International Human Rights Day will be celebrated all over the world on 10th December, and there will be a function in this connection organised by the Indian National Human Rights Commission in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on this day in which the Chief Guest will be the Honorable President of India.
In my opinion such celebrations are farcical, and a cruel joke on hundreds of millions of poor people worldwide.
The truth is that poverty is destructive of all rights, and over 75% of the world’s population is poor. There is massive hunger, unemployment, lack of healthcare and good education for the poor people in the world.
Do human rights mean anything to a person who is poor, hungry and/or unemployed ? According to Global Hunger Index, India
has slipped from position number 101 to number 107 out of the 121 countries in the world surveyed regarding hunger. We are worse than neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Indian official unemployment
figures have been rising, and the real figures would be staggering. Prices
have been skyrocketing in India and healthcare and good education in India are available only to the rich.
I suppose somewhat similar would be the position in Pakistan.
So all this tall talk of human rights is empty rhetoric and hot air. There will no doubt be fine speeches by prominent people in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi on December 10, but at the end it will be the old story-‘aamadam, guftam, barkhaastam’, i.e. we came, talked, and dispersed, but zero haasildam.
In this connection it may be mentioned that the great American President Franklin Roosevelt realized that formal political rights contained in the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, like freedom of speech, liberty, equality, freedom of religion, etc are empty and meaningless unless accompanied with socio-economic rights like right to employment with a decent wage, nutritious food, healthcare, education, shelter, etc.
Hence in his historical State of the Union Address on 11th January 1944 he said that the time had come for a Second Bill of Rights
in America, which guaranteed to all Americans these basic socio-economic rights.
I submit that in India and Pakistan too the time has now come when the patriotic people must seriously think out ways and means of providing basic socio-economic rights to the people like employment with a decent wage, nutritious food, healthcare, good education, shelter, etc ( which are no doubt mentioned in Part 4 of the Indian Constitution, the Directive Principles of State Policy, but which have specifically been made unenforceable ), without which all formal rights as contained in Part 3 of the Indian Constitution ( which relates to fundamental rights of freedom of speech, liberty, equality, etc ) are empty hollow shells and illusory.
Mere celebration of Human Rights Day is an empty formality, and a meaningless pantomime and charade