The right of being human

The history of human rights is as old as the existence of a human society, but concept came later. The consciousness towards these inherited rights got deepened with the formation of much strong soci...

The history of human rights is as old as the existence of a human society, but concept came later. The consciousness towards these inherited rights got deepened with the formation of much strong social orders like feudalistic society.  Feudal systems stopped all privileges and liberties of people and themselves enjoyed it, which created the need of understanding human development in the form of 'Human Rights'. At these stages all rights named whether natural, fundamental or human rights were only toys in the hands of ruling class.  The important change in such a perilous society came with the advent of 17th and 18th century. With more education, mankind because conscious of the concepts like freedom, equality and liberty. American and French revolutions were inspired by the advocates of Liberalism and Socialism. The contributions of Locke and Benthem will be remembered as the significant chapters of human history. Later Karl Marx came up with the real concern of Human Rights in the form of group rights in the class struggle concept. This combined voice about the basic human freedom and liberty actually shaped the existence of democracy and in turn democracy worked for the attestation of 'Human Rights' all over the world.   The words of these scholars are considered to be the golden foundation for the recognition of Human Rights as reflected in the words of the famous thinker Rousseau: "All men are born free but everywhere they are in chains."
 The socio-political thinkers changed the outlook of thinking of nations which accelerated pace in the 20th century with the introduction of fundamental rights in national constitutions. As both governments and the governed believed that development and peace can exist only when human life and dignity is valued. This will be the source of development of society as a whole. Therefore the concept of human rights has been of great importance in the past and continues to remain so even now, as it strives to define the important terms like human dignity and value of human life. The continuous research however revealed that if human beings are denied their basic rights, it will result in the destruction of society and it is disastrous for the growth and existence of society because these fundamental rights are the source of extracting fully the human qualities and talents. It also viewed that these rights are inherited by people by virtue of being humans.  And the concept of state was much scrutinized with the advancement of science and technology, as this development made world to realize that human being is born with these basic rights which are to be protected by state and the state exists only to secure these rights and if it fails to do so, then it's very reason of existence shakes and hence it is liable to perish.
 After the World Wars, people at large became more conscious about international peace and security, as the wars had only resulted in genocides and mass killings. And to control this crime against humanity, League of Nations and United Nations Organizations came into being. The introduction of term 'Human Rights' as such at international level came under Article 68 of U.N. charter of 1946 under Economic and Social council which made some important recommendations about how to work in field of Human Rights. But the new chapter of Human rights with separate identity came into existence under 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights' which was adopted on 10th of December 1948 and giving 10th December the name of Human Rights Day.  UNDHR in its introduction in the preamble claims that human rights are inalienable rights and if rule of law fails to protect these rights, then a man is compelled to rebellion against tyranny and oppression. Therefore right to rebellion is recognized by the preamble. Universal declaration of human rights has 30 Articles and they consist of general provisions, 'civil and political rights' and 'economic, social and cultural rights'. The civil and political rights are equality, freedom and liberty which are spread in the 2nd to 22nd Article where as economic, social and cultural rights are presented from 23 to 27 Article. This declaration also stresses for these rights to be available to all without discrimination and protection of life and liberty, abolishing of slavery whether in the modern forms, protection against torture whether physical, psychological or mental.
 The 'Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' came into existence as there was continuous conflict between Socialists and Liberalists about what are the real Human rights which was the reason that up to 1966 for 18 years this polarization of ideological difference of human rights brought forward two covenants in 1966. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its preamble mentions that these are to safeguard the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. This covenant in the very first Article which consists of part1 discusses the importance of Right to Self-Determination and describes it in three points or manifestations. The first portion of self-determination claims that "all people have the right to self determination. By virtue of that right they can freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development". And the second manifestation reveals that these people are free in disposing their natural wealth and resources and in no case people shall be deprived of its own means of subsistence. The third portion of Self-Determination clears those state parties who are administering the non-self governing and territories shall promote the realization of the right to self determination and shall respect that right in conformity with the charter of United Nation. Keeping in view the Kashmir situation, unfortunately the role of United Nations in Jammu and Kashmir has been very unsatisfactory from the very beginning. On the division of Indo-Pak, J&K was deprived of the right to Self-determination under new U.N. resolution to either part with India or with Pakistan. And at present U.N continues to be a mute spectator, watching the violation of right to Self Determination and violation of human rights in the form of tortures, illegal detentions and mass killings. United Nations with all its member states was unable to solve the J&K dispute since its inception. It will be clearly explained with the words of Yaseen Malik who says, "Rights of people are safeguarded even in war zones but in Kashmir people have no rights at all and safeguarding these rights is out of question. Also people in India raise hue and cry if the rights of animals are violated and on the contrary nobody talks about the plight of Kashmiris who are suffering for the past 19 years."
 
(The writer can be mailed at mudasir_rizvi@yahoo.co.in)

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