Human Rights Violation
“It is the obligation of the State to ensure everyone the right to adequate food, education and enjoyment of highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. These rights have to be respected and made available to the citizens by the State.”
– Justice Anand, Chairperson, Human Right Commission
Right according to the New Webster’s Dictionary, is a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive’ or moral. Rights, according to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, are the political, social and other advantages to which one has a just claim, morally or legally. Wilde defines rights as a reasonable claim to freedom in exercise of some activities. According to Laski rights are those conditions of social life without which no man can seek, in general, to be himself at his best. Bosaquet says that a right is a reasonable claim recognized by the society and enforced by the state. Thus the idea of the basic rights of human beings has been postulated differently by different thinkers, politicians and philosophers during the last few centuries.
To guarantee certain rights to each individual would be meaningless unless all inequality is banished from the social structure and each individual is assured of equality of status and opportunity for the development of the best in him. While in theory human rights are guaranteed to all the citizens, in reality only a few reap the benefit of the rights. Today unemployment has been a major problem, being faced by the youth. The democratic process is the monopoly of a class and is not the representative of the masses.
The latest assessment show that despite the advance in civilization and the frequent pleas by the Amnesty International, abuse of human rights by democratic governments and political killings have been increasing in the recent times. Governments profess commitment to a New World order and establishment of institution to protect human rights but security forces have been carrying out thousand of “disappearances” and political murders. This is stated in the Amnesty’s report titled “Getting away with murder, political killings and Disappearances.” This report have several examples of human rights abuse in countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The report states that deliberate killings are a matter of policy in some Indian states like the Punjab. The Amnesty International, however, acknowledges that anti-nationalist and secessionist groups are increasingly using violent means to challenge the power of the government and have committed numerous human rights abuses in many states including Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, the police and the paramilitary forces had to deal with the terrorists in a thought manner to contain the killings of innocent civilians and restore normalcy in the state.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been able to touch the tip of iceberg of the problem of Human Right violation. But NHRC can’t be blamed when the entire society is culpable in respect of Human Rights violations in one way or the other. It is impossible for NHRC to keep on every human being in the country.
The abject poverty prevailed in the country, denies basic Human Rights to millions of poor in our country. Poverty is the major cause of several Human Rights violations. The Human Rights of women are violated from birth to death. Even the rights of female to born is taken away by sex determination tests, with termination of female foetus. Female infanticide is common in many parts of the country even as on date. Sexual abuse of female children, dowry deaths, flourishing flesh trade, rape cases pitable conditions of windows living in Vrindawan and Varanasi are some flagrant examples of violations of the rights of the fair sex. The society of India is a male dominated, where women are being treated as their subordinates.
Most of the women in true sense, do not enjoy any rights at all, they are mere living first as per wish of their parents and after marriage as per whims of their husband and in the old age, as per convenience of their sons and daughters-in-law.
The NHRC has attempted to look into the human rights violations in wide range of spheres. The Commission has asked the States and Union territories in April 2000, to compulsorily video films the post-mortem examination in all cases of custodial deaths. There have been more than 1000 custodial deaths during the last two years, with Bihar tops the list. The Commission has asked the state governments sensitize the police and jail officials. The NHRC have also taken up the cases of victimized women in all perspective. It has also recommended that the maintenance allowance for divorced women be increased from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000 per month. Cases of violation of children’s right, like trafficking in children, imprisonment of juveniles, child marriage, have also taken up by the NI IRC. NHRC also taken up cases of rape, death and detention without trials, vehemently. Recently the NHRC has taken ups the case of Best Bakery in Gujarat and moved an application to Supreme Court. The Apex Court heard the matter and found that the state carried out the investigation and prosecution in a manner which ruled out conviction.
The Founding Fathers of the Indian Constitution, had a vision of the Indian Society, which they desired to feel through the constitution. That vision was primarily reflected in the preamble, the chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State policy is the product of human rights movement in the country. It is the responsibility of the state of guarantee what is written in the constitution. But the shocking evidence that the state is itself the culprit, according to Mr. J S. Verma, the former chairman of the NHRC. According to a statement made by him on Jan. 15, 2003 , just a few days before his demitting the office : “It is often the state which is violator of Human Rights in maximum cases in the country. But the maximums responsibility to protect and safeguard the rights of its citizens also lies with the state”.
The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Justice A.S. Anand laid stress on the requirement for making human rights the focal point of the good governance. He emphasized that the protection of human rights not only needs vigilance by various agencies but also maintains co-operation at regional and international levels. No commission or no police station can look into every nook and corner of the country. No NGO, no any other agency can be available everywhere to protect the human rights. It is the we people, it is the duty of every civilized person to rise to the occasion. This can be produced only through general awakening which make everyone understand the eternal values of life and dignity of an individual irrespective of caste, creed or sex. In the word of Swami Vivekanand that the “Self in you is the self everywhere.”