarked.
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Quad leaders summit at Kantei Palace, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Tokyo. - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.08.2023
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