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Corrupt Democracy in India

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Vikram singh, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    For decades, American leaders and opinion makers have chosen to ignore the dark side of democratic India. Now new reports documenting the pervasive abuses committed by the Indian police are providing firsthand evidence not only of warrant less arrests, illegal detentions, torture and the deaths of thousands of citizens but also the complicity of parties and political leaders, who have turned police and paramilitary forces in a number of states into bodyguard agencies and private armies.

    By Barbara Crossette
    August 7, 2009

    Sexual abuse in police stations. Crimes "solved" by countless extrajudicial killings. Life-threatening prison conditions. Widespread torture. Thousands of unpunished murders in politically inspired pogroms. Sixty million children in forced labor.

    For decades, American leaders and opinion makers have chosen to ignore the dark side of democratic India. Now new reports documenting the pervasive abuses committed by the Indian police are providing firsthand evidence not only of warrantless arrests, illegal detentions, torture and the deaths of thousands of citizens but also the complicity of parties and political leaders who have turned police and paramilitary forces in a number of states into bodyguard agencies and private armies. The title of the latest report from Human Rights Watch, Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police, leaves no doubt about its conclusions. But Human Rights Watch, which has been the most diligent of American organizations in monitoring and reporting on India in recent decades, is not alone. Another report, on the state of police reform in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, is soon to be published by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, based in New Delhi. A former Indian police official who has seen it says it will make many of the same observations.
    The United States State Department has also been cataloging Indian rights abuses. Its latest survey of India, a chapter in the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, released on February 25, 2009, summarized pages of evidence this way:
    Major problems included extrajudicial killings of persons in custody, disappearances, and torture and rape by police and other security forces. Investigations into individual abuses and legal punishment for perpetrators occurred, but for the majority of abuses, the lack of accountability created an atmosphere of impunity. Poor prison conditions and lengthy detentions during both pretrial and trial proceedings remained significant problems. Officials used special antiterrorism legislation to justify the excessive use of force. Corruption existed at all levels of government and police.... Increasing attacks against religious minorities and the promulgation of antireligious conversion laws were concerns. Violence associated with caste-based discrimination occurred. Domestic violence, child marriage, dowry-related deaths, honor crimes, female infanticide and feticide remain serious problems. Trafficking in persons and exploitation of indentured, bonded and child labor were continuing problems.
    The killing of Sikhs, a largely prosperous religious minority in India, has been exhaustively documented by Ensaaf (Justice), a US-based shoestring human rights group founded by Americans of Indian descent. Its findings have not been significantly challenged by leading judges and government investigators in India, who are nonetheless powerless to force an end to extralegal behavior.

    About as many innocent Sikhs were murdered in the week following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Sikh bodyguards in 1984 as all the Chileans who were killed or disappeared in seventeen years of Augusto Pinochet's regime. The Sikh killings, and illegal cremations of bodies, without documentation or notification to families, continued into the 1990s.

    The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative operates on the principle that "democratic nations need democratic policing." Ironically, the Congress Party, dominant for most of India's sixty-two years of independence and recently re-elected to power at the head of a coalition, would have the political clout necessary to see that multiple commissions and court rulings on police abuses were enforced. It has not done this; nor has the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, whose chief minister in Gujarat state has been widely reported to have been behind the massacre of up to 2,000 Muslims in 2002.

    The Indian media have often been the most effective virtual enforcers of prescribed conduct, reporting ceaselessly on the kind of dubious police actions and too-quick findings of guilt that have created wide questioning and disbelief in many official investigations among the public.

    "While India rightly touts itself as an emerging economic powerhouse that is also the world's largest democracy, its police forces--the most visible arm of the Indian state--are widely regarded within India as lawless, abusive and ineffective," Human Rights Watch concludes.

    Human Rights Watch has studied in depth the weaknesses in police departments, especially in rural areas, where underpaid, overworked constables are kept on 24/7 call and often expected to do VIP escort duty as well as their regular jobs. Police stations are often without phones, electricity or vehicles. In a barracks in the holy city of Varanasi, four policemen had to share one bed, and there was no extra living space. It is a recipe for brutality and corruption, with lowly constables who have no chance of advancement taking out their frustration and lack of human rights training on people even lower in society than they, the ethnic and religious minorities and Dalits, or "untouchables."

    Middle-class Indians, and certainly the rich, inoculate themselves against the pervasive disease of impunity by paying bribes to the police, as well as to other public service agencies. Perhaps that is why, despite the hard work of many Indian nongovernmental organizations, a truly national movement against both police brutality and police deprivation never seems to get traction. In the US, a strong Indian lobby made up of professionals and business people--working with profit-hungry American corporations--plays down or rejects reports of endemic abuses. Indian political leaders escape censure by their American counterparts with the excuse that Indian democracy is self-correcting.

    When American reporters comb the annual State Department human rights reports, they are looking for the usual suspects: China, Cuba, Burma, Pakistan and lately Sri Lanka, which has lost its UN Human Rights Council seat under a barrage of criticism from human rights campaigners. A closer reading of the chapter on India, with its almost 1.2 billion people, soon to be the world's most populous nation, might be in order.
     
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  3. kapii

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    usual **** tirade against India. The rhetoric is against one particular community (Hindus), but the author does not say that word. If that is not true, then I guess you forgot about sikh terrorism in punjab , where around 5000 hindus were killed by terrorists. Thousands migrated from Punjab after and before 1984. Tonnes of bomb blasts carried out recently by members of one community (muslims). Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus and etc etc etc..

    I call it hypocrisy :) :) .....

    and as far as world community goes, at least In USA, most of the people have a very highly favourable view of India and about Indian people. and if you wanna change it, then just tell them the whole story but not parts of it :).
     
  4. spnadmin

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    Kapi ji

    How thoroughly and how thoughtfully have your read the article by Barbara Crossette? The good, the bad and the ugly have all been presented in this review. It is not a one-sided attack.

    You have now attacked the veracity of not one but 2 well researched studies of social justice and problems in India. But you have not backed anything up with facts and reasons of your own. So do you not think that you have an obligation to this forum and to Hindus to provide some reasons for your statements, rather than making blatant charges of prejudice against Hindus?

    I will repeat parts of this statement in the other thread. Please do not continue with your hostility.
     
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  5. harbansj24

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    But where is the attack on Hindus in this article?

    In fact the article lauds the role of Media and the NGOs which are largely made up of Hindus of doing all that is possible to try and contain the Human Rights violations against all sections which includes Hindus. The article is critical about the system of governance.

    I live in India and I can say that a large silent majority of Hindus are eminently decent people. The proof is that they resoundingly booted out BJP with a covert and overt communal agenda in the recent elections. The result was not only in the number of sears but also in % of vote cast.

    Fringe elements are always there in all communities. So Kapi ji, I can say with confidence the Sikh Community has absolutely no problems in peaceful co existence with Hindus and even in making contributions to their prosperity and well being and I am sure our Hindu brothers also have the same reciprocal feelings.

    So unless you have any other agenda just banish the thought.

    You are welcome to make contributions to the spiritual discussions which this forum is better known for.
     
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  6. kapii

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    Narayanjot Kaur : do you need proofs for "massacre of hindus in punjab by sikh terrorists??

    or proof for "cleansing of kashmir hindus"?? if you do, then i can not help it :)


    harbansj24:: that is why i said that the attack was subtle without referencing the name of the religion. But it did not say the whole story. only one side was presented.

    and as far as, the elections are concerned, BJP got routed: nice. But what about Akalis in punjab???? are they different from them??
     
  7. kapii

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    Narayanjot Kaur:: In this article, plz guide me where is the reference of Kashmiri hindus???..now where

    pUNJABI hindus:: nowhere??? recent terrorists attacks by muslims???: nowhere

    then how it is not one-sided?? :D
     
  8. Admin Singh

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    kapii ji, who is stopping you from telling the other part of the story...? :welcome:

    i dont know from where you are coming from or which forums you are refering to but your glasses are certainly tainted. :) The only person, who seems biased or one-sided at the moment is You!! ;)
     
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  9. spnadmin

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    kapi ji

    Here are your statements:

    Narayanjot Kaur:: In this article, plz guide me where is the reference of Kashmiri hindus???..now where

    pUNJABI hindus:: nowhere??? recent terrorists attacks by muslims???: nowhere

    then how it is not one-sided?? [​IMG]


    Narayanjot Kaur : do you need proofs for "massacre of hindus in punjab by Sikh terrorists??

    or proof for "cleansing of kashmir hindus"?? if you do, then i can not help it [​IMG]

    harbansj24:: that is why i said that the attack was subtle without referencing the name of the religion. But it did not say the whole story. only one side was presented.


    Now the grinning smilies tell me that you are having a good time with this and are not as outraged as you pretend to be. If you were really upset you would show me :mad: and :inca: and :(.

    To continue - Your argument actually makes no sense at all now that you have extended it to the cleansing of kashmir hindus. Are we reading the same article? What is the title of the article by Ms. Crossette. She is describing the problem that US officials have facing up to abuses of justice in India. So exactly what is your problem with the article? She listed a number of situations where Sikhs and nonSikhs were treated with injustice in the past decades. She lays the problem at the feet of the Congress Party, police forces, prosperous American NRI's, affluent Indians, as well as the tendency for US governments to see half the story. I would call that multi-sided on her part. She did not mention Kashmir -- maybe that situation is so historically and politically complex that it requires an article all by itself.

    I do not retract my diagnosis. You are trolling and are trying to start some kind of flaming situation.
     
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  10. selvi

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    Originally http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/hard-talk/26214-corrupt-democracy-in-india.html This article has been merged with the current thread to avoid duplication of material in Post 1 of this thread. :)

    Major problems included extrajudicial killings of persons in custody, disappearances, and torture and rape by police and other security forces. Investigations into individual abuses and legal punishment for perpetrators occurred, but for the majority of abuses, the lack of accountability created an atmosphere of impunity. Poor prison conditions and lengthy detentions during both pretrial and trial proceedings remained significant problems. Officials used special antiterrorism legislation to justify the excessive use of force. Corruption existed at all levels of government and police.... Increasing attacks against religious minorities and the promulgation of antireligious conversion laws were concerns. Violence associated with caste-based discrimination occurred. Domestic violence, child marriage, dowry-related deaths, honor crimes, female infanticide and feticide remain serious problems. Trafficking in persons and exploitation of indentured, bonded and child labor were continuing problems
    .


    The killing of Sikhs, a largely prosperous religious minority in India, has been exhaustively documented by Ensaaf (Justice), a US-based shoestring human rights group founded by Americans of Indian descent. Its findings have not been significantly challenged by leading judges and government investigators in India, who are nonetheless powerless to force an end to extralegal behavior. About as many innocent Sikhs were murdered in the week following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Sikh bodyguards in 1984 as all the Chileans who were killed or disappeared in seventeen years of Augusto Pinochet's regime. The Sikh killings, and illegal cremations of bodies, without documentation or notification to families, continued into the 1990s.

    The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative operates on the principle that "democratic nations need democratic policing." Ironically, the Congress Party, dominant for most of India's sixty-two years of independence and recently re-elected to power at the head of a coalition, would have the political clout necessary to see that multiple commissions and court rulings on police abuses were enforced. It has not done this; nor has the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, whose chief minister in Gujarat state has been widely reported to have been behind the massacre of up to 2,000 Muslims in 2002.

    The Indian media have often been the most effective virtual enforcers of prescribed conduct, reporting ceaselessly on the kind of dubious police actions and too-quick findings of guilt that have created wide questioning and disbelief in many official investigations among the public.

    "While India rightly touts itself as an emerging economic powerhouse that is also the world's largest democracy, its police forces--the most visible arm of the Indian state--are widely regarded within India as lawless, abusive and ineffective," Human Rights Watch concludes.

    Human Rights Watch has studied in depth the weaknesses in police departments, especially in rural areas, where underpaid, overworked constables are kept on 24/7 call and often expected to do VIP escort duty as well as their regular jobs. Police stations are often without phones, electricity or vehicles. In a barracks in the holy city of Varanasi, four policemen had to share one bed, and there was no extra living space. It is a recipe for brutality and corruption, with lowly constables who have no chance of advancement taking out their frustration and lack of human rights training on people even lower in society than they, the ethnic and religious minorities and Dalits, or "untouchables."

    Middle-class Indians, and certainly the rich, inoculate themselves against the pervasive disease of impunity by paying bribes to the police, as well as to other public service agencies. Perhaps that is why, despite the hard work of many Indian nongovernmental organizations, a truly national movement against both police brutality and police deprivation never seems to get traction. In the US, a strong Indian lobby made up of professionals and business people--working with profit-hungry American corporations--plays down or rejects reports of endemic abuses. Indian political leaders escape censure by their American counterparts with the excuse that Indian democracy is self-correcting.

    When American reporters comb the annual State Department human rights reports, they are looking for the usual suspects: China, Cuba, Burma, Pakistan and lately Sri Lanka, which has lost its UN Human Rights Council seat under a barrage of criticism from human rights campaigners. A closer reading of the chapter on India, with its almost 1.2 billion people, soon to be the world's most populous nation, might be in order
     
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