Tuesday, June 16, 2009

USCIRF has no authority in India or in any other sovereign state

USCIRF -- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has absolutely no authority in India or any other sovereign nation-state. Therefore, it is almost laughable that USCIRF was ready to arrive in India on June 12, but were stopped because The Indian Government did not issue visas in time for their planned visit.

Why was the Indian government cowardly and fumbling on this issue? Why did the GOI not issue a press statement that USCIRF's visit was not acceptable at this or any other time? This is not a visa issue, it is an issue of sovereign state rights. Is India a client state of the US? Does it take orders from Washington?

The Government of India should have been proactive and directly informed the US govt. that USCIRF (ostensibly authorized by the US Congress to MONITOR religious rights worldwide), cannot visit India to monitor our religious rights. No entity of the US govt. or ANY govt. of ANY nation-state has authority to monitor the religious rights or any other civil society rights /conditions/ situations prevailing in ANY other sovereign nation-state.

Second, it is up to US President Obama to ask Congress to disband the USCIRF. The USCIRF was established by Republicans who are no longer in power. It's over, you guys. Your opinion, especially when it interferes with the political and civil society conditions prevailing in sovereign nation-states, no longer counts and never did count. You have no authority over other states even though you may exercise such authority and power over occupied states (Iraq), weak client states (Pakistan) and satellite states (example Israel) the latter in the process of developing (illegal)sovereign authority over contested legally unsupportable settlements/ borders.

You in the US congress or the White House have no mandate outside of your own finite borders. Stop playing Global SuperCop and mind your own business, which as we all know is in total disarray and is continuing to cause economic upheavals in other sovereign nation-states. The US govt. has enough on its plate for the next eight years without blatantly and illegally interfering in the ongoing development of responsible nation-states. Has the USCIRF recently monitored religious rights in Saudi Arabia or is SA exempt because of its petrodollar connections? Will USCIRF reeceive visas from Iran? Did the US CAUSE religious and ethnic frictions in Iraq which they invaded and still occupy? WHO WILL MONITOR THE US? Certainly the UN has shown itself incapable of doing so, because it is a client of the US, where it is headquartered.

Last, the Indian government does not need to rely on the counsel of private religious leaders like Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati who has expressed opposition to the USCIRF visit. He is a private citizen and he has the right to express his views on USCIRF or anything else. But the Government of India has responsibility as elected leaders of a SECULAR democracy, to steer its own course as a SECULAR sovereign nation-state. Religious leaders do not dictate the policy, foreign or domestic, of sovereign nation-states, who are avowedly secular and democratic. As India is.


Reform USCIRF said...

www.uscirf.blogspot.com is a blog advocating reforms and self-policing at USCIRF. It is an attempt to provide fair and balanced comparative analysis of India report vs. other country report. Based on available information from credible sources, It raises following questions in a constructive fashion:-
* Legal:

* USCIRFs compliance with International Religious Freedom Act 1998?
* USCIRF overlooking potential violations of Article 9 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

* Failure to champion "Freedom of ALL Religions"?

* Lending voice to those who want to curtail "Freedom of worship"?

* Contradictions and Inconsistencies between various reports?

* Lack of transparency and disclosure. Problems with quality of content?

For instance:
USCIRF India report not only fails to stand up for the very cause it is suppose to champion namely “Freedom of worship without fear” but also lends voice to those who want to curtail it. USCIRF 2009 India report’s description of “Sri Amarnath Shrine land for temporary shelter controversy” makes no mention of continuous terror attack on Hindu pilgrims and pilgrim shelter, regular massacres of pilgrims and necessity of providing safe, secure shelter and fear-free pilgrimage. On the contrary, it lends voice to myopic view and fictitious claims of those who want to curtail “Freedom of Worship”. Is this in compliance with IRFA 1998?

Chithra.KarunaKaran said...

I appreciate your comment. I am glad you encouraged me to look more intensively into unscirf, from whom there has not been much in the news lately.

You also importantly raised the point about IRFA '98-- thanks.