UN rights chief urges India to end rising hate-speech bullying of Muslims, Christians

Geneva, March 09 (KMS): The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has voiced concern over Hindutva attacks on religious minorities, including Muslims and Christians, and called upon the Indian leaders to publicly condemn the ever-increasing incitement to hatred.

The UN human rights chief in her annual report and update on the recent developments around the world to the Human Rights Council said, “In India, I am concerned by recent statements and actions expressing hatred and violence against religious minority communities.”

“Notably,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “at two events in December, Hindutva leaders called for the murder of Muslims, in a context purporting to make India a Hindu nation.” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his close associates have not condemned those statements, including one by monk Yati Narsinghanand Giri that encouraged Hindus to carry out the genocide of Muslims.

In this regard, Bachelet called for “full, transparent and prompt accountability” of those involved in hate speech. “Rising violence against the Christian community is also deeply concerning,” the UN rights chief said. She maintained that the faith-based organizations recorded over 305 cases of attacks on Christians from January to November 2021, many involving Hindu-supremacist groups.

“Over the past year, problematic laws banning religious conversions have been enacted or proposed in several states,” Michelle Bachelet noted, pointing out that such laws might foster hatred or even violence.

“I urge India’s leaders to publicly condemn any form of hate speech and incitement to religious hatred, regardless of religious or ethnic origin,” the high commissioner added.