Sunday, 5 August 2012

Dear Friends,

Recently I wrote an article namely "Human Rights for Whom" which is available online on the link below.

Human rights are for whom?

by Kumar Vishwajeet, I.P.S.

Kumar Vishwajeet, I.P.S.

Human rights are not a new subject today. Every country talks about it, but do the common people know about it? Let us examine it, because it is not a matter which can be neglected nowadays. So what are human rights?
As far as a common perception of a common man is concerned; human rights are those rights of a human, which cannot be alienated from a human being for being human. That means it is applicable everywhere and it is the same for everyone.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, which was adopted after the end of the Second World War, in its Article 1, says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
But is it so? There are plenty of human rights organisations in the world. They are doing a good job in projecting the issues related to human rights giving at least some pictures of such acts, which can affect human rights in general.
In India, we have the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs) to ensure human rights propels growth and development of mankind. We also have several forums taking initiatives about human right violations in the country.
But do we really apply our mind before taking up this very important issue? Let us examine few incidents and try to answer this question. With genuine issues like abolition of bonded labour, right to health, rights of disabled, among others, one can be presumably right to say that we are heading towards a new road and goal.
I again ask is that so? The answer is a big No. Because many at times, even the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and the High Court’s of our country also come to the picture and give certain judgments, where one is forced to think that the human rights are for whom?
For example, any exchange of fire that takes place between police and Maoists. When a policeman is killed no one speaks about human right violations, but if a naxalite is killed and all such forums gangs up and protests such killing. One can see on several occasions that a single policeman on duty was murdered by the naxalite in broad day light and it becomes one moment news item and vanishes in the air.
A policeman is killed when he is performing duty at examination bandobust without weapon and no one speaks. Several officers and men are blasted, while patrolling in the naxalite infested areas and people read the newspaper and keep it aside. When there is an exchange of fire where some naxalite and policemen are killed human rights forum only talk about human rights of naxalites. What can you say about it?
As far as my knowledge and understanding goes, human rights are meant for all and the same shall apply for every individual of this world. But do we really bother to say this? One such example, I remember vaguely and I do not want to go in exact details because it is not important to remember them. What is important is the essence.
In 1995, on the holy day of Eid-al-Azha (May 10), Indian Armed Forces desecrated and destroyed 14th century Muslim shrine of Sheikh Noorud-Din Wali, a patron saint of Kashmir in the city of Charar-e-Sharief, about 30 km southwest of the capital Srinagar.
In the army operation to flush out Kashmiri militants holed up since mid-January in the town of Charar-e-Sharief, at least 2000 residential houses and 200 shops were razed to the ground. But the fact was written by another organization.
Charar-e-Sharif, due to its location on the slopes of the Pir Panjal range, was mostly bypassed by the insurgency. Occasional militant groups took shelter there. In the winter of 1994, a lashkar led by ‘Major’ Mast Gul, who was a Pakistani fanatic, sought refuge here.
As soon as the administration and security forces heard of his arrival, a bureaucratic wrangle took place as to what action to take. When the army established a cordon around and began ‘Psy Ops’, the militants likewise strengthened their defenses. The militia had romanticized Mast Gul, an illiterate low IQ terrorist was depicted all across as a valiant Islamic mujahid, invincible, ruthless and the savior of Islam.
The army and administration in panic banned the media from Charar-e-Sharif. As a result, there was no third/neutral party to record the events that followed. The militants after a prolonged psychological battle started the explosions in the shrine. As the walnut wood shrine exploded in flames, the militants escaped in the confusion and panic. The result was an explosion of Kashmiri anger at what they.
It was a fact that the 40 militants hold up in the shrine took the advantage of this fire and escaped into the town. The army and the civil administration did a good job and 27 militants were killed in that exchange of fire, but not a single civilian was hurt or killed. But then human right forums cried about this incident like anything blaming army, police, civil administration and the Government of India.
Far from instilling confidence in the public, a police officer following a ‘right procedure’ eroded everyone’s Trust, the foundation on which justice depends. The scripted guidelines, put in place to ensure that the police conduct operations properly, have become a barrier to good sense and common humanity.
Correct procedure, in its narrowest sense, was well followed by the administration and security forces in the case of Charar-e-Sharif, but it failed to irk a positive perception from the Kashmiri people, who perceived that the Army destructed the shrine. The process of accountability, so essential to public confidence, has produced the very reverse of what was needed.
Not only this when these militants were holed up in the shrine, the army and the police lay siege the shrine, but could not enter because no one wanted to hurt the sentiments of the community.
As a strategy food supply was cut, but one such organization approached the Delhi High Court and a judgment was passed to supply water and the food articles to the militants and the quantity was also specified as a human right issue was involved. The army was on roads for several months, but none spoke about them.
So it is not surprising that the police is facing a crisis of confidence. One has to start thinking about it that these human rights are for whom? In the guise of human rights are we helping all those who are the violators of these instead of those who actually require them. It is a matter of debate. Arguments and counter arguments are possible, but we have to think that it should be used and not misused.

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