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UPA internationalised caste: BJP

delhi Updated: Oct 01, 2009 00:46 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
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To its criticism that the UPA government is a failure on the foreign policy front, the BJP on Wednesday added a new charge: the government has internationalised India’s age-old caste problems at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

Pointing to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ support earlier this month for draft guidelines to involve the UN in complementing national efforts to address caste discrimination, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said this reflected a failure on India’s part.

His argument: If the UN includes caste in its definition of human rights violations, it gets a mandate to intervene in India’s affairs by using the handle of human rights violations.

“This can have serious implications. We can be faulted for human rights violations on the grounds of the caste system, potentially leading even to sanctions,” he said.

Nepal, the country that was till recently a Hindu kingdom, had supported the inclusion of caste problems in the definition of human rights violations at Geneva on this occasion, leaving India isolated.

“India should have lobbied well and told the world how it has constitutionally taken a zero-tolerance view of untouchability and caste disabilities,” he said. “India has provided reservation to Scheduled Caste to integrate them with the national mainstream.”