(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)

Is NHRC suffering from the proverbial “Three Monkey’s Syndrome” or inflicted by it?

Aghast at the news appearing in the media highlighting that the NHRC has sought a report from the Ministry of Home over the J & K happenings in the recent past, when the visual media channels are agog with virtual reality shows round the clock bringing into every office and drawing room covering the actual happenings on the streets in the valley.

And the NHRC is supposed to be the paragon of “Wisdom and intellect”. Its Chairman and members are supposed to be men of very high reputation drawn from key walks of life.

Former Chief Justice H L Dattu, is the Chairman. Members include: Justice Cyriac Joseph, Justice D. Murugesan, Sharad Chandra Sinha, Naseem Ahmad, P.L. Punia, Dr. Rameshwar Oraon and  Ms. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, who represent minorities, tribal people and women among others.

Of course, all of them are honorable men and woman! But, they are political appointees. So, they are not above biases and prejudices. After all, they too are ordinary mortals.

My issue with them is simple. When they could have observed at first hand through video visuals on various TV Channels, and aided by print media and social networks and the so called spokespersons and eminent panelists, why have they asked only the MoH for the report on J & K crisis?

Let me draw a parallel with the three wise monkeys, called the three mystic apes – covering the eyes, covering his eyes who sees no evil; covering ears, who hears no evil, and covering mouth, who speaks no evil, together collectively represent the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.

Most apt, it appears the “Three or Many Monkey’s Syndrome” inflicting the NHRC!

If the NHRC was keen to adjudicate the human rights violations, they should have asked a wide range of agencies and sources for their respective reports to include: J & K State Human Rights Commission; J & K State Government; the J & K Police; the CRPF; other Central Para Military Forces; the Army; media; and others actively involved in the field.

If the NHRC was serious about the whole issue and wants comprehensive evidence to adjudicate human rights violations, they should have sent a specific questionnaire to all the agencies and sources to provide comprehensive briefs.

Ipso fact, the real issue the NHRC should focus is on “Who started the Stone throwing and pelting on the law and order agencies and who instigated it from behind?”

More importantly, who were responsible for the attacks and looting of police stations and camps?

And, the mobs attacking the Hospitals, particularly the Military Hospital, treating even the civilian injured?

Of course, the so called mobs or militants in civilian garb dumping the police jeep into the river and killing a police officer?

The NHRC should also adjudicate the role of the entire spectrum of media in exciting, provoking and inciting militants in mob grab to launch a full scale offensive on the streets.

Unless the NHRC focuses on a wide range of key issues, it would be failing in its duties to give a fair and just verdict.

In doing so, the NHRC should not procrastinate its findings for eternity. For it will allow the political parties, media and separatist elements to go on information war campaign against the modern India nation-state. In retrospect, the NHRC would be fueling contra national security threats only.

My plea to the NHRC is simple. If the NHRC wants to act, it must act fast, smart and hard against all elements responsible for today’s crisis proliferation particularly even the role of media.