"Indian Human Rights bodies face inaudibility syndrome"
Author: Anil Maheshwari
Myopic and blurred-visioned reports on the alleged incidents of rape are often misinformation campaigns, launched from time to time by the terrorists (often referred to as militants, a more respectable term by political scientists) and their sympathisers smarting under the cover of civil societies. Human rights organisations are necessary for a vibrant democracy but in India, these organisations suffer from inaudibility syndrome as they prefer to shut their mouth on the atrocities unleashed on the innocent, unarmed, gullible and peaceful citizens at the hands of terrorists.
As far as the parroted case of the alleged mass rape of Kunan-Poshpora is concerned, in a rare gesture, the perturbed army in the wake of the orchestrated cries in the press, approached to the Press Council of India to investigate into the allegations. The three-member committee, head by the veteran journalist B.G. Verghese, who himself used to be considered an ace liberal, gave a clean chit to the Army. The Verghese Committee stated in its findings that reports of human rights excesses against the Indian Army in Kashmir have either been grossly exaggerated or invented. It admitted that some excesses did occur but these have been inquired into and action taken against those found guilty.
" The Kunan-Poshpora story, on close examination, turns out to be a massive hoax ochestrated by militant groups and their sympathisers and mentors in Kashmir and abroad as part of sustained and clerverly-contrived strategy of pathological warfare and as an entry point for reinscribing Kashmir on the International agenda as a human rights issue. The loose ends and contradictions in the story exposes a tissue of lies by many persons and at many levels", said the report.
It added, "The women of Kunan Poshpora have been tutored or coerced into making statements derogating their honour and dignity. The cruel exploitation of simple women through demeaning self-abuse is itself a deplorable human rights violation."
The Verghese Committee concluded, "The Indian Army has broken new ground in taking the bold decision to throw open its human rights record to public scrutiny through the Press Council of India. Few armies in the world invite such an inquiry. The Indian Army has cooperated in this task, And it has, all things considered, emerged with honour."
Way back in 1993 (Feb. 02), Ms. Asha Khosa had reported in The Tribune: Crimes against women by militants are multiplying each day. Rapes by militants are too common. The security forces have recovered a number of girls who were either being kidnapped by militants or were being kept in confinement and raped repeatedly.
Unfortunately, the dominant and vocal sections of the guardians of public discourse - the intelligentsia and the media too fall easy prey to these sentiments. Their willing complicity in a self-imposed censorship or a deliberate distortion (or worse, fabrication) of news and events only further strengthens the votaries of an authoritarian state. Sadly, the State, in particular the Information Ministry of the Union Government prefers to remain callous towards such misrepresentation of the facts in the media.
(Anil Maheshwari was the correspondent of The Hindustan Times and stationed at Srinagar in 1989-90 when all the help broke loose. He is the author of a book " Crescent over Kashmir :Politics of Mullaism. )
Note from the Hindu Vivek Kendra
It was sent by the author to the publication, which has not published it in their print version.