and Expose Failure of Rights Institutions and the State
Mumbai / Nagpur / Delhi, December 10 : Today is Human Rights Day. It is a recognition of the rights of the people but will mean nothing if people across the globe didn’t fight to assert those rights and fight for it.
On this day hundreds of working class people living in slums, bastis, resettlement colonies of Mumbai, under the banner of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, protested in front of State Human Rights Commission, Maharashtra demanding its complete failure in protecting their rights. They charged complete absence of basic amenities – water, sanitation, electricity, education and health services. Rights bodies in State have failed to prevent or provide relief when their homes have been demolished unjustly by the administration or been arbitrarily arrested for defending their homes from getting demolished. Can Rights bodies ensure their safety and protect their constitutional rights, they ask ?
With no permanent shelter and a sword of demolition hanging over their permanent houses, state refuses to recognise their right to livelihood and shelter. Is this not human rights violation? Is this not a threat to the right to life ? Why is Commission silent on this ?
NAPM along with the National Sugar factory Workers Federation launched Sahkar Bachao, Desh Bachao dharna on the second day of the Mahrashtra Vidhan Sabha in Nagpur. The unpaid workers of the sugar factories and farmers, whose land had been taken over by the mills, have joined the rally. Not only were Sugar factories sold at throwaway prices, the workers have not been paid their dues and farmers not been returned their deposit amount along with interest too. Farmers had given their land for cooperative factories and not private units. They should be returned their land. A 20,000 crore scam has taken place in connivance with the political party leaders of Congress, NCP and BJP.
In Delhi, Pension Parishad’s dharna entered 15th day today at Jantar Mantar. In the winter of Delhi nearly 500 elderly people from across the country have been holding on the footpath of Delhi demanding their right to a dignified life, demanding a pension of Rs. 2000, linked with the inflation, which is a meagre Rs. 200 at the moment. Is that too much to ask from a democratically elected State with pretensions of being a socialist republic ? Why is the rights bodies failing to take note of such issues ?
In Muzzafarnagar, more than 30 children die living in the relief camps in this winter after the worst riots with no place to go and the rights bodies, minority, sc/st or woment commissions look other way and have no power to deal with this.
Today, the world is going under control of corporates be it Deshi or Videshi. Nature based communities are being displaced by the corporates with help of the state every now and then across the country in complete violations of their rights. Thousands of people in Koodankulam, Posco, Niyamgiri, Chhindwara and elsewhere are charged with sedition charges because of upholding the rights given in the constitution. A large number of young people from Muslim community are in Indian jails today in fabricated cases with false implications. Is that not a violation of their human rights ?
The time has come when there is an urgent need to address not only the social and political rights of the people but the special rights of the nature based communities to their livelihood, which includes access to land, water, forests, minerals and eek a honest living. Rights bodies, be it NHRC, SHRC, NCW, SC/STC, NCM or others, they all have a role to play in this, more so when State itself violates the rights of the people.
We are besotted with new problems today, manifesting themselves in the climate crisis, having a serious impact on the earth and human beings. Our development model needs to change, the iniquitous growth will lead us no where, this will mean disaster for humanity. It is time we woke up to that.
Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan – National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, MP; Gautam Bandopadhyay – Nadi Ghati Morcha, NAPM, Chhattisgarh; Vilas Bhongade, Suniti SR, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelakandan – NAPM Kerala;Ramakrishnan Raju, Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Anita Kapoor – NAPM, Delhi; Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Sumit Wanjale, Madhuri Shivkar – Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan, NAPM, Mumbai; Manish Gupta – Jan Kalyan Upbhokta Samiti, NAPM, UP; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Krishnakant, Anand Mazhgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat