Cherry-picking human rights violations and highlighting some while overlooking others is dangerous for democracy and dents the reputation of the country, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
There are people who view human rights violations selectively through political lens and the country needs to be circumspect about such people, PM Modi said.
He was speaking at the 28th foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
"There is another side related to human rights that I would like to discuss today. Some people explain human rights after examining their own interests, in their own way. In certain incidents, they see infringement of human rights while they don’t see infringement in other incidents. Such mentality harms human rights. Human rights are infringed when it is seen through a political lens. This selective behaviour is harmful to democracy. We see such people try to harm the country’s reputation in the name of human rights infringement, the country must be careful of such people," he said.
In his address, PM Modi also said that rights are coupled with duties and the two cannot be viewed separately.
"The focus should be on performing our duties and only then we can demand the rights with strength," he said.
He also proceeded to highlight the achievements of India in the field of human rights emphasising how the country has always been sensitive and given utmost importance to safeguarding human rights.
In this regard, the PM highlighted the various measures introduced by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
"India now gives career women a period 26 weeks off as maternity leave. It is the right of the newborn.
In more than 700 zillas, women can get all in one facility for temporary accommodation, counselling, medical help etc," the PM stated.
With regard to combating crimes against women, the government has established more than 650 fast track courts and has introduced death penalty for the heinous offence of rape, the PM further said.
He also said that the government took measures to root out instant triple talaq and to usher in equality for Muslim women.
"For years Muslim women demanded a law against triple talaq and we made a law to strike it down. We also guaranteed them the freedom to do hajj without Mahram (male companion)," he said.
Laws have been strengthened for the protection of juveniles, transgender persons and disabled, he added.
PM Modi also spoke about the government's measures during COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to the steps taken to alleviate miseries of the poor.
"We have braved COVID. We have proven all assumptions wrong and even in this difficult time we have ensured that not a single poor goes hungry and have been feeding 80 crore Indians free of cost. We have even started 'one nation one ration' scheme," he said.
Interestingly, the Prime Minister also touched upon the measures taken for the benefit of farmers at a time when farmers from certain States have been protesting against the Farm Laws introduced by the government.
"Today in India farmers are not compelled to take a third party loan. They have kisaan samman yojna, fasal beema yojna is there," he said.
He also conceded that speedy and affordable justice in India still remains a distant dream despite it being a fundamental right.
"Justice and peace complement each other and our legal system is based on it. Acquiring speedy justice is a fundamental human right, which is still a dream, the truth is that the costs of litigation are out of reach."
Apart from PM Modi, former Supreme Court Judge and NHRC chairperson, Justice Arun Mishra and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke during the event.