Freebie politics distort expenditure priorities: Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar

Attacking some global entities of treating India unfairly, Mr. Dhankhar names corruption as the greatest threat to human rights; Indian governance free from “corruption, favouritism, nepotism”, he says

Updated - December 10, 2023 08:51 pm IST

Published - December 10, 2023 01:52 pm IST - New Delhi

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar delivers the keynote address at the Human Rights Day celebrations organised by National Human Rights Commission, in New Delhi on December 10, 2023.

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar delivers the keynote address at the Human Rights Day celebrations organised by National Human Rights Commission, in New Delhi on December 10, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The politics of so-called freebies for which “we see a mad race” distort expenditure priorities, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Sunday. He was speaking at an event organised by the National Human Rights Commission to mark the 75th Human Rights Day, where he added that there was a need to empower human minds and human resources and not just people’s pockets.

Cautious about the upsurge in freebie politics, Mr. Dhankar said that this would undermine the basic framework of macroeconomic stability. “Empowerment of pocket through fiscal grants only increases dependence,” he said, encouraging the NHRC to catalyse a healthy national debate on freebie politics and come up with a paper on the issue.

The Vice-President expressed concern over the “pernicious narratives and external calibrations” by individuals gauging India’s progress from air-conditioned and closed chambers, detached from the “index of hope, optimism, and confidence” fostered by government policies.

‘Free from corruption’

Mr. Dhankar said that it pained him to see India being treated unfairly by some global entities. He urged India’s critics to delve deep into the nation’s performance on human rights and not merely scratch the surface.

Attacking the nepotism and corruption, the Vice-President said that he wanted “such entities” to take note of “India’s governance model that is free from corruption, favouritism, nepotism. It’s dictated by transparency, accountability and merit.”

Terming corruption as the greatest danger to human rights, Mr. Dhankhar added that the long-time bane of corruption in India has now been contained. “There is now in place a governance mechanism that provides no room for nepotism, favouritism, and promotion. Corruption has been neutralised in power corridors,” he claimed.

‘Role model’

The Vice-President also highlighted the positive changes taking place in India, home to a sixth of humanity, in the advancement of human rights, asserting its position as a “role model” for the world. Referring to transparency and accountable governance as a “game-changer” for the promotion of human rights, especially for vulnerable sections of society, the Vice-President said that the use of technology in service delivery had also played an instrumental role in fortifying this advancement.

Mr. Dhankhar termed the Union government’s scheme to provide gas connections to poor households as a “transformative revolution”, giving a reprieve to India’s toiling women. He also praised the massive infrastructural growth as quintessential for the “proliferation and empowerment of human rights”.

Recognising the appointment of a tribal woman as the President of India as a testament to human rights, the Vice-President concluded by emphasizing that human rights are a collective endeavour.

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