In many countries, rising nationalist populism and supremacist ideologies provoke discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, language, religion, and national or social origin. To win popular votes, parochial leaderships promotenegative stereotyping and stigmatization, incitement to violence and hate crimes. Once in power, this brand of leadership goes on to even concocts false apprehensions, fear andfissures in inter-state relations. Today’s debate is a timely reminder for the need of our collective action against such leadership.
- In our own region, a similar frenzy is driving the drift of our eastern neighbour India towards a political order marked by populism, rank communalism and religious intolerance. As elections in India approach, such hate driven narrative against minorities and my country is being used as a rallying post for popular votes. A conveyer belt of fake news on mainstream and social media is driving this narrative. This behaviour not onlythreatens peace and security of the regionbut also fans violence against minorities.
- The repression and human rights abuse in Jammu and Kashmir is another manifestation of unleashing violence by an increasing communal and extremist India. Riding the wave of nationalist chauvinism, leadership in India fails to introspect on its own failure in Kashmir and always seek to externalise the problem. In doing so, it perpetuates abuse of human rights in Kashmir and threatenspeace and security of South Asia and beyond.
- Through a collective UN action, we must address the root causes of descentof political parties and societies towards nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies. Inequality, socio-economic exclusion, disinformation, hate speech and poverty provide fertile ground to populist leaders to propagate their vitriolic rhetoric creating a divide of “us against them”.
- The international community must riseabove narrow economic and bilateral interests and condemn unequivocally such populist regimes expounding extreme supremacist ideologies.
- The panellists may share the contemporary case studies of regions and countries suffering from such populist narrative and extreme supremacist ideologies.
I thank you.