Human rights have generally been chartered out for protection of human life and liberty, to preserve the dignity of people, promote brotherhood and maintain equality etc. Our very own Indian Constitution endorses the same rights for all citizens of the country.
Every citizen of India has been granted six fundamental rights to live his life with full dignity and earn respect in society irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion or sex. The fundamental rights are namely - right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, and finally, the right to constitutional remedies.
After 70 years of independence our motherland stands on the brink of being labelled a fully developed nation. We might have made giant leaps economically, rapid technological advancements but when it comes to our social progress we still are pretty backward as we haven’t reformed socially and the age old taboos do certainly haunt our progressive mind-set.
India has witnessed some major cases of human rights violation which led to a lot of bloodshed due to violent clashes between religious groups, ethnic clans and social groups.
The United Nations 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 case of human rights violations are very much prevalent.
So let us recall some of the gruesome incidents of human rights violations in our country which left the country in a state of distress.
MASS EXODUS OF KASHMIRI PUNDITS FROM VALLEY
Terrorism forced the Hindus, a large majority of whom were Kashmiri Pandits, to flee from their homes in the Kashmir valley in the early part of 1990.
According to Asia Watch, the militant organisations forced the Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley to flee and become refugees in Delhi-NCR and Jammu. Ethnic cleansing continued till a vast majority of the Kashmiri Pandits were evicted out of the valley after having suffered numerous acts of violence, including sexual assault on women, arson, mental torture and extortion of property.
HINDU – SIKH RIOTS IN DELHI - 1984
In the early 1980s, Sikh separatists in Punjab demanding separate state ‘Khalistan’ committed serious human rights abuses, massacring civilians, attacking Hindu minorities, and carried out bomb attacks in crowded places. In June 1984, the government deployed security forces to flush out the militants who had occupied the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The military campaign inflicted serious damage to the shrine and killed hundreds, including pilgrims, militants, and security personnel. On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was murdered in an act of revenge by two of her Sikh bodyguards.
Following the assassination, mobs, reportedly instigated by political leaders, went on a rampage against Sikhs in Delhi and other cities. Over three days, over 2500 Sikhs were killed, robbed of their belongings and and destroyed. Many women were raped in the national capital. Hundreds of Sikhs were massacred elsewhere in the country. The authorities quickly blamed every incident of mass communal violence on a spontaneous public reaction.
DEATH OF ROHITH VEMULA, A Dalit Phd Student
The age old clashes between the so called upper class and the underprivileged lot is not something new in India’s social set up. The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD student at the Hyderabad Central University, was just one example of many such avoidable clashes which involved Dalit students.
The inhumane treatment handed out to members of the Dalit community finally reached the masses. In some of these cases, Dalits were being stripped and beaten by vigilante groups, some even being urinated upon.
CHILD LABOUR DEPRIVES MANY IGNITED MINDS OF A BRIGHT FUTURE
Child labour is one of the biggest menaces which grips many bright children and spoils their promising futures. Children belonging to the poorer or economically weaker sections of the society often fall prey to child labour. For want of money, their parents force them to take on petty jobs at a very tender age and make huge compromise with their education.
According to Human Rights Watch, two out of five children in India drop out of school before completing their eighth standard. Hence, a large number of children in our country are robbed of their fundamental right to free and compulsory education.
Security forces carrying out operations 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 deployed in Odisha killed five tribal villagers including children and claimed that they were killed during anti-Maoist operations.