Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 17th, 2020

Need and Realization of Human Rights and Values

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Need and Realization of Human Rights and Values

The concept of human rights, in general, refers to all human beings having universal rights or status to which we are entitled simply by being human. They are inherent in nature and without which we can not live as human being as Harold Laski remarks, ‘Rights are those conditions of social life without which no man can seek in general to be himself at the best”. Human rights allow us to fully develop and use our human qualities, intelligence, talents and conscience and to satisfy our inner and other needs. In wider or global standards human rights based on subsistence is universally accepted and thus not limited to providing to all human beings with the needs for their physical subsistence but involves a certain degree of minimal comfort beyond merely keeping one’s organs working because human subsistence also consists of being able to function.
Emergence of Human Rights Motivations
The very motivations for human rights came from its offer of protection from tyrannical and authoritarian calculations. Repressive measures of an autocratic government may be constrained with the recognition of supreme moral limits on any government’s freedom of action. The prime rhetorical benefit of human rights is that they are viewed as being so basic and so fundamental to human existence that they should trump any other consideration. Any conception of rights trumps other claims within a society, human rights may be of a higher order that supersedes even other rights claims within a society. The next attraction of human rights that they are often thought to exist beyond the determination of specific societies. They set a universal standard that can be used to judge any society. At best human rights provide an acceptable bench mark with which individuals or governments from one part of the world may criticize the norms followed by other governments or cultures.
The shape and size of human factor that we have enshrined in our constitution should be considered as an extended idea of freedom struggle fought in India for decades. Among the several streams, the main movement was under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi who laid emphasis on Swaraj and which was essentially anti-colonial. Our national movement was not anti-feudal, although a number of peasant and tribal struggles at one level and the Dalit movement led by Ambedkar at another level, were the clear manifestation of serious drawbacks of the mainstream movement but they failed to get an all-India character. The neglect of the social and economic development, in due course, posed a challenge for the political process and the system itself. The so called constitutional governance, modelled after liberal ideas with the guaranteed rights, was introduced in a society which was a glaring example of poverty, inequalities and unemployment. The social order, as visioned by the constitution was not backed by the existing state-society relationship and as a result, the idea of human dignity and self-respect became a farce.
Human Rights at the UN
Apart from this ideational background of human factor in Indian Constitution, last but not the least important was the Declaration of Universal Human Rights on 10 December 1948 announced by the United Nations. Earlier the Charter of the United Nations which was formed after the Second World War, gave prominence to the aim of promoting Human Rights and freedom. The Preamble of the UN proclaimed, ‘We the people of United Nations determined – to reaffirm faith in fundamental Human Rights, dignity and birth of human person in equal rights of men and women and of nation, large and small – have resolved to combine efforts to accomplish these aims.  The very first Article of the UN Charter declared that one of the purposes of this organization is the achievement of international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respects for human rights. Likewise, Article 68 of the Charter provides for setting up of several commissions including one for the promotion of Human Rights. Further, going a step ahead, the General Assembly of the UN adopted on December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a report submitted by the Commission of Human Rights. The said Declaration contains 30 Articles pertaining to the common standard of the achievements for all people and the nations. Articles 1 to 21 of the Declarations relate to the traditional so called natural rights and basic freedom and Articles 22 to 28 concern social and economic rights without which there can be no opportunities for the enjoyment of these Natural Rights and basic freedom by the millions of people around the world.
Enshrinement in Constitution
For the full realisation of human values socio-economic rights were viewed as essential by the framers of the Indian Constitution. It was a perplexing question for them…….. how to distinguish between those rights that could be granted immediately, such as political rights, and those that should be there as ideals to be reached and could be granted only overtime, such as social and economic rights? The solution was found by borrowing a concept from the Irish Constitution and encoding the socio-economic rights as Directive Principles of State Policy. Among the different provisions, the essence of the Directive Principles has been contained in Article 38 which lays down that ‘the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic, and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
The members of the Constituent Assembly while providing for the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of the State Policy did not visualise any contradiction and hoped for creating a condition for the building of an egalitarian society in which individual freedoms were secured. The relationship between the individual liberty and social change was rightly envisaged as dynamic. To quote an expert ‘The Directive Principles of State Policy represent a dynamic move towards a certain objective. The Fundamental Rights represent something static, to preserve certain rights which exist.

Dr.Rajkumar Singh is the Professor and Head of P.G.Department of Political Science in BNMU, West Campus P.G.Centre, Saharsa-852201, Bihar, India. He can be reached at rajkumarsinghpg@gmail.com

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