Human Rights Violations in India: A Closer Look at the Period Since 2014
Since 2014, India has witnessed numerous human rights violations, triggering concerns among human rights activists, international organisations, and the global community at large. This article aims to shed light on some of the key instances of human rights violations that have occurred in India during this period, discussing the underlying causes, the affected communities, and the implications for the country’s social fabric and international reputation.
Freedom of Expression and Press
One of the fundamental pillars of democracy, freedom of expression, has faced significant challenges in India since 2014. Activists, journalists, and scholars critical of the government have been subject to intimidation, harassment, and even arrest. The sedition law has been used to stifle dissent, resulting in a chilling effect on free speech. The targeting of media organizations and journalists has raised concerns about the erosion of press freedom, as critical voices are systematically silenced.
Religious Intolerance and Minority Rights
India is a diverse country with a rich history of pluralism. However, there has been a rise in incidents of religious intolerance and attacks on religious minorities since 2014. Mob violence, cow vigilantism, and communal riots have targeted Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities, leading to a sense of insecurity and fear among these communities. The failure to hold perpetrators accountable has perpetuated a culture of impunity, further exacerbating the problem.
Despite constitutional provisions and affirmative action policies, caste-based discrimination remains deeply rooted in Indian society. Since 2014, there have been instances of violence against Dalits and Adivasis, with reports of atrocities, discrimination in education and employment, and social exclusion. The lack of effective implementation of laws and policies designed to protect marginalized communities has hindered progress in addressing caste-based discrimination.
Women’s Rights and Gender Violence
Gender-based violence and the denial of women’s rights continue to be significant human rights challenges in India. Incidents of sexual harassment, rape, and domestic violence persist, with a prevailing culture of victim-blaming and impunity. The lack of comprehensive measures to address the root causes of gender inequality and promote gender justice is a matter of concern.
Kashmir and Armed Forces’ Impunity
The situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been a longstanding human rights concern. Since 2014, there has been an increase in reports of human rights abuses in the region, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, and the use of pellet guns resulting in severe injuries. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) provides sweeping powers to security forces, which has led to a culture of impunity and limited accountability for human rights violations.
Internet Freedom and Digital Rights
The government’s approach to internet governance and surveillance has raised concerns about privacy rights and online freedom of expression. Internet shutdowns have become increasingly common, impeding access to information, communication, and the exercise of democratic rights. The use of surveillance technology without adequate safeguards has also raised concerns about the erosion of digital rights.
The period since 2014 in India has witnessed a range of human rights violations that have impacted various sections of society. The erosion of freedom of expression and press, religious intolerance, caste-based discrimination, gender violence, and abuses in conflict regions like Kashmir are some of the key concerns. Addressing these violations requires a commitment to human rights principles, strengthening institutional frameworks, and ensuring accountability for perpetrators. It is crucial for civil society, human rights organizations, and the international community to engage with India constructively to promote human rights, safeguard democracy, and uphold the values of justice, equality, and freedom for all.