Economic Challenger - - CONTENTS - − Aditi R. Khan­del­wal, Aditi Jain


Hu­man Rights as the name sug­gests are the ba­sic rights given to a hu­man be­ing. The only pre−req­ui­site to avail th­ese rights is to be a hu­man be­ing. Th­ese rights are uni­ver­sal and given ir­re­spec­tive of once na­tion­al­ity, place of res­i­dence, gen­der, na­tional or eth­nic ori­gin, color, re­li­gion, lan­guage, or any other sta­tus. So no one can be dis­crim­i­nated against when it comes to hu­man rights.

Hu­man rights are of­ten ex­pressed and guar­an­teed by law of ev­ery coun­try as th­ese are re­garded very ba­sic for hu­man sur­vival. In­ter­na­tional hu­man rights even laid down obli­ga­tions of Gov­ern­ments to act in cer­tain ways or to re­frain from cer­tain acts, in or­der to pro­mote and pro­tect hu­man rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms of in­di­vid­u­als or groups. Hu­man rights are clas­si­fied and or­ga­nized in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways, but the most ac­cept­able and in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized cat­e­go­riza­tion of hu­man rights splits them into civil and po­lit­i­cal rights, and eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural rights.


1. Uni­ver­sal − Uni­ver­sal­ity of hu­man Rights means th­ese are ap­pli­ca­ble equally ev­ery where in the world. Th­ese are om­nipresent like sky on our heads no mat­ter which coun­try or district we are in. Look­ing at its sig­nif­i­cance at Vi­enna the World Con­fer­ence on Hu­man Rights, it was re­in­stated as the duty of States to pro­mote and pro­tect all hu­man rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms, re­gard­less of their po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural sys­tems.

2. Egal­i­tar­ian − The lit­eral mean­ing of Egal­i­tar­ian is all peo­ple de­serve equal rights which means that no­body is dis­crim­i­nated against while dis­burs­ing th­ese rights and ev­ery hu­man be­ing has equal reach to avail his hu­man rights. Hu­man rights are in­alien­able which should not be taken away at any point of time ex­cept in some spe­cific sit­u­a­tions and ac­cord­ing to due process like if emer­gency is de­clared in a state then some of th­ese rights may be taken away.

3. In­ter­de­pen­dent and in­di­vis­i­ble − All hu­man rights are in­di­vis­i­ble and in­ter de­pen­dent as all hu­man rights ex­ist to­gether and the im­prove­ment of one right fa­cil­i­tates pos­ses­sion of all oth­ers on the other hand dis­pos­ses­sion of one right ad­versely af­fects the oth­ers.

4. Both Rights and Obli­ga­tions − Hu­man rights in­volve both rights and obli­ga­tions which sig­nify that on one hand it is a right given to hu­man be­ing and on the other it is an obli­ga­tion of the state to take pos­i­tive ac­tions to fa­cil­i­tate the en­joy­ment of ba­sic hu­man rights. States also as­sume obli­ga­tions and du­ties un­der in­ter­na­tional law to re­spect, pro­tect and ful­fill hu­man rights. The obli­ga­tion to re­spect means that apart from tak­ing pos­i­tive ac­tions to fa­cil­i­tate hu­man rights, states must also re­frain from in­ter­fer­ing with or cur­tail­ing the grat­i­fi­ca­tion of hu­man rights. It also re­quires states to pro­tect in­di­vid­u­als and groups against hu­man rights abuses


Hu­man rights in the form of fun­da­men­tal rights have been in­cor­po­rated in the In­dian con­sti­tu­tion. The Rights were adopted from many sources which in­cluded Eng­land’s Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France’s Dec­la­ra­tion of the Rights of Man. Fun­da­men­tal Rights are de­fined as ba­sic hu­man free­doms which ev­ery In­dian cit­i­zen has the right to en­joy for a proper and har­mo­nious devel­op­ment of his per­son­al­ity. Just like hu­man rights th­ese rights are also uni­ver­sally ap­pli­ca­ble

through­out In­dia to all ci­ti­zens, ir­re­spec­tive of race, place of birth, re­li­gion, caste, creed, color or gen­der. It guar­an­tees civil lib­er­ties to In­di­ans so that they can lead their lives in peace and har­mony as ci­ti­zens of the big­gest democ­racy. Th­ese in­clude in­di­vid­ual rights in com­mon, such as equal­ity be­fore law, free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion, free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion and peace­ful as­sem­bly, free­dom to prac­tice re­li­gion, and the right to con­sti­tu­tional reme­dies for the pro­tec­tion of civil rights by means of writs such as habeas cor­pus. Th­ese are en­force­able by the court of law and any vi­o­la­tions of th­ese rights can re­sult into se­vere pun­ish­ments as pre­scribed in the In­dian Pe­nal Code. Some of th­ese rights are as fol­lows :

1. Right to Equal­ity − In­dia is a land of vast di­ver­si­ties like lan­guage, caste, re­li­gion, cul­ture etc. Thus the con­sti­tu­tion of In­dia pro­vides for the most es­sen­tial fun­da­men­tal right in the form of right to equal­ity. This right man­dates equal­ity be­fore law, pro­hi­bi­tion of dis­crim­i­na­tion on grounds of re­li­gion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity in mat­ters of em­ploy­ment, abo­li­tion of un­touch­a­bil­ity and abo­li­tion of ti­tles like Raja, Nawab etc.

2. Right to Free­dom − Right to free­dom in­cludes free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion, as­sem­bly, as­so­ci­a­tion or union, move­ment, res­i­dence, and right to prac­tice any pro­fes­sion or oc­cu­pa­tion sub­ject to se­cu­rity of the State, friendly re­la­tions with for­eign coun­tries, pub­lic or­der, de­cency or moral­ity, right to life and lib­erty, right to ed­u­ca­tion, pro­tec­tion in re­spect to con­vic­tion in of­fences and pro­tec­tion against ar­rest and de­ten­tion in cer­tain cases. So this right al­lows peo­ple of the world’s largest democ­racy to ex­press their views and opin­ions freely on a pub­lic plat­form with­out any fear. It also per­mits peo­ple to make as­so­ci­a­tion and protest against any­thing which ac­cord­ing to them would in­fringe their fun­da­men­tal right.

3) Right Against Ex­ploita­tion − Any act which is against the hu­man dig­nity and which is done against the free will of a per­son is re­garded as ex­ploita­tion. So it pro­hibits all forms of forced la­bor or bonded la­bor, child la­bor in fac­to­ries as well as domestic and hu­man traf­fick­ing.

4) Right to Free­dom of Re­li­gion − Ac­cord­ing to this right a per­son can adopt and fol­low any re­li­gion of his choice. It also in­cludes free­dom of con­science and free pro­fes­sion, prac­tice, and prop­a­ga­tion of re­li­gion, free­dom to man­age re­li­gious af­fairs, free­dom from cer­tain taxes and free­dom from re­li­gious in­struc­tions in cer­tain ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes. It also sup­ports right to equal­ity for the peo­ple of th­ese di­verse re­li­gions.

5) Cul­tural and Ed­u­ca­tional Rights − In­dia is a cul­tur­ally di­verse coun­try where on ev­ery 5 Kilo­me­ters cul­ture changes. So this right per­mits ev­ery sec­tion of ci­ti­zens to con­serve their cul­ture, lan­guage or script, and right of mi­nori­ties to es­tab­lish and ad­min­is­ter ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions of their choice and thus re­store the cul­tural di­ver­sity of In­dia.

6) Right to Con­sti­tu­tional Reme­dies − It is the most im­por­tant fun­da­men­tal right given to the peo­ple of In­dia by the mak­ers of the con­sti­tu­tion. It is so, as this calls for en­force­ment of Fun­da­men­tal Rights and makes way for a per­son to file writ in the court of Law for its im­ple­men­ta­tion if any of his right is in­fringed by any­body. An­other im­por­tant thing about it is that the writ is filed di­rectly in the High Court or Supreme Court so that quick de­ci­sion could be made.

Cases where Hu­man Rights were made a Mock­ery by The UPA Government

From a lot of events that have taken place since the start­ing of this year it is vis­i­ble that the UPA Government does not re­spect the call of In­di­ans on any is­sue. From protests against reser­va­tion to Anna Hazare’s fast against cor­rup­tion and the re­cent ag­i­ta­tion against pass­ing of 51% FDI in re­tail ev­ery­thing seems to have no ef­fect on the poli­cies of Government. In one way when so many com­mon peo­ple come on roads and protest against some­thing that means that the coun­try does not sup­port some­thing or in case of cor­rup­tion, the coun­try want some fierce steps to be taken against it. But it seems that the government is ab­so­lutely un­per­turbed as they are not tak­ing any steps to even show that they want Lok­pal Bill to be passed or they would not al­low FDI in re­tail. Ac­cord­ing to me all this is in­fringe­ment of col­lec­tive fun­da­men­tal rights of the ci­ti­zens of In­dia. Now let us see some of the cases which show that government has no re­spect for the

will of peo­ple of a coun­try which rec­og­nizes it­self as a Government "of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple and for the peo­ple˜ and thus hu­man rights are no more re­spected.

1. Baba Ramdev In­stance − On 4th June 2012 this year Yoga Guru Ramdev started his fast againt cor­rup­tion af­ter talks failed with the government for get­ting back black money de­posited out­side In­dia and dis­con­tin­u­ing higher de­nom­i­na­tion notes to stop cir­cu­la­tion of black money in the In­dian econ­omy. On 4th June he stared a yoga camp at the Ramlila Ground in Delhi and also an­nounced a fast against cor­rup­tion in a peace­full man­ner. The camp was held af­ter tak­ing per­mis­sion of au­thor­i­ties and also af­ter mak­ing due pay­ment to the Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion for the same. As al­ways hap­pens a lot of peo­ple gath­ered for the camp to see the yoga sen­sa­tion of In­dia per­form­ing yoga. But to ev­ery­one’s sur­prise around mid night sud­denly po­lice broke in and in­sti­gated evac­u­at­ing peo­ple us­ing force and started lathi charg­ing and fir­ing on the arm­less com­mon peo­ple as­sem­bled there. No­body un­der­stood as to what has hap­pened. Later in the morn­ing sources said that po­lice sus­pected pres­ence of ter­ror­ists over there and ex­pected vi­o­lence hap­pen­ing over there.

This showed government’s fear that if even a sin­gle such peace­ful protest would suc­ceed then the whole coun­try would rise for the cause. This showed that government can go to any ex­tent to force its own will. In this case government played with fun­da­men­tal right to Free­dom and Free­dom of Re­li­gion.

2. Ig­nor­ing Lok­Pal Bill − Anna Hazare is a so­cial ac­tivist who wants to bring in a strin­gent anti−cor­rup­tion law. Anna Hazare started an in­def­i­nite hunger strike on 5 April 2011 to ex­ert pres­sure on the In­dian government to en­act a strin­gent anti−cor­rup­tion law as en­vis­aged in the Jan Lok­pal Bill, for the in­sti­tu­tion of an om­buds­man with the power to deal with cor­rup­tion in pub­lic places. It led to na­tion−wide protests in sup­port of Hazare from all sec­tions of and age groups of peo­ple. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, one day af­ter the government fi­nally ac­cepted Hazare’s de­mands. The government is­sued a gazette no­ti­fi­ca­tion on the for­ma­tion of a joint com­mit­tee, con­sist­ing of government and civil so­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to draft the leg­is­la­tion.

But just af­ter Anna ended the fast, government started its dirty game against the core com­mit­tee mem­bers of team Anna and tried to at­tach a bad name to all of them. Well the par­lia­ment was in ses­sion sev­eral times since then but the government has not passed the Lok­pal Bill as promised. This again shows that government does not re­spect its own prom­ises let aside re­spect­ing fun­da­men­tal rights of com­mon man.

3. Al­low­ing FDI in Re­tail − The Government has not been able to bring a strong law against cor­rup­tion even af­ter so many years and even af­ter it has seen that now com­mon man of In­dia also sup­ports it to huge ex­tent. But to ev­ery­one’s sur­prise rather shock, government en­acted a new law al­low­ing 51% FDI in multi brand re­tail and 100% FDI in sin­gle brand re­tail which again saw mass op­po­si­tion and a de­mand of com­plete roll back, to which our PM said it can’t be done. Af­ter the Mon­soon Ses­sion of the Par­lia­ment was over, the government has now de­cided to al­low 51% of FDI in multi−brand re­tail.

This could be on one hand a new way of get­ting mam­moth size of money from for­eign re­tail­ers who want an en­try in In­dian econ­omy or on the other a new way of di­vert­ing peo­ple from lok­pal bill. But in both the cases the party on the loose end and the one mis­han­dled is the gen­eral pub­lic.

All the above in­stances show how government is mak­ing a fun of democ­racy, rights and will of ci­ti­zens of In­dia.




3. ar­ti­cles.time­­di­a­, Col­lec­tions, Baba Ramdev

4. www.glob­­eign−di­rect−in­vest­ment−re­tail−fdi.php

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