Lets us examine the question “Is Respect of human rights is an obligation every citizen irrespective of caste, color and religion in the society.?”
I will like to start with a quote from Nelson Mandela “To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
Human rights are the very manifestation of humanity. Human rights, as we know are the universal set of rights that every citizen of the planet irrespective of his caste, color, religion, decent and nationality cherishes. These rights are not given to us by any government or law instead they are inculcate into our existence. They exist because we exist. They are transcendental in nature yet they inspire people from all political spectrum to come together and vouch for its violations. Unlike the constitutional fundamental rights they are not written somewhere but are born out of our survival, our aspirations to live and exist as we deem fit, our hopes and dreams to lead a dignified and meaningful life.
As UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka say “Our hopes for a more just, safe and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of human family”, it becomes an obligation of every citizen irrespective of caste, color, creed, religion and all other basis of discrimination to respect the human rights. When people know, practice, abide, use and protect their rights without abusing, infringing, exploiting and violating them, they become responsible citizens.
The term ‘Human right’ was first used in 1766, but in the present century it has gained a new connotation. The freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture or execution has become the genial meaning now. The widespread killings of people in different areas during the world wars and the cold war, the subjugation of various freedoms of the third world or aboriginal people by the imperial superpowers, the democratically plotted genocides of targeted communities or religious populations, the regional implications of war as in Somalia, Iran, Kashmir, Punjab etc all are considered gross human right violations by international media in particular and public in general.
How can one citizen not respect what he himself aspires for? John F Kennedy rightly says, “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened”. The world is a practically a give and take equation, you call it karma or you call it reaction, everyone reaps what he sows. Without respecting the rights of a fellow human you cannot and should not hope for your own rights to be respected.
There are forums and international communities, NGO’s and organisations working for human rights. The UNHRC is the apex body at the international level looking into the human rights and their violations. Amnesty international and several such NGO’s are playing a positive role in safeguarding the Human Rights. But the question is why we need such organisations in the first place? Why are the Rights violated? Who are the culprits? The answer lies in self introspection. If every citizen of the planet feel it is his obligation to respect the Human rights of the fellow human without any discrimination whatsoever, the world would be a better place.
I would like to sum it up with the words of UN Deputy Secretary General JAN ELIASSON, “ there can be no peace without development, no development without peace and no lasting peace or sustainable development without respect for Human rights and the rule of law”