In September 2015, two human rights organizations alleged that India’s government was refusing to prosecute dozens of high ranking police and military officials The officials are accused of violent crimes, including murder, sexual assault, torture and kidnapping
The alleged crimes occurred in India’s war-torn Kashmir province, where torture, arbitrary detention and other human rights abuses have become an almost daily occurrence So just how bad are India’s human rights violations? Well, human rights in India are complicated by its rapidly growing economy and diverse population The country has nearly 13 billion residents, with millions of residents living on less than $2 a day Low-caste citizens, along with religious minorities, suffer the most from sexual violence, police brutality, economic exploitation and unlawful imprisonment
One reason why human rights violations like these persist, is India’s broken and corrupt justice system Over the last half-century, India has expanded its Armed Forces Special Powers Acts, which give the central and state government the power to classify entire regions as “disturbed areas” Under this designation, police and military have unrestricted power to detain, arrest and even shoot civilians if they are suspected of an offence These laws were created to maintain public order in times of political conflict or civil unrest However, people in “disturbed areas” now suffer the most from human rights abuses, like arbitrary arrests and imprisonments, as well as injury and death while in custody
In fact, nearly 70 percent of India’s prison population have yet to be tried And India’s security forces are almost never prosecuted for these human rights violations On top of this, India’s basic social structure, known as the caste system, leads to caste discrimination which has been called a human rights violation Under this system, India’s indigenous population, is seen as unclean, by higher-caste citizens, thus leading to their designation as “untouchable” Untouchables, or Dalit people, have been beaten and killed, even for actions as basic as drinking from the same well as other castes
And, because Dalit people cannot find well-paying jobs, an estimated million Dalits are paid to clean human and animal waste from the street They are disproportionately represented in prisons, and according to the US State Department, more Dalit women are victim to sexual violence than any those of any other caste However, these and other crimes against Dalits are usually either unreported by victims or unpunished by authorities When India’s current prime minister, Narendra Modi, took office in 2014, many people hoped he would follow through on his promises to protect women, children and the poor However thus far he has been more focused on India’s industrialization and economic growth than improving the lives of its people
Moreover, India’s neighboring countries and the West have been hesitant to meddle in India’s domestic issues, for fear that it would sever valuable trade ties It’s likely that caste-based discrimination, sexual violence and other human rights abuses will continue unless India’s government finally takes action Prime Minister Modi may have fallen short on his promise to curb human rights violations, but who exactly is this controversial but popular leader? Learn more about Narendra Modi in this video up top And to get a closer look at India’s caste system and its major downfalls and inequality, watch this video below Thanks checking out Test Tube News, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos daily!