December 10 is marked the world over as Human Rights Day. India, which is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed on this day in 1948, is home to the most glaring violation of human rights.
Crores of our people live in abysmal poverty, deprived of even the most basic necessities of life such as adequate food, shelter and clean water, not to mention essential services such as sanitation, electric supply, health services and education. This is an abominable violation of their basic rights as human beings in this day and age.
Crores of our people live in conditions where they enjoy no freedom of person or movement. They are subject day in and day out to arbitrary attacks from the rampaging police and armed forces of the state. This is the case in Kashmir and the North East, as well as throughout vast tracts of India, particularly those inhabited by tribal peoples. The poor and the homeless face such brutal treatment all the time.
Millions of people face repeated abuse or discrimination in various aspects of their lives on account of their nationality, religion, gender and caste. Women are the victims of the most medieval and barbaric forms of exploitation and oppression. Dalits face brutal discrimination and torture. The state authorities do not protect them and more often than not collude in their oppression.
People who speak out against abuses do not enjoy the right to conscience. In what is called the ‘world’s largest democracy’, people are labeled ‘anti-national’, are harassed, assaulted and spend years in jail for speaking their mind or holding on to their beliefs.
Every human being has rights by virtue of being human. This is the hallmark of a modern society. That is the meaning behind these rights being enshrined in a universal charter accepted throughout the world. In India, the existing social and political system does not recognise this. The so-called “fundamental rights” mentioned in the Constitution are violated with impunity all the time, by the state above all. There are no mechanisms to ensure that the people can enforce the observance of the rights that are theirs. Many human rights are not recognised at all, or at most are deemed to be privileges given by the state to some and not to others. It is a basic principle of human rights that they must be inviolable and universal.
Hundreds of millions of people all over the country are engaged in struggles to defend their basic human rights. Under pressure from this rising trend, the current UPA government has launched a big campaign to make out that they will give the “right to education”, “right to food”, “right to livelihood”, etc. How can those who have been responsible all these years for depriving masses of people of the right to livelihood and control over their resources, through their policies and deeds in favour of the rich and powerful, become the guarantors of the people’s rights?
On international Human Rights Day, the Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on the working class and people of India to strengthen their organisation and escalate the fight for their rights and dignity as human beings. We must not put our faith in the institutions of this state. We must not allow the rulers to get away with their efforts to portray the struggles of one section of people for their rights as being against the interests of others. Everyone should get together and wage this struggle with the perspective that an attack on one is an attack on all. Our goal must be to end the rule of the capitalist class and establish the rule of the working class in alliance with the peasantry. Such a rule in which the toiling people have the political power will be able to ensure the full realisation of democratic, national and human rights of all.