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Essay on “Shape of Human Rights in The Indian Subcontinent” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Shape of Human Rights in The Indian Subcontinent

Outlines : Nations of South Asia have commonly suffered under centuries of exploitation, of man by man, to such an extent that the society has come to terms with human suffering. The archaic laws of the former rulers, the fragile democracy and repressive regimes, all added to the woes of the people. Despite constitutional guarantees, only a negligible number of complaints reach the court. Poverty and low level of literacy compels a great majority of people not to approach the legal forum to reassert their basic rights.

In Pakistan, Sindhis, Baluchi, Seraiki, Pashtoons, and now even Muhajirs, are clamoring for the right of self-determination should not be made applicable to a section of people or a group of a sovereign independent state, which is the essence of national integrity.

It is interesting to note that Pakistan, which accuses India of denying the right of self-determination to Kashmiris, has rejected the same right for the Pakhtoons and the Baluchs. The over centralisation of the State structure, creates a centre periphery problem and most of the Northeast states of India suffer from minimal development. As a result, insurgency and demand for self-determination continue to create serious problems for the government. It is not only that regimes are openly resorting to violence, but in the name of self-determination, the terrorist elements to unleash a reign of terror. They stoop to extortion, rape, fictional killing etc., masquerading as Robin hoods. In order to destabilize the regime, they are aided and abetted by some hostile country. In South Asia, it has a long history.

The developing countries of South Asia are dependent on the developed world for aid and assistance, while the developed countries try to link this to human rights. It is seen as an unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs of a country. The donor country lays undue stress on the right of self-determination only to democratic countries, while extends aid generously to military, autocratic and dictatorial regimes. Nearby Myanmar is a case in point. What is to be noted is that protection of human rights depends upon the level of economic development, which is impossible in a repressive regime.

The incongruity of social structure, varied religious groups, plethora of sects, tribes, clans and kinship groups make South Asia a seething cauldron. The simple societies here cling to primordial loyalties and, at times, passion rules the roost. The number of deaths in communal clashes and sectarian violence are unprecedented in this part of the world. The antagonist groups mobilize their supports on the slightest pretext, and in no time a macabre dance of death takes place. If any place where systematic annihilation of population goes on, then it is in this part of the world.

Most of the countries of the region are governed by the same archaic laws formulated by the British government centuries ago. Preventive detention laws are in force in all these countries. The extent of safeguards provided for the detenus varies from country to country. In India though personal liberty is guaranteed under fundamental rights (Articles 21 to 22) of the Constitution, under tie TADA a person could be detained indefinitely without bail. In Pakistan, there are two types of court, one special court to try crimes and the other, military court, without any right to appeal. In Nepal, a person can be detained up to three years under the Public Security Act. The cumbersome judicial process makes people shudder to go to the courts. Hundreds are languishing in jails without being proven guilty.

The brunt of the human rights violations is borne by the womenfolk of this subcontinent. The social and religious discrimination hangs over them in every walk of life. Despite advance in technology, modernisation and industrialisation, the attitude towards women is still rooted in tradition. They are the first to be ‘targeted in any communal clash. They have to undergo the agony of rape, sati, prostitution, child marriage, widowhood, etc.

Until recently, the Hindu women did not have the right to seek divorce by mutual consent. It is surprising that it is almost impossible for Indian Catholic women to obtain divorce. The position of Muslim women vis-à-vis their sisters in South Asia is no better. Recently, both Indian and Pakistani women activists lobbied in the United Nations for women rights. Their representations were a great stride in changing perceptions towards religion and traditional value system.

Despite the cultural diversity of South Asia, a beginning can be made to contain the human right violations and look into the complexity of the right to self-determination. Though it looks a distant goal regional commission on human rights can be mooted under the aegis of SAARC, an ideal thought to care for human rights in South Asia.


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