UN Water In Dubious Company

A United Nations agency, UN Water, that is apparently behind the World Toilet Day project was caught with its pants down (or, as we would say in Delhi, its lota missing) tweeting an invitation to the notorious Ram Rahim who has been convicted for rape, and is facing investigation for multiple allegations of financial and criminal misdeeds. Ram Rahim had a mass following in what the Indian authorities claim to have been a dubious cult. His large following attracted a number of political parties and other high profile figures to Ram Rahim from time to time in the kind of unethical and opportunistic behaviour that is no surprise from politicians, but rather a shame to see in a UN agency.

It is not just Ram Rahim, the use of pop stars and film actors by UN agencies as “ambassadors” for causes that have no connection with their work, and who are enlisted only because they can grab media attention, or attract a crowd for events is undignified and frivolous. Why do UN agencies have to advertise themselves in this way?  What are they trying to hide behind the razzle dazzle? And why don’t they have a minimal vetting process?

The press and television news in India was wall to wall on the scandalous stories of Ram Rahim just a few weeks back. You had to be in a stupor to have missed it! This just goes to show the gross incompetence of these UN agencies. The company they are keeping is as dubious as their interventions in the Third World.

It is high time for us to hold these UN agencies accountable. The report on UN Water’s invitation to Ram Rahim is here.

4 October 2017