Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unaware of Human Rights Violations?

A recent discussion here left me searching Google for Amnesty International articles on Human Rights violations (specially wrt to "Hindus") in Bangladesh & Pakistan. Google readily threw up many Bangladesh links (but no Pakistan links, although I'd have expected more of those!) & I went through some of these, surprised at how this had eluded well-informed old me for so long!

So for everyone who wants to be better informed vis a vis Human Rights Violations worldwide, please subscribe to Amnesty's e-zine here.
And for those who want to contribute in a small way, you can take their survey here.

One thing that is still unclear is how these truly deplorable human rights violations are being referred to as "ethnic cleansing". When exactly did that happen?


  1. You ask why there are no Amnesty Reports about human rights violations in Pakistan. Firstly, this is incorrect. Amnesty and others have regularly written about the intimidation of minorities in that country. Specifically wrt Hindus, the country almost entirely drove the Hindu/Sikh populations out in 1947. Those who stayed back were either
    a. people with money and the clout to survive in a hostile environment (and the need to stay on in the country to protect that very money and clout).
    b. people who are so abjectly poor that they do not really make the headlines anywhere (e.g. the Hindu population in the desertified Tharparkar district of Sind - one of only two Hindu-majority districts in Pakistan at the time of independence).

    The Hindu community is a marginalized and almost absent community in that country. It is not surprising that it does not make it to many reports

  2. Girish,

    I am accustomed to compelling arguments from you, but unfortunately this one is tinged with more passion than logic.
    I referred to Google searches for the reports, not to Amnesty having the reports. If you know of some, please send me a few links.
    1947 is an altogether different matter. There were henious crimes committed on both sides of the border.
    Some Muslims who stayed on in India stayed on knowing that they would be in the minority. Did they stay on to protect their clout & interests or because they were too abjectly poor? Or did they stay on because they hoped that India wouldn't turn out the way some parts of it are slowly turning out.
    You wanna save India? Get rid of the sangh parivar.
    Your last statement contradicts everything you've said about Amnesty reports in your first para...

  3. 1conoclast,

    I do read your blog occasionally esp after that last invite- but i spend only a small portion of my blog-reading time even on IM, and a smaller part on this one.

    I will comment if I find anything here that I wish to discuss.


  4. Jai_C...,

    Thank you.

    I was only trying to satisfy the curiousity that you had evinced about Muhammad's "child bride".
    If you're not interested anymore, just say so.

  5. Jai_C...

    Older! :-)

    She too is only half Muslim, while you may be looking for 100% Muslim views. The question I have in my mind is this: Don't you find Annie Besant's or Geoffery Parrinder's comments heartening?

    And yes, her writing is infinitely superior. She's been featured in TOI as one of the top 10 young Indian women who're making a difference through their work.

    My blog is called Opinionated. I use it to vent. I feel rather strongly about what happens in the world around me and choose to speak about it. To whoever cares to listen... :-)

  6. Iconoclast,

    It's called ethnic cleansing because it is. Targetting a specific population, and decimating it, which is exactly what happenned in Bangladesh, is ethnic cleansing. Yes, things like this happenned to Muslims in parts of India, but to the extent of meeting the definition of ethnic cleansing, only Punjab qualifies.

    One could argue that the goons in Gujurat in 2002 had that aim, but regardless, they didn't succeed; 1200 Muslims dead (of 2000 total dead) is horrific, but not ethnic cleansing, because while they subjugated/disempowered a population, they did not make it dissappear, a la the Hindu population of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thanks, Chirag

  7. Hi Chirag,

    Nice of you to visit.

    You kinda make my point. The fact that it is target decimation in Bangladesh is open to interpretation, just as any incident in India is (not just Gujarat). In India you have skirmishes against Dalits, Muslims & other minorities. We don't call it "ethnic cleansing" because till Gujarat that probably wasn't the motive.
    By the same logic, we can assume that events in other countries too are skirmishes, not a motivated, targeted "cleansing". Germany witnessed targetted cleansing as did the erstwhile Yugoslavia.
    I'm not sure Pak & Bang incidents qualify. Unless they're being reported as such. As you may have guessed by now, I'm very curious about this and am dying to see some credible reports that bring a cleansing aspect out.

    The following is a comment that I had put up on, but somehow the moderator doesn't like me... Tell me what you think.

    "Sabhi vidwanon se ek prashn:

    Bangladesh celebrated the 19th as Buddha Purnima. It's a national holiday there. (Proof:
    Does that say something else about the country that we don't know.
    Similarly do we come across to the World as B'desh comes across to us?

    Don't suddenly lose it. It's a point to ponder."

  8. Another few links that you may want to read Chirag.
    It really may be that we have been the target of propaganda for many years & misunderstanding our neighbours & accusing them of murder when they may only have been guilty as us of intimidation.
    Just a thought...

    Here are the links:


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