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Contemplating Action for Damages : Launch of the IndiaFacts Hindu Human Rights Report 2017

National and international agencies fail to track violations against diverse communities spread across India simply because of the fact that they are classified as ‘Hindus’ who comprise the majority in India

Hindu human rights report 2017
Hindus comprise the majority in India but they are a minority at the global level. Hence, violation of their rights deserves proper documentation.
  • Human rights have become largely restricted to mere paper when it comes to the Hindu community in India
  • Amnesty International and other human rights organizations expressed little concern about the genocide of Hindus in Kashmir or the persecution of Hindus in Tamil Nadu and Kerala during 2015-16
  • The Report emphasizes on the need to end majority-minority discrimination in government policies

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Pakistan is a country for Pakistani people. Japan is for Japanese as China is for the Chinese people. By that logic, is Hindustan for Hindus? And who are these Hindus? Questions about this complex ethnic community and their human rights were discussed at the launch of the IndiaFacts Hindu Human Rights Report 2017 on August 19.

According to the Report, national and international agencies fail to track violations against diverse communities spread across India simply because of the fact that they are classified as ‘Hindus’ who comprise the majority in India. There have been countless national and international reports on Human Rights in India, most of which operate on the presumption that rights violations in India can take place only against the ‘minorities’. To rectify this omission, and to draw attention to the persecution of and discrimination against Hindus in India, IndiaFacts launched a comprehensive report highlighting human rights violations against the majority Hindu community in India.

Hindu human rights report 2017
Featuring a distinct layout, the Hindu human rights report 2017 highlights cases of violations against Hindus.

Prepared by Mayank Patel, the report has been edited by Nithin Sridhar, Editor at IndiaFacts and Sankrant Sanu, the IndiaFacts Hindu Human Rights Report 2017 has been published by Garuda publications and provides a remedial to prejudiced reporting by international organizations and media alike, and documents methodical and episodic violations of human rights of Hindus.

The report was launched by Ram K. Ohri and J.P Sharma, retired IPS officers who have authored the book ‘The Majority Report’. Also present at the event were editors of the report Nithin Sridhar and Sankrant Sanu, along with Madhu Kishwar, Professor at the ICSSR Maulana Azad National who shared their thoughts and experiences about the unbridled practice prevailing in the country.

The launch of the Hindu Human Rights Report 2017.

A special emphasis tracing the origin of the exploitation of Hindus in independent India was placed on the power exercised by foreign funding of Indian academia, NGOs, and the media by Islamic and Evangelical Christian missionaries.

R.K Ohri drew attention to the fact that following the partition in 1947, India had a series of Muslim education and culture ministers, starting with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. According to him, these leaders glorified Islam and leftism during the foundational years of the country. He further added that during the Manmohan Singh government (2004-14), majority scholarships were given to Christians and Muslims. “A few scholarships were given to Sikhs and Parsis for namesake, but none to Hindu. The biggest threat to Hinduism comes from this so-called secularism“, he added.

The Hindu community, which operates on the principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (entire world is one family) and Ahimsa Parmo Dharam (non-violence is the highest form of religion), does not foster hostile feelings against their perpetrators of violence. Thus, at the event, Madhu Kishwar traced the origin of these atrocities to the deeply embedded beliefs of ‘Ishwar-Allah tero naam (God is one) and ‘Ram Rahim bhai bhai’ (Hindus and Muslims are brothers) that have remained central to the Hindus and have prevented them from raising voices against their discrimination.

Hindu human rights report 2017
Madhu Kishwar was the guest speaker at the event

According to Sankrant Sanu, the domination and discrimination against Hindus is a result of a phenomenon that he understands as ‘the conspiracy of silence.’ He supported his argument by citing cases of rights violations. According to him, under-reporting and circulation of fake narratives affects the functioning of government and legal structures, making them discriminatory between communities.

In a country where then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asserted that the first rights on resources are of the minorities, Sankrant Sanu asserted that “India has now become an apartheid state, where the minority rules over the majority.” This can be supported by the Report’s findings that suggests that in 2015, UP state government’s action forced 800 Hindu Dalits to convert to Islam, and in 2016, there was a mass exodus of Hindu families from Kerala.

Nithin Sridhar explained at the event that the report, which focuses largely on incidents from 2015 and 2016, has been divided into sections wherein the first section deals with cases of sanctioned discrimination against Hindus by the State. This includes cases of confiscation and looting of Hindu temples and assets, and RTE among other issues.

The second section covers the persecution of Hindus and the Hindu communities at the hands of various hostile ideologies like the Christian extremism in North East India, Dravidian extremism in Tamil Nadu, the left extremism in Kerala and Islamic terrorism.  Also covered in the last section are attacks on Hindu temples, and proselytization, among other things.

Salient Highlights of the Report

  1. Despite a so-called ‘Hindu-friendly’ government at the centre since 2014, abuses against Hindus have witnessed a rise. Against 231 incidents of anti-Hindu attacks in 2015, there were 244 incidents reported in 2016.
  2. There is legalized discrimination of Hindu community and their interests by governments at states and centre like the confiscation of temple land, administration and assets, RTE, discriminatory government schemes targeting specific communities, etc.
  3. In the last 3 years, budgeted percentage increase for minorities is far higher compared to other groups like Tribals, SCs, and OBCs. Benchmark comparison shows that Ministry of Minority Affairs got Rs. 524.94 crores more, Ministry of Social Justice received 465.34 crores less.
  4. In the last three years, the government has forced closure of 7659 Hindu schools by laws like Right to Education (RTE).
  5. There were a total of 231 incidents of violation of religious freedom of Hindus in 2015. This number increased to 244 incidents in 2016 with most cases reported from West Bengal, UP,, Kerala and Karnataka. In the last 2 years, these states have witnessed a high level of physical attacks on Hindus.

ALSO READ: 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF) : Here is What you Need to Know!

The event came to a close with an understanding that,

  • The freedom of minorities to practice their religion must not pose restrictions on the Hindu community.
  • When the ethnic minority is protected, the suppression and exploitation of the majority must also be avoided.
  • When the protection of the human rights of minorities is given priority, the infringement of rights of the Hindu community must also not be ignored. 

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Facebook Hires A Human Rights Director Ahead Of Facing Criticism

The new role will include working with product teams to ensure that the company is a positive force for human rights and apply the lessons learnt from investigations.

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 Facing human rights violation allegations over the misuse of its platform by the Myanmar government to fuel atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority, social networking giant Facebook has announced the hiring of a human rights policy director.

The social media firm’s new director would help promote peace, human freedoms and build strong communities while simultaneously crack down those who “enable harm, stifle expression and undermine human rights”, the networking giant said in a post on its website on Saturday.

“We are looking for a Director of Human Rights Policy to coordinate our company-wide effort to address human rights abuses, including by both state and non-state actors,” it added.

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Six organisations, including the UN, have blasted the site for taking over a year to respond to misinformation that helped fuel the “genocide” of Rohingya in Myanmar, the Engadget reported.

According to Facebook, the new role will include working with product teams to ensure that the company is a positive force for human rights and apply the lessons learnt from investigations.

The person would represent Facebook with key stakeholders in civil society, government, international institutions and industry.

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He or she will also need to craft policies to counteract bad actors and ensure that Facebook continues to operate its platforms consistent with human rights principles, the post noted.

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The future director should have over 12 years of experience in public policy, human rights, conflict prevention, freedom of expression and technology.

He or she must also have an advanced degree in public policy, foreign relations or law degree, the post said. (IANS)