While we are on the topic of India, I came across this article in The Hindu discussing the Dalai Lama’s visit to India. This statement really caught my eye:
[Indian] Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that protection of human rights was an intrinsic feature of the Indian civilization, which recognized the world as a family through the ideal of vasudhaiva kutumbakam.
I know that politicians are obliged to utter platitudes, but this is a bit ridiculous. Aside from the fact there is no singular or coherent thing which we might call “Indian civilization,” modern India can hardly be characterized as familial.
Religiously motivated and inspired violence in India has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Hindu-Muslim violence resulted in the creation of Pakistan, the expulsion of millions of Muslims from India to Pakistan, and the two countries now confront one another with nuclear weapons.
Muslims still living in India regularly attack Hindus and vice versa. Sikh-Hindu and Muslim-Sikh violence is also widespread. And among Hindu “brothers and sisters,” perceived transgressions involving caste often results in violence, which may include the burning of women while still alive.
In India, it seems to be the case that human rights often take a back seat to religious inspiration.