Human rights and the violation of human rights in india
Human rights and the violation of human rights is an important area of concern in India. This essay will talk about some of the human rights that are being violated in India, the reasons they are violated, and how the problem can be stopped. Human rights should be defined first, they are as follows:
It enshrines the right of every human being to: `life, liberty and security of person'; freedom from slavery; torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and arbitrary detention; equality before the law; and a fair trial; freedom of movement; nationality; the protection of the family; the ownership of property; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; participation in the government of his country; social security; work with just remuneration and the right to form or join a union; an adequate standard of living; and education. The Declaration ends by affirming the individual's duties to the community, and in the same spirit, states that `Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised'. (Chiriyankandath et al., 1993)
The declaration was ambitious with no legal authorization, essentially leaving no concrete definition to "human rights". However, any action that does take away any freedom from an individual is considered a violation. Although the constitution makes a list of fundamental rights and freedoms with respect to all individuals, violations are still present. The violations of "human rights" take place within India's political system. A democratic society cannot protect human rights when the politicians and police forces surrounding it are corrupt (Kumar et al., 2003). Corruption affects India at all levels of decision-making and in the distribution of the states largesse (Kumar et al., 2003). People normally think that violations are taking place from the hands of other citizens, in this case the violations are coming from those who are supposed to be protecting them. Corruption is a major obstacle in the development of India. There is an estimate that only 17 percent of funds allocated by government for poverty reduction actually reaches the poor. Corruption actually dilutes human rights in a significant way. The politicians and police should worry about everyday functioning of the state, rather they are well known for their corruptness and brutality which makes matters even worse for a large country. The violation of human rights has been present since the existence of India, and it will stay that way until some significant changes are made.
India has a long history of the rise and fall of empire, change of ruling class and dynasties, foreigners coming onto its soil and, finally, the creation of India as its own country. The Aryans, the Muslims and the British were foreigners, who invaded India at different periods of time (Sinha et al., 2005). On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the colonial rule of Britain. With the separation from British rule came the need for India to have their own fundamental rights. On November 26, 1949, a new constitution was adopted in India. Part three of the constitution has a section titled "fundamental rights" which is for all individuals living in India including: men, women, children, adults, rich and poor. The Indian justice system is in place to ensure that human rights are not violated. The courts are in charge to make sure that the proper punishment is handed to those who violate the human rights of others. However, with the level of corruption that takes place in India, they often do not fulfill their obligations. The fact that corruption remains an important problem even after fifty five years of Independence in India and continues to eat away the precious resources of the country, and that all forms of victimization result from civil, political, economic and social rights violations, is enough justification for formulating new strategies to address corruption (Sabat et al., 2008).
Justice is achieved when there are equal rights for all and there is a balance between individual interests and community interests. On theory of justice is the Gandhian Theory, which came into existence in the 20th century. Gandhi was against all kinds of social, economic and political injustice. Gandhi's definition of justice was based on truth, equality and non exploitation. His life mission was a mission for justice for the weak, the poor and the oppressed. He fought very hard so that the weaker groups in society could create an identity for themselves and that they would be treated as equals with other groups in society (Mondal et al., 2001).
Extra-judicial killings in India by the security forces or police are known as 'encounter killings'. This means that the victim was killed due to an armed encounter with security forces or the police. When the police force or security force is involved in a killing, it is usually deemed to be defensive. A serious case, one such as attempted murder, robbery, and rape are often offenses that are normally put again the victims, the case is then closed at that point without a further investigation. The case is closed at that point since the accused has died and criminal cases are closed when the accused has passed on. Even though these are unnatural deaths, the victim has been killed, an investigation will not take place to find out if the death was an actual encounter or if the use of force was justified.
Women, men, and children are trafficked for various purposes, such as marriage, agricultural labour, working in various informal sector industries, domestic labour, participating in dangerous sports such as camel racing, recruitment in armed conflict, and for sex work (Jana et al., 2002). The biggest issue is not the process of being trafficked, rather the state which these persons are left in. Once trafficked, they have little to no options for leaving the place or position they now find themselves in. These people can now find themselves in positions having to work against their will for sub-par wages and benefits, in certain cases, no compensation at all. Bangladesh, has enacted a law preventing single women from travelling across its borders. Such laws violate the fundamental human right to mobility, and discriminate against women. They are now in a position where no legal options are available to them, they must depend on the illicit options offered by traffickers.
Governments also adopt a special language in order to appear to be transparent. They do not talk about torture or summary execution; instead, they speak of "excesses." These executions are not uncommon; they are not the occasional excesses of eager security officers. These killings are calculated and deliberate, and they are carried out as a policy. Because such tactics are believed to have been successful in crushing Sikh militants in Punjab, the policy is often referred to as the "Punjab solution." (Gossman et al., 1995).
No member of security forces has ever been prosecuted for the murders in Kashmir. The security forces have also used lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, shooting unarmed civilians. Disappearances, which have also been on the rise in Kashmir, are facilitated by the fact that the security forces routinely disregard laws requiring detainees to be produced in court (Gossman et al., 1995).
Detainees are typically held without having access to lawyers or family in detention centers, this has likely contributed to the increasing number of disappearances.
Most detainees in Kashmir are tortured. Detainees are generally held in temporary detention centers, controlled by the various security forces, without access to the courts, relatives, or medical care. Methods of torture commonly include suspension by the feet or hands, stretching the legs apart, burning with clothes irons and other heated objects, and severe beatings. According to doctors in Kashmir, the use of electric shock is routine. One common form of torture involves crushing the leg muscles with a heavy wooden roller, causing acute kidney failure in some cases. During search operations and reprisal attacks, civilians have been assaulted and women raped. Such abuses are not confined to the Kashmir valley, but have also been reported from Doda (Gossman et al., 1995).
The government has made available a list of security personnel punished for abuses. However, the list does not accurately describe the nature of the abuse, or when it was committed. In five years of conflict, the number of officers and constables jailed for terms of more than one year is fifteen. In other cases, punishments have been minimal.
With a lack of accountability and all this corruption, there will not be any confidence in the justice system. Something needs to change!
In India, the agricultural sector is the most significant employer of children. The children are frequently exposed to hazardous chemicals, risk of injury or snake bites, and bad weather. Typically the children have little or no protective gear, also they have minimal access to water for drinking or hygienic reasons. Even with laws that prohibit children under 14 years of age from working in most industrial sectors, India is home to the largest number of working children in the world, with between 40 and 115 million child workers between the ages of 5 - 14 years (et al., 2003). About 80% of India's child worker are employed in the agricultural sector. Girls between the age of 7 - 14 years earned on average 18 rupees for working a 12 hour day. Most children are working in debt bondage to pay off a family loan or advance. The children are put through harsh conditions, they are exposed to pesticides that are sprayed in the fields while they are working. Children have told researcher that they had fainted, vomited, or had convulsions after the spraying of pesticides (et al., 2003). None of the children are provided with protective equipment by their employers
Many people believe that the justice system in India is corrupt because of the lack of protection provided by the police. The structure of the police system needs to change before the quality of life can be improved. First off the police need to learn to separate themselves from political corruptness and ensure that they do not get involved. Politicians are known to take advantage of the police to accomplish personal gains, and many time the police are the ones who are blamed for corrupt activities on behalf of the politicians.
There are many loopholes in the Indian constitution which denies justice to the poor and the weak which leads to a lack of proper investigation for the weak groups in society by the police. If there is ever a conflict of interest between those that are a dominant class in society and those that are less powerful, the police will typically protect those of the dominant class and regulate the behaviour of the less powerful. The reason for these actions by the police is because the powerful groups are typically made of politicians. The politicians have the power to run the city, they can offer bribes to police officers and they have the power to promote the officers, in order to protect themselves. This leads to the lower class/less powerful groups taking the blame for offences and events that they had no connection to. Many people refuse to report cases to the police because they know that the police are corrupt.
One of the reasons that the human rights are violated by police officers in India is due to the fact that the officers are not provided with adequate training. The police typically recruit uneducated men and women with no training and skills. The government does this because they believe that the job of an officer does not need skilled workers, so any individual is believed to be capable of performing the duties of an officer. Another reason that police violate human rights is because the pay associated with their jobs is not sufficient, in turn, they are tempted to take bribes which ultimately leads to corruption.
The courts in India, Including the Supreme Court are not above violating human rights. The only way to discourage human rights violations is to have the justice system reformed. The reform would need to ensure that the courts impose more sanctions against officers that continue to abuse human rights. This should also change the roles and rules surrounding police officers so that they fulfill their duties to protect human rights and freedoms. Additionally, the courts would also need to stand up against the powerful politicians and hold them accountable for their actions. The ultimate outcome anticipated by these actions would be to protect the human rights from being violated, this can be possible if the courts can enforce stricter rules and regulations surround police officers.
Human rights violations are an ever growing problem in India. The violations of human rights have been around since the creation of India in 1947, these are not issues that are new. The ultimate reasons behind human rights violations stand with the corruption of the politicians and the police officers. These are the people which are supposed to be looking out for the best interest of the citizens, yet they are the ones, above all else, violating these rights. The issues lay with the justice system as a whole, not only including police and politicians, but also the court system as well. The officers violate human rights sometimes as instructed by the highly powerful politicians, but other times they violate human rights to serve their own self interest, without instructions from those above them in the hierarchy. This is not always the case, however, this type of scenario is very likely, especially if the police do not want to put their job in jeopardy (by not following instructions given by politicians).
To overcome the existence of the violation of human rights, the justice system will need to be reformed. The courts will need to have stricter sanctions and penalties toward politicians and police officers. The police officers and politicians will also need to realize the importance and necessity of treating other individuals as equals with respect and not violate their human rights. New laws would need to be put in place to ensure that the police are performing their duties as they should. If all else fails, they should allow outside investigations to take place to gain or regain confidence in the justice system.
(2003). Child labour in India: a health and human rights perspective. Lancet, 36232-33. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Chiriyankandath, J. (1993). Human rights in India: Concepts and contexts. Contemporary South Asia, 2(3), 245. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Gossman, P. (1995). An International Human Rights Perspective. Asian Affairs: An American Review, 22(1), 65. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Jana, S., Bandyopadhyay, N., Dutta, L., & Saha, A. (2002). A tale of two cities: shifting the paradigm of anti-trafficking programmes. Gender & Development, 10(1), 69-79. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Kumar, C. (2003). CORRUPTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS: PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNANCE AND THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO CORRUPTION-FREE SERVICE IN INDIA. Columbia Journal of Asian Law, 17(1), 31-72. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Mondal, A. (2001). GANDHI, UTOPIANISM AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF COLONIAL DIFFERENCE. Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 3(3), 419-438. doi:10.1080/13698010120083648.
Sabat, S. (2008). Human Rights in Indian Culture: A Bird's Eye View. International Journal of Human Rights, 12(1), 143-156. doi:10.1080/13642980701725319.
Sinha, M. (2005). Minority Rights: A Case Study of India. International Journal on Minority & Group Rights, 12(4), 355-374. doi:10.1163/157181105775001821.