'Only in India': Twitter Reacts as NHRC Debates If Human Rights Are a 'Stumbling Block'

'Are human rights a stumbling block in fighting evils like terrorism and Naxalism?' was the topic of a debate organised by the rights body.

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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?”

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.

Also read: India’s National Human Rights Commission is Defeating Its Own Purpose

Several pointed out the irony of the situation.

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.

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.