India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar slammed the western human rights and democratic institutions that have downgraded India in ‘democracy ranking‘, and the other rated it an ‘Electoral Autocracy‘ and called them ‘hypocrites.’
Mr. Jaishankar was speaking at the India Today conclave where he said that the downgrade reflected the frustration of those in the eWest who have arrogated unto themselves the right to pass verdicts and are feeling frustrated that the current dispensation in India doesn’t crave for testimonials from them.
“It is a hypocrisy. We have a set of self-appointed custodians of the world who find it very difficult to stomach that somebody in India is not looking for their approval, is not willing to play the game they want to play. So they invent their rules, their parameters, pass their judgments and make it look as if it is some kind of global exercise,” he said.
His scathing remarks came in response to a question about India’s decline in reputation as quoted by western rights groups.
He further emphasized on Hindu “Nationalist” term used by many foreign institutions when quoting Modi-led BJP government. “We are supposed to be the Hindu nationalist party, right? We have given vaccines to 70 countries in the world. Tell me how many vaccines have the international countries given?
“Which one of these countries have said while I vaccinate my own people, I will inoculate other people who need it as much as we do.”
“Where are these people?” Furthermore, he added that in India there was no questioning of election results unlike some western countries, hinting at the US election results and attack on US Capitol by Donald Trump supporters who believed that elections were rigged, despite any evidence.
What did the Right Bodies say?
Earlier, India’s status as a democracy and free society was downgraded to “partly free” in the latest annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization that studies political freedom around the world.
The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 – Democracy under Siege” said India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader”. It said India’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.
Then came the report by Varieties of Democracy Institute report which classified India as autocratic as Pakistan in censorship and worse than Bangladesh and Nepal.
India, this year has been classified as an “electoral autocracy” alongside Hungary and Turkey in the annual report from Sweden-based V-Dem Institute because of “restrictions on multiple facets of democracy” such as civil society groups and free speech.
Mr. Jaishankar’s remarks were a response to these two reports by international bodies. However, while he may not be aware of a recent development while speaking at the conclave that the UN rights body has criticized India for the arrest of Safoora Zargar, and said that it violated international treaties Signed by India. His response to the report is currently awaited.
No business as usual between India and China until there was total disengagement and peace on the border
In the midst of his criticism of the right bodies, when asked about China, Mr. Jaishankar also made it clear that it could not be business as usual between the two countries until there was total disengagement and peace on the border.
“We went through a very difficult period and I think we are still not past it.” Disengagement he said, happened in the ‘most close-up friction areas’, but there were some areas that needed resolving. “The fact is that if the integrity and sovereignty of a country are threatened, as a government official you will do what it takes to face up to the challenge, “he added.
Jaishankar said the border stand-off with China had some tense moments but “we had belief in the military, we trusted them professionally to do what was required.”