A critical understanding of human rights issues
Human rights have been the focus of study since ancient times and especially since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations. Since then, India has been a signatory to majority of human rights agreements and pacts and has been playing a major role in the United Nations in protecting and promoting human rights. However, the fact is that a sizeable segment of population in India is socially marginalised and remains excluded from basic human rights. Against this backdrop, it is apt to say that the book, Human Rights in India, which is an edited volume, provides scholarly articles on human rights issues.
The book, which contains 12 articles by different writers, brings out the fact that development, initially aimed at rapid growth with a dose of distributive justice, developed into a system abetting with capital. Globalisation, in fact, more than becoming ‘panacea’, has accentuated the disparity as well as differences among people. It is estimated that in India around 2.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide between 1990s and 2000s. The Special Economic Zones have dislocated millions of people including tribals, Dalits and farmers form their land.
Human Rights in India: Discourses and Contestations
By: K.S. Pavithran
Published by: Gyan Publishing House
The book highlights that the plight of human rights in India is marked by ‘normalisation of exception’. The growing war on terror for protecting national security and public order brought forward a number of Acts like the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention)(TADA) Act, The Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) Act and Armed Forces (Special Powers) (AFSPA) Act, which, it is argued, violate the civil and political rights of the citizens of India, as well as the activists struggling on behalf of the citizens as part of vibrant human rights movement in India. In short, nowadays, the growth of market-based economy with neo-liberal agenda has posed newer challenges to the idea of human rights. A large number of people have become the victims of the new development paradigm initiated by globalisation and global capitalism. In these circumstances, the democratic institutions should be used appropriately to ensure that there is an equal stake for all the citizens in the process of participatory governance to minimise the human rights violations.
The book provides, besides theoretical debates, the essays which give a critical understanding relating to various issues on human rights related to development, environment, climate change, water, social media and cyber world. It covers a range of contentious debates and explores the changing context of human rights and a rich analysis of the politics of today’s human rights issues in India.
It cannot be gainsaid that the book will help in disseminating knowledge of human rights and create an awareness in society. It will be highly useful to students, academics and activists in the field of human rights and social sciences.
By Ashok Kumar