Wednesday, 18 May, 2022
HomeDiplomacyAnti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist & anti-Sikh phobias need UN attention, says Indian envoy Tirumurti

Anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist & anti-Sikh phobias need UN attention, says Indian envoy Tirumurti

T.S. Tirumurti, Indian Ambassador to UN & chair of UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022, says ‘terrorists are terrorists, there are no good or bad ones’.

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New Delhi: India, which earlier this month assumed the chair of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022, believes the world must admit and recognise ‘Hinduphobia’ and also hatred against Buddhist and Sikh religions.

T.S. Tirumurti, Indian Ambassador to the UN, said earlier this week that “we must not countenance double standards in this battle…”.

“Terrorists are terrorists, there are no good or bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable,” he added, speaking at an event organised by the Delhi-based Global Counter Terrorism Council.

Earlier this month, Tirumurti assumed the chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), which was constituted in 2001, after the 9/11 twin tower attacks in the US.

Tirumurti said at the event that he was speaking as India’s envoy to the UN, and not as chair of the CTC, but alluded to the fact that the Security Council needs to be “on guard against new terminologies and false priorities that can dilute our focus”.

‘No good or bad terrorists’

In December 2020, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution — ‘Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace’ — that speaks of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia, giving rise to the debate around Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions.

Referring to the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) passed by the UN General Assembly in June 2021, Tirumurti said, “Emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias is a matter of serious concern and needs attention of the UN and all member states to address this threat.”

“Terrorists are terrorists. There are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And, those who cover up for them are just as culpable,” he said.

“In the past two years, several member states, driven by their political, religious and other motivations, have been trying to label terrorism into categories such as racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, violent nationalism, Right-wing extremism, etc. This tendency is dangerous for several reasons.”

‘Recognising violence against Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs’

As terms like Islamophobia and Christianophobia started entering the lexicon of the UNGCTS towards the end of 2019 and early 2020, India started pushing for the recognition of violence against Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs.

“Al-Qaida’s linkages with Security Council-proscribed terrorist entities like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed has continued to strengthen. Its regional affiliates in Africa continue to expand,” Tirumurti said, adding that this is the reason why the UN Resolution 2593 (2021) was adopted under India’s presidency in August 2021 that took into account the “collective concern” on Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism rising from there in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

India has not raised the issue of violence against Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists in the UN since June 2021, when Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan last spoke about it at the United Nations Security Council High-Level Open Debate on ‘Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: Diversity, state building and the search for peace’.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)


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