January 11, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
On January 4, 2020, The Wire uploaded a video of a talk delivered by former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, where he spoke out in stern disapproval of the Centre’s stance on several issues.
Sikh Siyasat has taken out excerpts of the talk under topic based headings, that are produced below. While excerpting the talk we have tried to retain the matter and manner in which the Mr. Shivshankar Menon put his thoughts.
INDIA IS INCREASINGLY ISOLATED IN GLOBAL OPINION
(FORMER NSA SHIVSHANKAR MENON)
Global Public Opinion on India:
There has been no meaningful international support for this series of actions (abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir lockdown and CAA), apart from a few committed members of the diaspora and a ragtag bunch of Euro MPs from the extreme right. Global public opinion on India has shifted in the last few months. We are increasingly isolated.
Opinion in International Media:
Look at media abroad, I mean the criticism in the West comes from the extreme right, from Wall Street Journal all the way to The Guardian and other leftist sort of papers, includes, almost everybody in between NYT, Washington Post and so on.
Opinion of International Organisations:
High Commissioner for refugees and human rights for instance has condemned the CAA calling it fundamentally discriminatory in nature, but it’s actually a cumulative effect of a series of actions, same high commissioner for human rights had also expressed extreme concern about the situation in Kashmir
Violation of International Commitments:
After all India is signatory not only to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but since April 1979, also to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights since 1967.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is not only confined to citizens and but also applies to all persons present under territory.
This covenant prohibits discrimination on grounds of national origin which as you’ve just heard is exactly what the CAA does.
We Seem to be in Violation of Our International Commitments:
When the international laws are not enforced, you must consider the political and other consequences of being perceived as violators of international law and of not keeping our word.
Opinion of the US Political Leadership:
The significant democratic presidential candidates have spoken out on these issues, there have hearings held in the US Congress, language on Kashmir has been inserted into the angle of Foreign Appropriations Act for 2020 and Pramila Jaypal, the only Indian origin woman actually in the US House of Representatives , has introduced the resolution which is critical of CAA and of several recent actions by the Indian government, has now 29 co- sponsors, including Republicans and the only Indian origin lawmaker who attended the ‘Howdy, Modi’ conference.
Opinion in Friendly Countries:
Even our friends like Bangladesh have been taken aback.
By these act we have strained our relationship with our friendly nations and put their leaders under domestic pressures.
Opportunity for Opponents:
We gifted our adversaries the platform to attack us.
Kashmir has been discussed in the UNSC again after 40 years.
Why the Opinion of International Community Matters to India :
The world matters more to India now than ever before because more than half our GDP is the external sector, we depend on the world for energy, capital, technology, markets, essential, raw materials, fertilisers, 80% of our imports are maintenance imports. Investment is an act to trust and faith and seven countries have issues travel warnings.
What we have achieved in the recent past is to hyphenate our image with Pakistan’s in a fundamental way as religiously driven and intolerant states.
We’ve lost in a sense India’s ability to be an example, and a model for other countries in the subcontinent.
⊕ Sikh Siyasat wishes to thanks and give due credit to The Wire — publisher of the talk. Readers may watch full video of talk by Shivshankar Menon below: