A “selective” approach to human rights dents the country’s image, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, as he lashed out at “some” who viewed human rights “with an eye on political gains and loss” and were therefore harming democracy.
“Some people see human rights violations in some incidents but not in other similar incidents. Human rights are violated when viewed via political spectacles. Selective behaviour is harmful to democracy,” the Prime Minister said.
“Some people try to dent the country’s image in the name of human rights… we need to be alert about it. Looking at human rights with an eye on political gains and loss harms these rights as well as democracy,” he said at an event to mark the 28th Founding Day of the National Human Rights Commission of India.
“India’s freedom struggle (and) our history (is the) big source of inspiration and values for human rights,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s comments come amid national outrage over the killing of four farmers in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri earlier this month, and accusations that one of the accused – a union minister’s son – was being protected by the establishment.
All four farmers 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.
Police action came only after the UP government and police were hauled up by the Supreme Court, which questioned if others similarly accused would be allowed freedom.