India Dismisses UN Human Rights Chief’s Concerns on Electoral Process as Unwarranted

March 5, 2024 10:42 am

India Dismisses UN Human Rights Chief's Concerns on Electoral Process as Unwarranted

India responded firmly to concerns raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, regarding the country’s upcoming general elections. Ambassador Arindam Bagchi, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, stated that the concerns expressed were “unwarranted” and did not reflect the reality of the world’s largest democracy.

Bagchi emphasized that the remarks made by Turk did not align with the high degree of people’s participation and trust in India’s electoral process. He noted that India’s democracy was characterized by open argumentation, and it was crucial for those in positions of authority not to let their judgment be clouded by propaganda.

Highlighting India’s electoral experience as a source of inspiration globally, Bagchi stated, “We are privileged that many across the world seek to learn from our experience and aspire to emulate it.” He expressed confidence in the Indian people’s ability to freely exercise their vote to choose a government that aligns with their aspirations.

Turk had voiced concerns about “increasing restrictions on civic space” and discrimination against minorities, particularly Muslims, in India. In response, Bagchi underscored the core values of India’s democratic polity, emphasizing plurality, diversity, inclusivity, and openness.

Bagchi also highlighted India’s commitment to human rights globally, citing its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, disaster relief efforts, and support during crises in various countries. He noted India’s role as a voice of reason in calling for dialogue and diplomacy amid global conflicts.

In conclusion, Bagchi welcomed the renewed focus on issues affecting all nations, including multilateral governance structures, sustainable development, and the need for peace. The response reflects India’s strong stance on its democratic processes and commitment to human rights and global issues.

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