Present Human Rights Issues and Challenges in India

By: Jyoti Sharma

All throughout the ages people have been governed by rulers who followed different system and forms of government and used their power and authority to suppress the common people. It was only in 1947 when India got its independence from the British rule and adopted democratic form of government which encouraged India to get its new face. Now even after 70 years of Independence, India still continues to suffer from significant human rights violations, despite framing many laws and policies and promising and making commitments to tackle the problems.
Human Rights in simple sense refers to the certain basic or fundamental rights which are universal for humanity and is entitled to each person of our society irrespective of Caste, creed, color, race, origin, sex, religion etc. The Principle Objective of human rights for protection of human life and liberty, to preserve the dignity of people, promoting healthy development, maintaining equality etc. In India the violations of human rights is equal to the violations of the democratic principles which is enshrined in the constitution of India. Human rights are no longer the concerned of any particular country and became an international issue. The United Nations has adopted a charter of Human Rights for the respect of people and on 10th December 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the protection of Human Rights. India was a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but the violations and atrocities are still prevalent. Due to this wide scale violation of human rights like extra-judicial killings, custodial deaths and atrocities by the security force particularly in Kashmir, the Indian Government set up the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) in 1993. People basic and fundamental rights are denied due to the economic and political interest of politicians, big industrialist and power-drunk people. There are numerous incidents of the violations of human rights and some of them are described below.
Issue1: With the rising crimes, violations, scams and scandals human rights are being violated and taken for granted and in the recent years conditions have become worst and deteriorated in India. Violence against women is increasing at an alarming rate and they are at a high risk of sexual harassment, trafficking, and forced labour including violations of equal participation in political, economic and social life. In fact the recent molestation case in Bengaluru was shocking and condemned by all sections of our society. Such horrifying incident took place on the night of 31 December 2016 where many people gathered on the streets and started molesting the women’s. And just after the New Year incident another molestation case occurred in Bangalore which was triggered by two hooligans nearby East Bengaluru. The circumstances for women rights and their freedom seems to have deteriorated, with not only people committing women rights violations but also powerful politician and police who are easily compromising with the security of women. This unfortunate incident reminds about the Nirbhaya Case, one of the most heinous crime of gang rape of a young women which took place on 16th December 2012. Despite the various strong laws and acts framed by the government, women across India still continue to suffer from domestic violence, acid attacks, rape and murder etc.
Issue2: Another incident which violated the right to security of people was Indore-Patna deadliest train accident which took place on 20 November 2016. This accident took the life of more than 150 people and over 200 people got injured. This accident was one of the deadly derailment of the year. It was one of the worst rail accident in 6 years. The Main reason of this deadliest accident was because of the casual behavior of the politician of our country who are accountable to the people security. Because of their casual behaviour and lenience towards their work, the outcome was that the innocent people who have voted for such politician to be their representative had to sacrifice with their life. Although the Union Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu presented a fancy rail budget for the year 2016 but the bitter truth lies in the fact that Indian Railway which carries more than 13 million passengers daily still has a very poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year.
Issue3: Then widespread protests erupted in the month of July 2016 after the killing of Burhan Wani, a militant leader of Kashmir in an encounter with the Indian Security forces. In this incident more than 85 people lost their lives and over 13,000 civilians and 4,000 security personnel got injured. This incident created high turmoil and continuous unrest in the state. Another major attack took place on 18 September 2016 at an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri near the Line of Control, killing at least seventeen soldiers. It was one of the deadliest terrorist strikes on security forces.
Issue4: In June, Security forces who were operating against Maoist insurgents were accused of serious human rights violations like sexual harassment and killing of innocent tribal villagers. According to a report given by National Commission of Scheduled Tribe, security forces in Odisha killed five tribal villagers including children and claimed that they were killed during anti-Maoist operations. A tribal women of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district was forcefully abducted by security personnel and was gang raped and ultimately killed and it was alleged that she was killed in gunfight with armed Maoists.
Issue5: A violent protest erupted in the month of January 2016 after the suicide case of a 25-year-old Dalit student named Rohit Vemula and this case sparked nationwide protests which entrenched caste based discrimination. Many students and activist stormed on the streets and protested for reform in higher education.
Not only this several issues and challenges have occurred and ended with the violations of human rights. It is just because the politicians of our country have got the habit to play with the life of the people. It seems that Government have lost their moral compass and needs to be reminded again that are accountable to the people as well as towards the security of the people. Now given the growing crime nature and extent of violence there is an immediate need to specially address the women issue including the dalit and other marginalized communities issues more strongly. Now the issues of Women empowerment have been taken up as a Human right issue. It is high time that women in our society should be treated at par with men in all the field of our society. In the recent years the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken important strides especially with the legal reform with respect to the treatment of women, dalits and various vulnerable groups. Some of the initiatives launched by PM Narendra Modi are “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”, UJJAWALA– a comprehensive scheme for the prevention of trafficking and Rescue, “Stand-up India” scheme for Women, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and many others. Apart from the various schemes, laws, Acts launched by the Government but still in many areas the government continued to fall short, both with respect to legal reform and implementation. Government still needs to pay more attention towards their laws and policies and check whether it is properly carried out. There is a dire need to sensitize the women, children, youth and various other communities of the people to spread about human rights and different ways to break its shackles.

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