Human Rights Day: Is there really cause for celebration?

In the face of what has come to pass in the recent past, as human rights continue to be sacrificed at the altar of national security and other reasons, we ask ourselves whether there really is cause for celebration.

Every December 10 is celebrated as Human Rights Day, in honour of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document that serves as the blueprint for the freedoms assured to persons across the world. The Constitution of India, which came into force a year later, echoed the sentiment the UDHR sought to perpetuate through Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy and even the Preamble.

And even as the courts waxed eloquent about constitutional morality, the ideals of the Constitution and the UDHR came to be flouted on a number of occasions in the recent past.

However, some authorities will have you believe that pointing out these violations of human rights is part of a larger conspiracy to defame India at the international stage. The Prime Minister himself seconded this opinion, stating at the recently held 28th Foundation Day of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), “Human rights are infringed when it is seen through a political lens. This selective behaviour is harmful to democracy. We see such people try to harm the country’s reputation in the name of human rights infringement, the country must be careful of such people.”

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