India Draws Attention To Anti-Hindu, Buddhist And Sikh Phobias At The UN
T S Tirumurti seeks UN's acknowledgement of Hinduphobia and hatred against Indic religions, to stem a dangerous trend.
In an unambiguous message to the United Nations, India’s envoy T S Tirumurti, on Tuesday (18 January) urged the world body to recognise ‘Hinduphobia’ along with other acts of religious hatred against Buddhism and Sikhism.
Tirumurti further said that the UN’s latest Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) adopted last year was flawed and selective, and will take the world back to the pre-9/11 era of labelling such as “your terrorists and my terrorists”.
Call To Recognise Hinduphobia And Religious Hatred Against Sikhism And Buddhism
“Emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias is a matter of serious concern and needs attention of the UN and all member states to address this threat,” said Tirumurti, while addressing the International Counter Terrorism Conference 2022, organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council India, where he said he spoke as Ambassador of India to the UN and not in his capacity as chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) at the UN Security Council for 2022.
Tirumurti pointed out that in the recent years, highlighting certain religious phobias based on Islamophobia, Christo-phobia and anti-Semitism have now become prominent. The Indian envoy noted that phobias against the three Abrahamic religions find mention in the GCTS, but emerging phobias, hatred or bias against other major religions of the world also need to be fully recognised.
Discourse Surrounding Global Terrorism Must Not Be Diluted By Regional Narratives
“In the past two years, several member states, driven by their political, religious and other motivations, have been trying to label terrorism into categories such as racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, violent nationalism, right wing extremism, etc. This tendency is dangerous for several reasons,” said Tirumurti.
“Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable,” he said, while emphasising that the UNSC should “guard against new terminologies and false priorities that can dilute our focus”.
“Terrorism in all its forms must be condemned and no act of terrorism can be considered an exception or be justified, regardless of the motive behind such acts, no matter carried out where, when and by whom,” added Tirumurti.
When India Flagged Hinduphobia At The UN
India has, in the recent years, time and again, raised the issue of ‘Hinduphobia’ urging the UN to address the rising religious hatred against Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
“We are witnessing how member-states are facing newer forms of religious phobias. While we have condemned anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Christianophobia, we fail to recognise that there are more virulent forms of religious phobias emerging and taking roots, including anti- Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias,” said V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, on the platform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in October last year.
Earlier in December 2020, India’s first secretary in the permanent mission to the UN Ashish Sharma said, “This august body [UN] fails to acknowledge the rise of hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also.”
“The shattering of the iconic Bamiyan Buddha by fundamentalists, the terrorist bombing of the Sikh gurudwara in Afghanistan where 25 Sikh worshippers were killed and the destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples and minority cleansing of these religions by countries, calls for condemning such acts against these religions also. But the current member-states refuse to speak of these religions in the same breath as the first three ‘Abrahamic’ religions,” highlighted Ashish.
The Need For Recognising ‘Hinduphobia’ Worldwide
It is intriguing as to why the said international agencies, who vehemently oppose any and all cases of religious hatred against the three Abrahamic religions, have maintained a pin drop silence on the atrocities being committed against the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
It is difficult to ignore how the entire world became a mute spectator to the killings of Hindus in Bangladesh in October 2021 where copies of the Quran were deliberately placed inside Hindu mandapas to incite violence against the minority community. The plight of the Hindus and Sikhs who were forced to leave Afghanistan after the recent Taliban takeover of the country found no mention on any of the international fora.
Not just this, the systemic ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir, which triggered one of the biggest exoduses ever recorded, and the suffering it entailed upon the Hindus is not even considered worth mentioning by the global community. Rather, Hinduphobic events such as “Dismantling Global Hindutva" which further misrepresents and fuel hatred against the Hindu religion are organised with open institutional backing.
While there is an urgent need to ask for recognition of Hinduphobia and hatred against Indic religions on international platforms, it is also necessary to curb the influence of elements that are contributing to further Hinduphobia on the global stage, from within the country.
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