Manmohan Singh's daughter, Amrit, is a Yale graduate and Human Rights lawyer who took on the case of a convicted Al-Qaeeda terrorist and led the Americans a merry dance for over a decade without, of course, achieving anything. Still, there is no question that she did something for Human Rights law- viz. showed the thing was a nuisance.
By contrast, Raju Rajagopal and Sunita Viswanath, the 'Co-founders of Hindus for Human Rights (.org), USA' have achieved nothing because they are stupid, ignorant and seek publicity on the basis of facile virtue signaling. Indeed, it turns out, they aren't for Hindus having Human Rights at all but rather for Hindus being held responsible for alleged Rights violations in which they were completely uninvolved.
Consider their open letter to Hindus published in Scroll.in.Hindus have a special responsibility to denounce hate speech and violence by Hindu extremists
On New Year’s eve, an open letter to India’s majority community by the co-founders of the Hindus for Human Rights organisation.
Raju Rajagopal & Sunita Viswanath
Dear Hindu brothers and sisters:
No doubt you would have seen the recent chilling videos of saffron-clad Hindu religious leaders from Haridwar and Delhi calling for the extermination of Muslims in India.
We hope that you are as shocked and dismayed as we are that such vile acts could be happening in our names.
On the other hand, perhaps you are among those who feel that there is no reason for alarm and that these are fringe groups not worthy of our attention.
Whatever be your inclination, we hope that you will take some time in the new year to reflect upon India’s long tradition of respecting diversity and pluralism, as it enters the 72nd year of constitutional democracy.
‘Majority rule with minority rights’
US President Thomas Jefferson,
“…bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect...”
It was a cruel irony of the time that those famous words were addressed only to the newly independent white colonists, and did not consider Blacks, Native Americans, and women as worthy of inclusion under the “sacred principle.”
The Bill of Rights, which captures the essence of President Jefferson’s words, is the bedrock of the American dream, which is today conferring equal rights to immigrants of all faiths and ethnicities, including Hindus.
But if ever constitutionally guaranteed minority rights were to be stripped away by a democratically elected government, we would be left only with brute majoritarianism, which would inevitably open the door to mass discrimination, violence, and even civil war – as it happened in Sri Lanka after the rights of minority Tamils were taken away overnight in 1956.
Unfortunately, what we are witnessing in India today is not just majoritarianism, but a run-away majoritarianism, which is not only threatening the constitutional rights of religious minorities, but is obliging open calls for mass violence as the solemn duty of Hindus.
Whether those calls pose an imminent danger or not is beside the point.
At this critical moment for Indian democracy, it is important for all of us to ask ourselves, what kind of India do we wish to bequeath to future generations?
For Hindus like us, this is also a moment to recognise that we possess far more power than others to put a break on India’s run-away majoritarianism. In fact, our failure to use that power will not be forgiven by history.
So, as we wish you all a Happy New Year 2022, we humbly offer some thoughts for your reflection:
Why not offer something we would find useful?
Contrary to what we are repeatedly told, minority rights are not special privileges that are denied to the majority community.
Hindus are huge beneficiaries of constitutionally guaranteed minority rights in countries around the world.
In any case, “appeasement” is not a bad word, as we are often led to believe.
Hindu Khatre main hai, Hindus are in danger, has become the new war cry of Hindu nationalists.
Laws enacted by Bharatiya Janata Party-controlled states to curtail religious conversions and inter-faith marriages are based on this false narrative of “population imbalance”.
Virtually no Hindu spiritual leader outside Haridwar has condemned the recent hate speech and violence.
We are often told that we are alarmists and that things are not really as bad as we make them out to be.
As Eboo Patel,
Bishop Desmond Tutu, who is no more with us, once said, “God is not upset that Gandhi was not a Christian, because god is not a Christian!
That must be the new mantra of all faith communities in India if they wish to save Indian democracy.