Retired Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson of, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at a meeting of the human rights body on Tuesday, said that if sub-standard education for children in madrasas continues, Muslims would “never come up”. He maintained that there is a need to standardise education for children.
The NHRC’s ex-officio members pointed out issues related to reservation to people who had “intruded into India’s borders”. They also spoke of the courts rejecting the commission’s recommendations.
Justice Mishra, who was chairing the ‘Statutory Full Commission’ meeting of the Chairpersons and representatives of the seven National Commissions, also stressed that a policy of reservation to benefit the neediest among the reserved categories should be considered.
Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Chairperson of, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), a participant at the meeting, pointed out that some States do not implement national welfare schemes that are necessary to end inequality and discrimination in society. He also said that a dangerous trend was being noticed in the benefits of reservation being given to those who had intruded into India’s borders, thereby usurping the benefits of welfare schemes meant for the citizens of the country which. He stressed that this needed to be checked.
“It’s a matter of concern that, many times, the High Courts reject the recommendations and directions of the NCSC (National Commission for Scheduled Castes) merely on technicalities and not on merits. It needs to be impressed upon the judiciary to give a hearing also to the commission on merits before rejecting its recommendations,” Subhash Ramnath Pardhi, Member, NCSC said.
Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), who was also present in the meeting, expressed serious concern over human trafficking. She said that the trafficking of women from West Bengal to Srinagar had increased. She also said that forceful conversion in the name of marriage was a serious issue of violation of rights that had to be addressed.
“There is a need to standardise education for children. Vernacular languages are being forgotten. Also, if sub-standard education for children in madrasas continues, Muslims will never come up,” Mr. Mishra said while speaking of the NHRC and other commissions.
NHRC Chairperson maintained that India has an unparalleled institutional mechanism to address the issues of human rights violations. He added that, after participating in various international human rights forums, he realised that India could not be ignored for its overall progress along with its democratic values, which are “the best in the world”.
“No doubt certain improvements may be required but freedom of speech and the kind of debates which happen in India are not heard of anywhere,” he further said.
Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities (NCM), highlighted the issue of non-payment of compensation to several victims of the 1984 riots even after so many years.
Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), said that running an orphanage had become a kind of racket to siphon off funds that were received through “massive donations”.
Praveen Prakash Ambashta, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, said that accessibility in public places continues to remain a concern for persons with disabilities. He said that, over the years, there had been a change in perceptions regarding disabilities but more requires to be done.
Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay suggested that a museum of human rights should be built to showcase human rights in Indian art and culture since the ancient era till date.
D.K. Singh, Secretary General, NHRC, said that the commission had disposed of 1,09,982 cases during 2022-23, and recommended payment of ₹13.69 crore as relief in 279 cases to victims or their next of kin.