- by Sitaram Yechury
- The Guardian
- Issue #1965
Dear Prime Minister Modi,
I am writing this letter registering my strong protest over India’s vote of abstention in the UN Human Rights Council on the Resolution on the Palestinian issue and human rights of all peoples.
Indian people’s support to the legitimate Palestinian right to their homeland predates our independence and was part of our freedom struggle. Our support to the Palestinian cause emerged as a national consensus. India’s vote in the UNHRC violates this consensus.
India consistently championed all the UN resolutions and opposed Israel’s blatant violations of these and its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.
India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations speaking in the Security Council on May 17, 2021 expressed India’s support to the “Just Palestinian Cause.” He reiterated India’s consistent stand of a two-state solution with equal sovereign rights, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. However, ten days later comes this vote abstaining on a resolution which seeks at securing Israel’s compliance with international human rights covenants.
This vote by India received a chorus of international disappointment, dismay and protests. Many correctly see this abstention as stifling the important work of the UNHRC in advancing human rights for all people including those of the Palestinians.
I am also constrained to point out that this volte-face comes at a time when the standards of upholding human rights, democratic rights and civil liberties in India is perilously declining. India’s abstention is being correlated with the global concern over the fall in the standards of upholding human rights in India.
India must reiterate its consistent support to the Palestinian cause and cannot renege on the national consensus of support to the Palestinian struggle.
I am requesting your immediate attention and a positive consideration by India taking a forthright stand of cooperating with the independent commission of enquiry set up by the UNHRC after adopting this resolution, to investigate violation of international law by Israel.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)