Remember the blockbuster Tamil movie, Mudhalvan remade in Hindi as Nayak? In a pivotal scene, the protagonist counters the chief minister's claims about economic development and human rights by citing reports from Amnesty International in a tone of unchallengeable authority. The manner in which he reels out these stats thrilled the audience which felt that something highly informative and intellectual was being delivered. That was 1999 and India has come an astonishingly long way ever since. But the construction of the scene and the messaging was subliminal based on this premise: all Indian politicians are corrupt and are liars. We must trust foreign organisations like Amnesty International to tell the truth about our own country.
I don't credit the film's director Shankar with this level of intelligence to do such subliminal messaging but the fact remains that he has internalised a notion that was popular for at least four decades. Colloquially, it went as follows: "foreign=good, high-quality; India=cheap, poor, bad."
In hindsight, Indira Gandhi was perhaps justified in repeatedly harping about the hazards of the ubiquitous “foreign hand.” Only, it was ironical given the fact that more than forty MPs in her government were on the payroll of the CIA or the KGB or both, as the Mitrokhin Archives reveal.
But her paranoia ensured keeping intact something that is non-negotiable for any independent, sovereign nation: external and internal security and freedom from alien—especially Western—interference, no matter how benign the disguise.
Let’s now examine the 1984 National Day speech by Indira Gandhi’s contemporary, Lee Kuan Yew who recalls his early, uphill struggles to build Singapore:
....the stench, the filth...what did it? what [built Singapore]? Human rights? Are they bankable? The [Western nations] ... should underwrite to...admit two million people to Australia or UK or US [in case something goes wrong] and I’ll follow what you tell me...when you don’t have jobs, will you queue up outside the ILO?...when you’re hungry, will you go to the FAO?....This is the only bank you have...the Singapore government...I tell this...class of intelligentsia, those who read all these magazines and newspapers: who wrote it? What is his stake and interest in your future before you believe him? ... But you know, Amnesty International and all these human rights guys say, hanging is wrong!
It might be very hard for the post-colonial generations in former colonised nations to understand what they see as paranoia about allowing Western intervention on their soil in the name of human rights, aid, etc. But Lee Kuan Yew belonged to a generation that had lived the horrors of Western colonialism, and were justifiably wary.
It must never be forgotten that the Indian freedom struggle was fundamentally fought to achieve two ends: to drive out the oppressive, alien occupier and to unite India as one nation, a unity that should remain non-negotiable at all costs.
The sovereign integrity and territorial unity of India is not and should not be a "point of view" or a subject of TV and media debates.
Next time you hear the vacuous gasbags disguised as policy wonks, academics, and intellectuals emitting helium balloons of "human rights" and "hypernationalism," this is what they are really doing: diverting your attention from the non-negotiability of our national unity and integrity. Make no mistake that these gasbags are the Indian hired guns of foreign human rights (or other) organisations, a subject we're all pretty familiar with.
Let's illustrate this with a fairly recent case study.
Remember the violence that Amnesty International instigated in 2016 in Bangalore? Of course, the pretext was benign: providing a platform to Kashmiri Muslim victims of human rights abuses by the Indian army. But the fracas in Bangalore was simply the latest eruption of a rot whose roots go much farther back in time.
Suffice to ask a few questions to Amnesty: Why hasn’t it interviewed even one Kashmiri Pandit over more than two decades, after lakhs of them were forced out of the Valley by the Azadi torchbearers? And why hasn’t Amnesty shown the sorry plight of the families of the slain Indian soldiers fighting to protect our borders?
More importantly, why hasn’t it interviewed the perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses—the Jihadi groups and their enablers who violently execute this oh-so-noble task of “Azadi”? And what was the crying need for Amnesty to organise an event of such a nature—knowing well that it would lead to controversy—in the first place?
The answers will become evident when we hold the mirror to Amnesty International specifically, and to the global Human Rights corporation funded by the West and the Church.
The Western Human Rights industry follows the historical colonial model of saving souls and the white man’s burden repackaged to fit contemporary times. Its core doctrine is dictated by interference in the affairs of independent nations using whatever tools are deemed fit: think tanks, bureaucracy, local advocacy groups, universities and the media. We can turn to Lee Kuan Yew again:
...nail your colours to the mast, defend it and say, “This is my flag, this is what I believe in. I believe in open debate, arguments, persuasion, I hope to win by votes.” But start manipulating innocent professional groups, cultural groups and make them support political causes, whether it is freedom of the foreign press or whatever, then I say you are looking for unpleasant linkages with what has happened in the past...We allow American journalists in Singapore in order to report Singapore to their fellow countrymen...But we cannot allow them to assume a role in Singapore that the American media play in America, that is, that of invigilator, adversary and inquisitor of the administration.
Now apply this to the Indian situation and notice how dangerously true this has turned out. And Amnesty International is not alone. There's a well-funded and well-oiled global clutch of foreign media houses who have a single-minded agenda of vilifying and pressuring the Narendra Modi government on fake and manufactured issues, and causing mini-conflicts at regular intervals. The full extent of foreign support for the anti-CAA protests and Shaheen Bagh is yet to be known.
It’s a beautiful model though: first, identify a target country for intervention and concoct a random narrative of human rights abuses there, and when that country’s government protests, portray such protest as proof of the poor human rights record of the country.
It is nobody’s claim that there are no human rights abuses in India or anywhere else the world. The point is that every country has its own ways of dealing with it, and no external agency should be given permission to interfere in the internal affairs of independent nations. Would the US or UK allow a desi version of Amnesty International to pry into its racism, police brutality, appalling street crime, illegal detentions and spying on private citizens in the name of homeland security?
Amnesty International India is thus precisely a case in point. The slogan shouters, its volunteers, its donors, and supporters are all mostly Indian citizens participating in alien agendas that include abusing and demoralising the Indian armed forces, and escalating social and gender tensions among other things.
The Dharma Dispatch is now available on Telegram! For original and insightful narratives on Indian Culture and History, subscribe to us on Telegram.