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New Delhi: Several Twitter users were left confused and some expressed outrage on Tuesday, November 9, when the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) announced through its Twitter handle that it was holding a debate on the question, “Are human rights a stumbling block in fighting evils like terrorism and Naxalism?”
— NHRC India (@India_NHRC) November 9, 2021
The matter was first reported by Newslaundry.
The irony of India’s apex rights body putting forth a question which implied that human rights were negotiable led to many reactions on social media.
The debate took place on Tuesday as part of NHRC’s annual competition for the Central Armed Police Forces, held in collaboration with Assam Rifles, in Delhi. NHRC chairman Justice A.K. Mishra, along with member Justice M.M. Kumar were present among others.
Several pointed out the irony of the situation.
Jai ho NHRC. You sound like Gestapo https://t.co/2lyh41GWdS
— Dr. Ajoy Kumar (@drajoykumar) November 9, 2021
— Manoj Kumar Jha (@manojkjhadu) November 9, 2021
You are literally the National Human Rights Commission of the country. Meant to protect rights, not debate ‘stumbling blocks’ https://t.co/Vj1aCqMWpp
— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) November 9, 2021
Next – are human rights a stumbling block to the human race? https://t.co/FsdCCeIdhQ
— Veena Venugopal (@veenavenugopal) November 9, 2021
Human rights are suspended under AFSPA which has been in force in Naga Hills since 1958. After all these decades finally Modi govt signed framework agreement for POLITICAL solution. So just do your job NHRC. https://t.co/YZOY6p6Z0X
— Samrat X সম্রাট (@MrSamratX) November 9, 2021
Is the NHRC a stumbling block in realising human rights in India? https://t.co/MUIAN8Skfu
— Anup Surendranath (@asurendranath) November 9, 2021
Humans are overrated. https://t.co/sQTEyOMDD3
— Last, Best hope of Earth Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) November 9, 2021
That this is a debate being organised by the NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION should make it abundantly clear how redundant this organisation is. https://t.co/4jeEYvpCc3
— Himanshi (@himansshhi) November 9, 2021
What a topic!
Happens only in new India. All the best.
— Subbarao Chavali (@CSRao73) November 9, 2021
Some reactions sought to distil the purpose behind the NHRC setting such a question for debate, placing the onus on the BJP government and its controversial appointment of Justice Mishra as the NHRC chairman.
Was the topic decided by Chairman? https://t.co/N2MC6csKKh
— Areeb Uddin (@Areebuddin14) November 9, 2021
Now human rights in India will be decided according to the Manu Smriti!
— Arshad Imam Jozi (@imam_jozi) November 9, 2021
See what this Govt. has done to autonomous institutions. Ridiculous question!
— 🤚 (@Digvija88991307) November 9, 2021
Speaking at the 28th founding day of NHRC on October 12, this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “Some try to dent the country’s image in the name of human rights…Looking at human rights with an eye on political gains and loss harms these rights as well as democracy.”
“Some people see human rights violations in some incidents but not in others. Human rights are violated when viewed via political spectacles. Selective behaviour is harmful to democracy,” he had added.
In a report released by Cato Institute in December 2020, India was ranked 111th out of 162 countries in the Human Freedom Index 2020, plummeting 17 spots from its position in the previous index.