Members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament, debated the issue of the independence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities and other groups in India. In addition, he called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to raise these issues directly to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during his visit to India next month.
Member of Parliament Lord Richard Harris called for the subject of “India: restrictions on freedom” (India: restriction on independence) debated Monday in the upper house of the British Parliament. In keeping with tradition, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Minister Lord Jack Goldsmith responded on behalf of the government. He mentioned in his response the close ties between Britain and India, which allow Britain to raise all issues in the ongoing negotiations.
He spoke of a very deep and broad relationship with the largest democracy in the world (India), with which Britain’s trade and investment partnership is advancing and cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense and security is in the best interests of the world. Lord Goldsmith said our position has always been to raise any concerns with the Indian government. We will discuss the whole human rights issue with India and raise our concerns on other occasions, including at ministerial level.
He said the British Prime Minister would be visiting India soon. This will be an opportunity to discuss the major themes of bilateral and multilateral issues directly with the Indian government. Of course, when we have special concerns, the Prime Minister will bring them directly to the Indian government, as you would expect from a close friend and partner.
Significantly, a week ago the issue of farmer unrest in India was discussed in the House of Commons committee chamber of the British Parliament over India’s agricultural reforms. However, India then told Britain bluntly that its (British) MPs should stay away from voting bank policy, especially compared to another democratic country.
During the discussion in the House of Lords, around eight MPs called on the Johnson-led government to shut down Amnesty International India’s office in India and to ban transactions from its bank accounts, the situation in Kashmir and the imprisonment of journalists and non-Hindu minorities, Dalit activists, NGOs and those campaigning against human rights violations have called for raising issues such as fear of prosecution.
Conservative Party MP Lord Howard Flight said that until recently India had largely upheld democratic principles and traditions inherited from Britain. It is now seen that the Indian government has changed the nature of democratic freedom in many areas. However, the UK government reiterated its position on the Kashmir issue that it was entirely an internal Indian issue.