Abki Baar, Manav Adhikaar
4 April 2019 4:38 pm
A better India is possible, when we choose to put humanity first.
With the world’s largest election fast approaching, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what’s important. The choices we make will determine the future we build for ourselves and generations to come. Whatever our differences, one thing is certain – we all want to live in a better India.
But what does that look like? Could it be an India without hate or fear? An India where injustice and discrimination are a thing of the past. An India where the founding principles of our Constitution – equality, justice and liberty – are for all? Maybe that’s the winning ticket; because when human rights win, people’s lives change for the better.
Now is the time for us to take action to build a better India. Now is the time for us to make sure that humanity wins. But what does it look like, when humanity wins?
Well, it’s simple really – as simple as A-B-C.
A for Activists Released
Immediately release all activists arrested on bogus charges under unjust laws.
B For Bans Stopped
Stop prohibiting books, films and works of art simply because some people claim their feelings were hurt.
C For Cow Vigilantism Checked
Punish self-appointed cow vigilante groups who harass and attack people
D For Dalit Rights
Enforce laws to protect Dalits from caste-based discrimination and violence
E For Environment Impact Assessed
Ensure that mining companies assess environmental and social impacts before starting projects
F For Fake Encounters Punished
Ensure registration of FIRs in all cases of alleged fake encounters, and bring to justice those responsible
G For Government Accountability
Expand the powers of the National Human Rights Commission and establish human rights commissions in all states
H For Hate Crimes Halted
Uncover discriminatory motives in suspected hate crimes and bring those responsible to justice.
I For Indigenous Peoples Rights
Ensure the free, prior and informed consent of Adivasi communities before allowing corporate activities that threaten them
J For Journalistic Freedom
Protect press freedoms by repealing laws on criminal defamation and sedition
K For Kashmiris Rights Upheld
Stop using pellet-firing shotguns in Kashmir, and repeal laws which encourage unlawful detention and impunity
L For Land Rights
Stop all forced evictions of people from their homes or lands
M For Manual Scavenging Ended
Support people seeking to leave manual scavenging, and prosecute those who force others to clean human waste
N for NGO Harassment Stopped
Respect and protect NGOs’ rights to freedom of association, and repeal unfair foreign funding laws.
O For Opinions Protected
Respect free speech and protect people from being harassed and threatened for their opinions.
P For Police Reforms
Implement Supreme Court directions on making the police more independent, and hold police personnel accountable for human rights abuses.
Q For Queer Rights
Ensure the right of transgender persons to self-identify their gender, following the directions of the Supreme Court.
R For Reparation
Provide full reparation to victims of communal or targeted violence.
S For Surveillance Stopped
Ensure that government measures which interfere with privacy – like asking service providers for user data – is subject to judicial supervision.
T For Torture Made A Crime
Pass a law to recognize torture as a specific crime, and set up independent mechanisms to regularly inspect all places of detention.
Check back next week for the next instalment of Human Rights ABCs!