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(A Monthly Publication of Manavadhikar Samajik Manch)


Volume XVI No. 4 April 2019
President :Dr. A. Shanker Advisors: Bejon Mishra
Editor :Dr. Girija B. Nanda Manoj Kar
Managing Editor :Dr. Srimoy Patra
UP Chapter
Editorial Team : Swarup N. Panigrahi
Dr. Narendra Kumar, State Convenor
Dr. Ashish Srivastava
6/348, Ramnath Deoria, Deoria - 274001
Dr. Arpita Verma Uttar Pradesh - 274001
J. P. Pant Phone :0-9415320183
Dr. Virender Khatana
Operations Head :Maheswar Singh Odisha Chapter
Reporter :Sanjeevani Umakanta Nanda, Adv, State Convenor
Legal Advisors :Biswajit Swain Amit Mishra, Associate State Convenor
Malaya Kumar Chand Gandarpur, P.O. -College Square,
Jitendra Mahapatra Cuttack, Odisha - 753003
Manager - Phone : 0671-2441528, 09437041528
Publication & Editorial:Nimai C. Patra
Maharashtra Chapter
Layout Designer :Ravish Kumar
Victor Freitas, State Convenor
Cover Concept :Dr. Srimoy Patra
Room No. 318, Akash Wani, Aamdar Niwas,
Executive Assistant :Alok Kumar
Mumbai - 400 032
Edited, Printed and
Phone :022-22022383, 09322735829
Published by :Dr. Girija B. Nanda

Human Touch
(A Monthly Publication of Manavadhikar Samajik Manch)

Human Touch is a platform for non-partisan portrayal of human rights issues in their different forms. Be it
the rights of the weaker sections of our population such as the women, the children, the aged and the
physically challenged, or the victims of some social customs, cultural traditions and economic & non-economic
policies, the publication brings out the issues objectively and in a manner that would give succour to the
people whose rights are either violated or put in jeopardy.

Human Touch acts as a forum for scholars, activists, concerned individuals and the common men &
women to ventilate their grievances, express their views and to highlight cases of human rights violations,
so that appropriate ameliorative actions can be taken by the concerned agencies. It is meant to help the
helpless and to speak for those whose voices are not heard. It engages in constructive and incisive debate
on issues that are not only of day-to-day concern but also on issues that are important for posterity. This
publication is a step forward in realising the vision of Manavadhikar Samajik Manch, i.e. creation of a
just and equitable society.

Owner : Manavadhikar Samajik Manch


Publisher/Printer/Editor : Dr. Girija B. Nanda
Printed at : Matha Offset Press, Y-16, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi
Published from: Manavadhikar Samajik Manch, 39, Sant Nagar, New Delhi - 110065
Tel.: 91-11-41621978, 46578478, Fax : 41621669
E-mail: officemail.masm@gmail.com, manavadhikar.india@indiatimes.com, masm@rediffmail.com
Website: www.manavadhikar.net, www.humanrightsnews.net
In this issue...
World Health Day: 5
Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere

International Mother Earth Day: 7


Education and Climate Change

World Autism Awareness Day: 9


Assistive Technologies, Active Participation

World Day for Safety and Health at Work: 11


A Safe and Healthy Future of Work

World Creativity and Innovation Day: 12


Achieving the Sustainable Future We Want

National News 15

News from the National Human Rights Commission 18

International News 23

The Unpredictable: 26
Monsoon & Agriculture in India

Need of the Hour: 28


Overhaul Policing System to Arrest Rights Violations

Indirect Reservation: 30
Best Way to Achieve Conflict-free Society
From the President’s Desk …
Marginalisation is prevalent in varied extent in the developed, developing and underdeveloped world.
Democracy in itself is not a comprehensive guarantee to attain justice. Ignorance about the basic
rights, human rights, fundamental rights, laws of the land, compounded by the problem of illiteracy,
deprives the socially and economically marginalised people of justice. Lack of awareness about
legislations and ‘jargonisation’of law acts also works as an additional obstacle. With legal literacy
being low in India, people with adequate knowledge of law exploit the legally illiterates.

Ensuring access to justice for all has been enshrined in the Indian Constitution and this has also been
the major goal of the Indian government. Though this noble endeavour often faces serious social,
cultural and other challenges, the government is always striving to overcome these impediments and
taking all possible efforts to ensure that the doors of the justice system are not shut for any citizen of
this country, rich or poor.

The legal system can play an important role in supporting poverty eradication by helping poor people
to access the appropriate mix of rights and remedies. However, laws that discriminate against, or
ignore, the rights and livelihoods of the poor can pose serious obstacles to the eradication of poverty.
In such contexts, law and justice sector reforms can provide the foundation for protection and
incentives to enable poor people to realize the full value of their human and physical capital. Reform-
ing the law on paper is not enough to change the reality on the ground. Poor people also need a legal
and judicial system that they can access – one that ensures their legal entitlements are practical,
enforceable and meaningful. Therefore, efforts to legally empower the poor focus on the underlying
incentive structures as well as the capacity of the judiciary and state institutions is very necessary to
make the law work for the poor.

An improved and far-reaching access to justice system is India’s highest concern today and ensures
protection of the rights and freedoms of all sections of society, particularly those underprivileged
citizens who feel alienated from the justice system because of geographical reasons. Access to Legal
will offer enormous potential for transformation, which might be of immense and lasting benefit to
everyone, especially to the marginalised, vulnerable and deprived sections of the society, who do not
have strong lobbies to ensure that their rights are guaranteed.

Dr. A. Shanker

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 4


World Health Day:
Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere

U
niversal health coverage is where they need them, without workers need to care and advocate
WHO’s number one goal. financial hardship. We believe this is for patients and educate them on how
Key to achieving it is ensuring possible and it starts with strong to get and stay healthy. Individuals
that everyone can obtain the care primary health care. Primary health and communities need to be
they need, when they need it, right care is a whole-of-society approach empowered to take care of their own
in the heart of the community. to health and wellbeing centred on the health.
needs and preferences of individuals,
Progress is being made in countries families and communities. Health is a human right. Together, we
in all regions of the world. But can make health for all a reality.
millions of people still have no access
at all to health care. Millions more Aim to achieve through the
are forced to choose between health campaign
care and other daily expenses such This campaign aims to help people
as food, clothing and even a home. To make health for all a reality, better understand what universal
governments need to invest in quality, health coverage means – what
This is why WHO is focusing on accessible primary health care. Health services and support should be
universal health coverage for this available and where. We will provide
year’s World Health Day, on 7 April. visual material that helps people who
have access to quality, affordable
What it is all about? health care to understand what life is
World Health Day is a chance to like for people without it and to
celebrate health and remind world advocate for equal access to care,
leaders that everyone should be able everywhere.
to access the health care they need,
when and where they need it. Health-care workers will have an
Advocacy events will be held around important role to play in the
the world to fuel the momentum of campaign, helping decision-makers
the #HealthForAll movement and to for health recognize what people need
highlight our goal of achieving a fairer, in terms of care, particularly at the
healthier world – in which no one is primary care level.
left behind.
The campaign also presents an
Goals
The focus will be on equity and opportunity for ministers of health
solidarity – on raising the bar for and other government decision-
- To improve understanding of
health for everyone, everywhere by makers to commit to taking action to
universal health coverage and
addressing gaps in services, and address gaps in universal health
the importance of primary
leaving no one behind. The tagline for coverage in their countries, as well
health care as its foundation.
World Health Day is: Health for all – as to highlight progress that has
everyone, everywhere already been made.
- To spur action from
individuals, policy-makers and
Why universal health coverage For World Health Day, we will release
health-care workers to make
and primary health care? WHO’s annual publication of health
universal health care a reality
Universal health coverage means that data, the World Health Statistics
for everyone.
all people have access to the quality Report. The report will include
health services they need, when and information on health trends in

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 5


specific areas such as newborn and agencies and health partners will come - Over 800 million people (almost
child health, noncommunicable together to join hands as a symbol of 12% of the world’s population)
diseases, mental health and their commitment to bridging gaps spent at least 10% of their
environmental risks, and also data on and working collaboratively towards household budgets to pay for
universal health coverage and health universal health coverage. health care.
systems. - All UN Member States have
Universal health coverage (UHC) agreed to try to achieve universal
Universal health coverage – the - At least half of the world’s health coverage (UHC) by 2030,
bigger picture population still do not have full as part of the Sustainable
World Health Day 2019 falls midway coverage of essential health Development Goals.
between the Global Conference on services.
Primary Health Care held in Astana, - About 100 million people are still Primary health care
Kazakhstan in October 2018 and the being pushed into extreme - Primary health care can cover
High-level Meeting on universal health poverty (defined as living on 1.90 th e m ajority of a p er son ’s
coverage to be held at the United USD or less a day) because they health needs throughout their
Nations General Assembly in have to pay for health care. life including prevention,
September 2019. The Day is one of treatment, rehabilitation and
many opportunities to communicate palliative care.
about the importance of equity in - At least half of the world’s people
health-care services, for not only the still lack full coverage of essential
health of individuals, but also for the health services.
health of economies and society at - A fit-for-purpose workforce is
large. essential to deliver primary health
care, yet the world has an
This year’s World Health Day will estimated shortfall of 18 million
focus on equity and solidarity. To health workers.
represent these values WHO will aim - Of the 30 countries for which data
to create a bold visual statement. A are available, only 8 spend at least
Solidarity Chain of more than 1000 US$ 40 per person on primary
participants from WHO, UN health care per year.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 6


International Mother Earth Day:
Education and Climate Change

M
other Earth is a common unsustainable actions of actions to implement the Paris
expression for the planet humankind, with direct implications Agreement on Climate Change, UN
earth in a number of for future generations. Secretary-General António Guterres
countries and regions, which will host the 2019 Climate Action
reflects the interdependence that The United Nations Framework Summit on 23 September to meet
exists among human beings, other Convention on Climate Change and the climate challenge.
living species and the planet we all
inhabit. Background
The General Assembly, in order to
The Earth and its ecosystems are achieve a just balance among the
our home. In order to achieve a just economic, social, and environmental
balance among the economic, the Paris Agreement encourage needs of present and future
social, and environmental needs of international cooperation among generations, to promote harmony
present and future generations, it is parties on climate change with nature and the Earth, and noting
necessary to promote harmony with education, training, public that Earth Day is observed each year
nature and the Earth. awareness, public participation and in many countries, decided to
public access to information. designate 22 April as International
International Mother Earth Day is Mother Earth Day through
celebrated to remind each of us that During the commemoration of 10th resolution A/RES/63/278, adopted in
the Earth and its ecosystems anniversary of International Mother 2009.
provide us with life and sustenance. Earth Day, the Ninth Interactive
Dialogue of the General Assembly It invites all Member States, the
This Day also recognizes a on Harmony with Nature will be organizations of the United Nations
collective responsibility, as called held on 22 April 2019 in the system, international, regional and
for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to Trusteeship Council Chamber. The subregional organizations, civil
promote harmony with nature and Interactive Dialogue is to discuss society, non-governmental
the Earth to achieve a just balance the contributions of Harmony with organizations and relevant
among the economic, social and Nature in ensuring inclusive, stakeholders to observe and raise
environmental needs of present and equitable and quality education on awareness of International Mother
future generations of humanity. taking urgent action to combat Earth Day, as appropriate.
climate change and its impacts and
International Mother Earth Day to inspire citizens and societies to The 1972 UN Conference on the
provides an opportunity to raise reconsider how they interact with Human Environment in Stockholm
public awareness around the world the natural world in the context of marked the beginning of a global
to the challenges regarding the sustainable development, poverty awareness of the interdependence
well-being of the planet and all the eradication and climate justice, so between people, other living species
life it supports. as to ensure that people and our planet, as well as the
everywhere have the relevant establishment of World Environment
Mother Earth: Education and information and awareness for Day on 5 June and the UN
Climate Change sustainable development and Environment Programme.
Climate change is one of the largest lifestyles in Harmony with Nature.
threats to sustainable development In 1992, Agenda 21, the Rio
globally and is just one of many Climate Action Declaration on Environment and
imbalances caused by the To boost ambition and accelerate Development, and the Statement of

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 7


a number of natural cycles are among
the costs of our disregard for Nature
and the integrity of its ecosystems
and life-supporting processes. As
recent scientific work suggests, a
number of planetary boundaries are
being transgressed and others are at
risk being so in a business-as-usual
world. Since the industrial revolution,
Nature has been treated as a
commodity that exists largely for the
benefit of people, and environmental
problems have been considered as
solvable through the use of
technology. In order to meet the basic
needs of a growing population within
the limits of the Earth's finite
principles for the Sustainable Harmony with Nature resources, there is a need to devise a
Management of Forests were adopted In 2009, the United Nations General more sustainable model for
by more than 178 Governments at Assembly proclaimed 22 April as production, consumption and the
the United Nations Conference on International Mother Earth Day. In so economy as a whole.
Environment and Development doing, Member States acknowledged
(UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, that the Earth and its ecosystems are Devising a new world will require a
Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. our common home, and expressed new relationship with the Earth and
their conviction that it is necessary with humankind's own existence.
In 2005, the General Assembly to promote Harmony with Nature in Since 2009, the aim of the General
declared 2008 as the International Year order to achieve a just balance among Assembly, in adopting its nine
of Planet Earth, convinced that the economic, social and resolutions on Harmony with Nature,
education in Earth sciences provide environmental needs of present and has been to define this newly found
humankind with tools for the future generations. The same year, relationship based on a non-
sustainable use of natural resources the General Assembly adopted its first anthropocentric relationship with
and for building the scientific resolution on Harmony with Nature. Nature. The resolutions contain different
infrastructure essential for sustainable perspectives regarding the construction
development. The General Assembly has widely of a new, non-anthropocentric paradigm
acknowledged that the world's in which the fundamental basis for right
In 2012, the United Nations depletion of natural resources and and wrong action concerning the
Conference on Sustainable rapid environmental degradation are environment is grounded not solely in
Development - or Rio+20 - took place the result of unsustainable human concerns. A step in this direction
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It resulted consumption and production patterns was further reaffirmed in the outcome
in a focused political outcome which have led to adverse document of the United Nations
document which contains clear and consequences for both the Earth and Conference on Sustainable Development
practical measures for implementing the health and overall well-being of (2012), entitled "The future we want":
sustainable development. humanity. The scientific community
has well documented evidence that "We recognize that planet Earth and
In Rio, Member States decided to our present way of life, in particular its ecosystems are our home and that
launch a process to develop a set of our consumption and production "Mother Earth" is a common
Sustainable Development Goals patterns, has severely affected the expression in a number of countries
(SDGs), which will build upon the Earth's carrying capacity. and regions, and we note that some
Millennium Development Goals and countries recognize the rights of
converge with the post 2015 Loss of biodiversity, desertification, nature in the context of the promotion
development agenda. climate change and the disruption of of sustainable development."

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 8


World Autism Awareness Day:
Assistive Technologies, Active Participation

A
utism awareness has grown cost, to facilitate access to them, and Autism Awareness Day observance
worldwide in recent years. to undertake or promote research and at UN Headquarters in New York will
For the United Nations, the development into new such focus on leveraging the use of
rights of persons with disabilities, technologies. assistive technologies for persons
including persons with autism, as with autism as a tool in removing the
enshrined in the Convention on the While technological advances are barriers to their full social, economic
Rights of Persons with Disabilities continuous, there are still major and political participation in society,
(CRPD), are an integral part of its barriers to the use of assistive and in promoting equality, equity and
mandate. inclusion. Topics to be addressed
through discussions with self-
When world leaders adopted the 2030 advocates and experts include:
Agenda for Sustainable Development technologies, including high costs,
in 2015, the international community lack of availability, lack of awareness - The Internet and digital
reaffirmed its strong commitment to of their potential, and a lack of training communities: Leveling the playing
inclusive, accessible and sustainable in their use. Available data indicates field
development, and pledged that no one that, in several developing countries, - Independent living: Smart home
would be left behind. In this context, more than 50% of the persons with technology and more
the participation of persons with disabilities who need assistive devices - Education and employment:
autism as both agents and are not able to receive them. Communication and executive
beneficiaries is essential for the functioning
realization of the Sustainable In September 2018, the UN - Telemedicine: Opening the doors
Development Goals (SDGs). Secretary-General launched a new to healthcare
Strategy on New Technologies, - The right to be heard: Political
For many people on the autism which aims to define how the United participation and advocacy
spectrum, access to affordable Nations system will support the use
assistive technologies is a prerequisite of these technologies to accelerate the Background
to being able to exercise their basic achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Throughout its history, the United
human rights and participate fully in Development Agenda. The Strategy Nations family has celebrated
the life of their communities, and is also intended to facilitate the diversity and promoted the rights and
thereby contribute to the realization alignment of these technologies with well-being of persons with disabilities,
of the SDGs. Assistive technology the values enshrined in the UN Charter including learning differences and
can reduce or eliminate the barriers and the Universal Declaration of developmental disabilities. In 2008,
to their participation on an equal basis Human Rights, and the norms and the Convention on the Rights of
with others. standards of International Law, Persons with Disabilities entered into
including the CRPD and other human force, reaffirming the fundamental
The Convention on the Rights of rights conventions. These values principle of universal human rights
Persons with Disabilities include equality and equity, inclusion for all. Its purpose is to promote,
acknowledges the instrumental role and transparency. Design and use of protect and ensure the full and equal
of assistive technologies in enabling new technologies, according to the enjoyment of all human rights and
persons with disabilities to exercise Strategy, should be guided by a fundamental freedoms by all persons
their rights and freedoms. It obliges rights-based and ethical perspective. with disabilities, and to promote
States that are party to the Convention respect for their inherent dignity. It
to promote availability and use of In the context of the Secretary- is a vital tool to foster an inclusive
such technologies at an affordable General’s Strategy, the 2019 World and caring society for all and to ensure

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 9


that all children and adults with autism
can lead full and meaningful lives. On World Autism Awareness Day, we speak out against discrimination,
celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our
The United Nations General Assembly commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with
unanimously declared 2 April as autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of
World Autism Awareness Day (A/ our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustain-
RES/62/139) to highlight the need to able Development: to leave no one behind."
help improve the quality of life of Secretary-General António Guterres
those with autism so they can lead
full and meaningful lives as an integral
part of society. Autism is mainly characterized by its The stigmatization and discrimination
unique social interactions, non-standard associated with neurological
Autism is a lifelong neurological ways of learning, keen interests in differences remain substantial
condition that manifests during early specific subjects, inclination to routines, obstacles to diagnosis and therapies,
childhood, irrespective of gender, race challenges in typical communications an issue that must be addressed by
or socio-economic status. The term and particular ways of processing both public policy-makers in
Autism Spectrum refers to a range of sensory information. developing nations, as well as donor
characteristics. Appropriate support, countries.
accommodation and acceptance of this The rate of autism in all regions of
neurological variation allow those on the world is high and the lack of
the Spectrum to enjoy equal understanding has a tremendous Visit our website at :
opportunity, and full and effective impact on the individuals, families and www.masmindia.org
participation in society. communities. for online human rights updates.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 10


World Day for Safety and Health at Work:
A Safe and Healthy Future of Work

I
nspired by the ILO centenary and at work, capitalizing on the ILO's services — necessary to ensure that
discussions on the future of work, traditional strengths of tripartism and workers remain employable and that
the world day this year attempts social dialogue. enterprises flourish; this includes the
to take stock of a 100 years of work development of a national policy and
in improving occupational safety and programme and a system of inspection
health and looks to the future for to enforce compliance with
continuing these efforts through occupational safety and health
major changes such as technology, This celebration is an integral part of legislation and policy. As employers we
demographics, sustainable the Global Strategy on Occupational are responsible for ensuring that the
development including climate Safety and Health of the ILO, as working environment is safe and
change and changes in work documented in the Conclusions of the healthy. As workers we are responsible
organization. International Labour Conference in to work safely and to protect ourselves
June 2003. One of the main pillars of and not to endanger others, to know
The World Day celebration on 28 April the Global Strategy is advocacy, the our rights and to participate in the
2019 will be only the beginning of World Day for Safety and Health at implementation of preventive measures.
worldwide events and activities to Work is a significant tool to raise
continue throughout the rest of the year. awareness of how to make work safe Emerging risks at work
and healthy and of the need to raise New and emerging occupational risks
The World Day for Safety and Health the political profile of occupational may be caused by technical
at Work is an annual international safety and health. innovation or by social or
campaign to promote safe, healthy organizational change, such as:
and decent work. It is held on 28 April 28 April is also the International
and has been observed by the Commemoration Day for Dead and - New technologies and production
International Labour Organization Injured Workers organized processes, e.g. nanotechnology,
(ILO) since 2003. worldwide by the trade union biotechnology
movement since 1996. - New working conditions, e.g.
A national occupational safety and higher workloads, work
health culture is one in which the right Prevention of occupational intensification from downsizing,
to a safe and healthy working accidents and diseases poor conditions associated with
environment is respected at all levels, The annual World Day for Safety and migration for work, jobs in the
where governments, employers and Health at Work on 28 April promotes informal economy
workers actively participate in the prevention of occupational - Emerging forms of employment,
securing a safe and healthy working accidents and diseases globally. It is e.g. self-employment,
environment through a system of an awareness-raising campaign outsourcing, temporary contracts
defined rights, responsibilities and intended to focus international - They may be more widely
duties, and where the highest priority attention on the magnitude of the recognized through better
is accorded to the principle of problem and on how promoting and scientific understanding, e.g. the
prevention. creating a safety and health culture effects of ergonomic risks on
can help reduce the number of work- musculoskeletal disorders.
Background related deaths and injuries.
Why 28 April? They may be influenced by changes
In 2003, the International Labour Each of us is responsible for stopping in perceptions about the importance
Organization (ILO), began to observe deaths and injuries on the job. As of certain risk factors, e.g. the effects
World Day in order to stress the governments we are responsible for of psychosocial factors on work-
prevention of accidents and diseases providing the infrastructure — laws and related stress.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 11


World Creativity and Innovation Day:
Achieving the Sustainable Future We Want

O
bserved six days after Economic Growth Strategies One Day, One Week
Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday Cultural and creative industries #WCID was first commemorated in
and one day before should be part of economic growth over 50 countries around the world
International Mother Earth Day, strategies, according to the UNESCO on 21 April, 2002. In 2006, #WCID
World Creativity and Innovation Day report on culture and sustainable became a week (#WCIW 15-21 April)
(#WCID) is well positioned to development. These industries are to give people more time to explore
encourage creative multidisciplinary among the most dynamic sectors in together diverse points of view. April
thinking to help us achieve the the world economy, generating $2.25 15, the first day of #WCIW, is also
sustainable future we want. billion in revenue and 29.5 million Leonardo Davinci’s birthday; an icon
jobs worldwide. In that spirit, of cross disciplinary creativity in the
Wealth of Nations countries are harnessing the potential arts and sciences, who exemplified
Creativity and innovation, at both of high-growth areas of the market how these fields can inform and
the individual and group levels, have for economic returns and poverty enhance each other.
become the true wealth of nations alleviation.
in the 21st century, according to the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized
findings of the special edition of the Enterprises
Creative Economy Report As recognized in resolution 71/279
"Widening local development (6 April, 2017), there is a need to
pathways", co-published by the focus on the importance of micro-,
United Nations Educational, New Momentum small and medium-sized enterprises
Scientific and Cultural Organization On #WCID, the world is invited to in achieving the Sustainable
(UNESCO) and the UN embrace the idea that innovation is Development Goals; in promoting
Development Programme (UNDP) essential for harnessing the economic innovation, creativity and decent
through the UN Office for South- potential of nations. Innovation, work for all. Sustainable development
South Cooperation (UNOSSC). creativity and mass entrepreneurship is a holistic concept that requires the
can provide new momentum for strengthening of interdisciplinary
Creativity and Culture economic growth and job creation. linkages in the different branches of
The creative economy –which It can expand opportunities for knowledge.
includes audiovisual products, everyone, including women and
design, new media, performing youth. It can provide solutions to Call to Action
arts, publishing and visual arts– is some of the most pressing problems The call to take action in global
a highly transformative sector of the such as poverty eradication and the partnership to promote creative
world economy in terms of income elimination of hunger. environments, processes and
generation, job creation and export products was included in the
earnings. Culture is an essential In its resolution A/RES/71/284, the declaration adopted in Florence, Italy,
component of sustainable General Assembly called for at the 3rd UN Educational, Scientific
development and represents a international recognition of April 21 and Cultural Organization World
source of identity, innovation and as World Creativity and Innovation Forum on Culture and Cultural
creativity for the individual and Day; a day to raise awareness of the Industries (4 October, 2014).
community. At the same time, role of creativity and innovation in
creativity and culture have a problem-solving and by extension, in Resolutions 54/120 (17 December,
significant non-monetary value that the implementation of the Sustainable 1999) on policies and programmes
contributes to inclusive social Development Goals. More than 80 involving youth; 68/220 (20
development, to dialogue and countries joined in support of the December, 2013) on science,
understanding between peoples. resolution. technology and innovation for

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 12


development; and 68/223 (20 therein, and the functions and powers Reaffirming also the outcome
December, 2013) on culture and of the United Nations system, document of the United Nations
sustainable development also support especially in promoting international Conference on Sustainable
this concept. cooperation in the economic, social, Development, held in Rio de Janeiro,
cultural, educational and health fields, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012,
The need to initiate a discussion entitled “The future we want”,
around options available to countries Recalling the Constitution of the
in addressing the many issues that United Nations Educational, Scientific Underlining the need to focus on the
they grapple with in their quest for and Cultural Organization, which importance of micro-, small and
development is ever pressing. states that the organization, as part mediumsized enterprises in achieving
#WCID and #WCIW can serve as a of its purposes and functions, will the Sustainable Development Goals,
platform for the promotion of maintain, increase and diffuse in particular in promoting innovation,
examples and best practices that knowledge by encouraging creativity and decent work for all, as
highlight the use of creative thinking cooperation among the nations in all recognized in its resolution 71/279 of
and technologies toward the branches of intellectual activity, 6 April 2017,
achievement of sustainable
development. Reaffirming its resolution 70/1 of 25 Acknowledging that innovation is
September 2015, entitled essential for harnessing the economic
Resolution adopted by the General “Transforming our world: the 2030 potential of each nation and the
Assembly on 27 April 2017 Agenda for Sustainable importance of supporting mass
Development”, in which it adopted a entrepreneurship, creativity and
The General Assembly, comprehensive, far-reaching and innovation, which create new
Bearing in mind the Charter of the people-centred set of universal and momentum for economic growth and
United Nations, including the transformative Sustainable job creation and expand opportunities
purposes and principles contained Development Goals and targets, for all, including women and youth,

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 13


Recalling the report of the United Nations Office for South-South 1. Decides to designate 21 April as
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cooperation in November 2013, in World Creativity and Innovation
Cultural Organization on culture and which it is stated that human creativity Day;
sustainable development, in which it and innovation, at both the individual 2. Invites all Member States,
is stated that cultural and creative and group levels, have become the organizations of the United
industries should be part of true wealth of nations in the twenty- Nations system and other
economic growth strategies, first century, international and regional
organizations, as well as civil
Recalling also its resolutions 54/120 Taking note also of the declaration society, including non-
of 17 December 1999 on policies and adopted in Florence, Italy, on 4 governmental organizations and
programmes involving youth, 68/220 October 2014, at the third United individuals, to observe the Day in
of 20 December 2013 on science, Nations Educational, Scientific and an appropriate manner and in
technology and innovation for Cultural Organization World Forum accordance with national
development and 68/223 of 20 on Culture and Cultural Industries, priorities, in order to raise
December 2013 on culture and and the call therein to take action in awareness of the role of creativity
sustainable development, global partnership to promote creative and innovation in problem-solving
environments, processes and and, by extension, economic,
Recalling further its resolutions 53/ products, social and sustainable
199 of 15 December 1998 and 61/ development;
185 of 20 December 2006 on the Recognizing that sustainable 3. Stresses that the cost of all
proclamation of international years development is a holistic concept activities that may arise from the
and Economic and Social Council that requires the strengthening implementation of the present
resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 of interdisciplinary linkages in resolution should be met from
on international years and the different branches of voluntary contributions;
anniversaries, knowledge, 4. Requests the Secretary-General to
bring the present resolution to the
Taking note of the findings contained Recognizing also that citizens and attention of all Member States,
in the special edition of the Creative organizations in more than 50 organizations of the United
Economy Report, co-published by countries around the world Nations system and other
the United Nations Educational, already observe World Creativity international and regional
Scientific and Cultural Organization and Innovation Day, which was organizations, as well as civil
and the United Nations Development first commemorated on 21 April society, including non-
Programme through the United 2002, governmental organizations and
individuals.

79th plenary meeting


27 April 2017

Visit our website at :


www.humanrightsnews.net

and

www.manavadhikar.net
for online
human rights updates.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 14


National Human Rights Update

Parties Should Pledge to Protect will genuinely uphold human rights There has also been increasing
Rights in India protections,” Ganguly said. “That international recognition that parties
Candidates and political parties means every candidate should should refrain from using schools
contesting India’s parliamentary for military purposes. In 2014, the
elections, slated for April and May United Nations Security Council
2019, should commit to stated that the use of schools for
strengthening human rights military purposes, such as for
protections, Human Rights Watch promote the principles of equality, barracks or bases by security
said today in an open letter. Human freedom and justice.” forces, endangers children’s and
Rights Watch called on candidates to teachers’ safety as well as children’s
commit to human rights reforms on Keeping India’s Schools Safe education. The Security Council also
several key issues. from Conflict Before Elections called for enhanced international
Over the weekend, Maoist insurgents monitoring and reporting of such
“India is the world’s largest torched a tent and a generator at use of schools. In 2015, it
democracy, but there is more to a Sondaha primary school in India’s encouraged all countries “to take
democracy than simply participating Bihar state, where police were concrete measures to deter such use
in elections,” said Meenakshi planning to stay during the upcoming of schools by armed forces and
Ganguly, South Asia director. national elections, the United News armed groups.”
“Candidates should commit to of India reported.
respecting and strengthening the Guidance on how countries can better
fundamental rights of all Indians, and It isn’t the first time. The Maoists protect schools is included in the
reject efforts to foment communal have repeatedly committed violence 2015 Safe Schools Declaration,
divisions and hatred.” against schools in the run-up to developed under the leadership of the
elections in India. They attacked at governments of Norway and
Human Rights Watch said that least two schools before national Argentina. To date, 84 countries have
candidates should pledge to ensure elections in 2014, and in 2009, carried endorsed the declaration.
accountability of the security forces out at least 14 attacks on schools in Disappointingly, India is not among
for killings and torture; to protect Jharkhand and Bihar states. them. But there is time for that to
freedom of expression and assembly change before the declaration’s
by ending the abuse of sedition, Deliberate attacks on schools that are supporting countries meet at the
criminal defamation, and not being used for military purposes Third International Safe Schools
counterterrorism laws; to enforce can be war crimes under international Conference in May, to discuss what
laws that protect the rights of women humanitarian law. more can be done to keep students,
and children including against sexual teachers, and schools safe even
violence; to end discrimination and But the police should not have been during times of armed conflict.
violent attacks against Dalits, using the school in the first place.
Adivasis, and minority communities; Though government security forces Bad history shouldn’t repeat itself
to safeguard disability and refugee have been deployed inside schools every election. Maoist insurgents and
rights; to uphold Supreme Court for security before elections in the government security forces in India
rulings on privacy; and to promote a past, India’s Supreme Court has should respect children’s safety and
human rights foreign policy. repeatedly ordered the government right to education by keeping schools
to ensure school buildings are not off-limits – not only in the weeks
“It is important for voters in India to occupied by security forces for any before national elections – but at all
have the choice to elect leaders who purpose. times.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 15


India’s Violent Mobs Are a Victims of violence by mobs in India ostensibly to curb sexual harassment
Menace to Minorities — and will agree. Hate-filled rhetoric from of women in public places. But the
Democracy leaders of the BJP and its affiliates squads soon morphed into police and
The February 14 suicide bombing of against minority communities has vigilantes working together to target
a security force convoy in Kashmir fueled violent attacks and abuse. and harass young couples in public
that killed over 40 Indian troops was places, especially if the men were
claimed by a Pakistan-based militant The pattern is quite familiar to families Muslim.
group. While Indians expressed of those killed by vigilante groups
anger, politicians with an eye on acting in the name of protecting Dalits (formerly “untouchables”) are
general elections in April were quick cows. Cows are considered sacred also facing increased violence, in part
to whip up nationalist fervor, egged by many Hindus, and in the run-up as a reaction to their more organized
on by irresponsible television to the national election in 2014, BJP and vocal demands for social
networks that shouted down calls for leader Narendra Modi successfully progress and to narrow historical
restraint as “anti-national.” used the issue to appeal to Hindu caste differences. On January 1,
voters. Since then, his government 2018, nationalist groups and alleged
It was thus no surprise that in many and elected leaders have continued to BJP supporters attacked a Dalit event
parts of the country, Kashmiri denounce minority groups for illegally in Bhima Koregaon village in
students and businessmen were slaughtering cows for beef. At least Maharashtra state. One person died
harassed or beaten up, even forcibly 44 people, including 36 Muslims, and several were injured.
evicted from rental housing and have been beaten to death by so-called
dorms. The governor of the northeast cow protection groups since May A fact-finding committee headed by
state of Meghalaya, a former leader 2015. Most were herders or cattle a government official found that the
of the ruling Hindu nationalist traders. violence was premeditated by Hindu
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called extremist groups. But the police
on social media for people to “boycott As Human Rights Watch and others opened investigations against Dalit
everything Kashmiri.” Many claiming have documented, the attackers often intellectuals and rights activists, and
to be BJP supporters took to social believed they had political protection arrested nine prominent activists.
media to abuse anyone defending and openly boasted of their crimes.
Kashmiris’ rights. And in several cases, the police “Hatred must have a symbol,”
appeared complicit, eager to Baldwin wrote. In India, it is the
Communal violence is not new in prosecute those accused of Dalits, the Muslims, the Christians
India. But since the BJP came to smuggling or killing cows rather than and other marginalized groups. This
power in 2014, the use of those accused of killing cattle traders. hatred is flourishing on India’s
organized mobs to respond to streets, its online platforms and even
alleged sectarian “offenses” with Lawyers and activists acting in its living rooms. India’s democracy
violence has undermined the rule defense of minorities have been is at grave risk if the government
of law so frequently that the threatened and attacked. Couples in allows the rule by mobs to undermine
Supreme Court warned that these inter-faith relationships have been the rule of law.
“horrendous acts of mobocracy targeted to counter so-called “love
cannot be permitted to inundate the jihad,” a term used to describe a Indian Army needs to find a way
law of the land.” completely fabricated conspiracy out with Major Gogoi
among Muslim men to marry Hindu The case of Major Leetul Gogoi
“A mob is not autonomous: it women and convert them to Islam. presents a ticklish challenge to a
executes the real will of the people BJP leaders have repeatedly used the country that swears by democratic
who rule the State,” wrote the term, giving it legitimacy and calling governance on one hand, but is
American writer James Baldwin in it a “dangerous trend.” compelled to use the Armed Forces
The Price of the Ticket. “A mob (Special Powers) Act to keep
cannot afford to doubt…But these In 2017, the chief minister of India’s ‘disturbed’ areas under its control.
ideas do not come from the mob. most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, According to latest reports, the Indian
They come from the state, which formed “anti-Romeo” squads — Army has completed its court martial
creates and manipulates the mob.” commonly made up of police — against Major Gogoi of the 53rd

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 16


Rashtriya Rifles, who faces the that continues to take casualties on The petitioners said they were greatly
prospect of reduction in seniority as the LoC and in the Kashmir Valley. disturbed by the Army having to
punishment for “fraternising with a But, the last word on the subject is suffer the stone pelters' ire with no
local woman in Kashmir” last year in yet to be said. safeguards to secure their lives. The
May. The court martial, headed by a petition reproduced a statement by
Brigadier-rank officer, also held that Protect Army's human rights, former CM Mehbooba Mufti, who
the Major was away from the place say daughters had declared in the state Assembly in
of duty while in an operational area. While Rashminara's case was of February last year that 9,760 FIRs
Also involved is his army driver, who citizenship, in case of Kismatiya Gond against stone pelters would be
may face “severe reprimand” from from Sonbhadra, in UP, she was withdrawn, since they were first-time
the higher authorities. thrown in jail after seeking rights on offenders.
forest land. "The facilities in jail are
In this case, Gogoi was detained by bad. There are no women cops to "Depriving armed forces personnel of
the local police while trying to check take us in. The jails are overcrowded, his rights to prosecute a person who
into a hotel with an unnamed woman food quality is bad. A number of caused him offence is a violation of
and later handed over to his unit. But, women are in jail even when they his fundamental right to life and
there is more to it than meets the eye. have served half their prison term, liberty, including the right to legal
Even with the high standards of later given to them, when trial has recourse," the petition said. The
discipline within the Army, and not even begun." Some women, who petitioners also added that the Centre
despite the fact that there are strongly have given birth in toilets, said that was duty-bound to protect its armed
laid down guidelines for social hospital facilities should be closer to forces deployed in disturbed areas.
etiquette and behaviour, it is doubtful the place where they are kept and
if the decision against Gogoi has to families should be allowed to meet The court's notice was sent to the
do with “fraternising with a local”. It them. Centre, Jammu and Kashmir
has more to do with what happened government, and the NHRC.
earlier in 2017. That year, the feisty "We are looking to have more of these
Major had hit headlines after he used public hearings. General issues will
a local Kashmiri youth as a ‘human also come up. We will compile these
shield’ against stone pelting mobs as a set of recommendations and take Visit our website at:
atop the bonnet of his official Army them to statutory authorities or to the
jeep. The photo had gone viral petition judiciary. Pregnant women
www.masmindia.org
for online human rights updates.
worldwide causing widespread cannot be in jail and the condition of
outrage and certainly making India’s women in jail needs to improve," said
case for peaceful co-existence in Teesta Setalvad from CJP.
Kashmir a bit thin.
Since 2015, the petition claimed, there
It would be no exaggeration to were 641 casualties in 730 incidents.
suggest that Indian officials are torn By 2016, this figure rose to 9,235,
between taking punitive action against while in 2017, it was 1,690 casualties.
a serving Army official and
maintaining its record as an advocate Incidentally, the security forces have
of human rights — notwithstanding faced more casualties on account of
warts and all. If India does not take stone pelting than those caused by
action against what was clearly terrorist violence. As per a response
unethical behaviour by a member of given by the Centre to Parliament,
its armed forces, it would be seen as 759 incidents of stone pelting were
condoning steps that are usually reported in Jammu and Kashmir in Support us for the
adopted in military oligarchies, but 2018, as compared to 587 incidents
any punitive action against a serving of terrorist violence, in which 86 creation of a just and
official sends out wrong signals to security personnel and 37 civilians equitable society
an already stretched security force were killed.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 17


News From the National Human Rights Commission

NHRC opens entries for its fifth economic, cultural and political Bureau. His position was ratified
annual competition for short rights, within the ambit of right to during the Annual Meeting of the
films on human rights: Last date life, liberty, equality and dignity. The GANHRI General Assembly at
30th June, 2019 films may cover issues specific to Geneva, Switzerland on the
The National Human Rights bonded and child labour, women & 5thMarch, 2019, wherein he is
Commission has opened the entries children’s rights, rights of elderly leading an NHRC, India delegation
for its fifth annual competition for comprising Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose,
short films on human rights which Member and Mr. Jaideep Govind,
has received tremendous response Secretary General of the
so far. The awards carry three cash Commission.
prizes of Rs.1 lakh, Rs.75 thousand persons, disabled rights, right to
and Rs.50 thousand for the best healthcare, issues of fundamental Justice Dattu was appointed to this
first, second and third film freedoms, human trafficking, position in 2016 after emerging as the
respectively along with the domestic violence, human rights unanimous choice of the NHRIs from
certificates. The entries received violation due to police atrocities, the Asia Pacific region. He is
after the 30th June, 2019 will not be custodial violence and torture, socio- representing the Asia Pacific region
entertained. economic disparities, rights of along with the representatives of three
indigenous people, prison reforms, more NHRIs in the region at the
The aim of the award scheme is to right to education, right to clean GANHRI Bureau meetings. Justice
encourage and acknowledge environment, right to work, right to Dattu’s vast experience and legal
cinematic and creative efforts of the equality before law, right to food and expertise is considered useful in
Indian citizens, irrespective of their nutritional security, rights of LGBTI giving a shape to the approach to the
age, towards the promotion and etc. GANHRI on the human rights issues
protection of human rights. There is being faced by the international
no entry fee and bar on the number More detailed information and the community.
of films sent by an individual for application form can be accessed
participation in the contest. However, from the website of the Commission, The GANHRI Bureau is an
the participants will have to send each www.nhrc.nic.in. For any further important human rights body,
film separately with an application queries, the office of Deputy Director which serves as the Management
form. (Media & Communication), NHRC Committee of the GANHRI. The
can also be contacted. GANHRI Bureau implements all the
The short films may be in any Indian decisions of the GANHRI General
languages with sub-titles in English Global Alliance of National Meetings and directs the operations
or in English. Duration of the short Human Rights Institutions, of the GANHRI between these
film should not be less than 3 minutes GANHRI ratifies the position of meetings.
or more than 10 minutes. The short Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu,
film could be a documentary, Chairperson, NHRC, India as a The GANHRI Bureau consists of
dramatization of real stories or a work Member of its Bureau in sixteen, 'A' status NHRIs, four from
of fiction, in any technical format Geneva, Switzerland each region, namely, Americas,
including animation. Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Chairperson, Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.
National Human Rights Commission, Besides the Annual General Meetings,
The themes of the films, having a India continues to remain a Member the NHRC, India has been regularly
tinge of rights perspective, could be of the Global Alliance of National taking part in its activities as an active
broadly-based on various socio- Human Rights Institutions, GANHRI, Member of the GANHRI.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 18


Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Auditorium, Tourism Department, Pratibha, Dept. of History, Mohanlal
Chairperson, NHRC, India leads Government of Sikkim, 5th Mile, Sukhadia University, Udaipur,
delegation of the Commission to Samdur, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim Rajasthan and Prof. P.N. Mishra,
Annual GANHRI and APF from 7th – 8th March, 2019. Head, Dept. of Law, Sikkim
Regional Meetings in Geneva, University.
Switzerland from 4th to 7th The NHRC Member, Mrs. Jyotika
March, 2019 Kalra will inaugurate the seminar as The Commission has been organizing
A delegation led by Mr. Justice H.L. the Chief Guest, which will start at these seminars as part of its series of
Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC, India 10.30 a.m. on the 7th March, 2019. National Seminars to build awareness
comprising Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose, The presidential address will be about human rights in different parts
Member and Mr. Jaideep Govind, delivered by Prof. Avinash Khare, Vice of the country.
Secretary General is attending Annual Chancellor, Sikkim University. It will
Meeting of Global Alliance of National conclude with the valedictory session NHRC Open House Discussion
Human Rights Institutions, GANHRI to be addressed by Mr. Justice on Rural Development and
and Asia Pacific Forum, APF, Regional Narendra Kumar Jain, Chairperson, Human Rights concludes with
Meeting at Geneva, Switzerland from State Human Rights Commission, several important suggestions
the 4th to 7th March, 2019. The Sikkim at 1.30 p.m. on the 8th seeking to reduce gap between
Meetings are organized to take a March, 2019. the policies and their
stock of the activities of the different implementation
NHRIs during the year and strategize Besides the inaugural and valedictory The National Human Rights
future programmes for the promotion sessions, the seminar will be spread Commission, NHRC, India organized
and protection of human rights. across four academic sessions an Open House Discussion on Rural
covering the subjects – ‘History of Development and Human Rights at
The General Assembly today elected Buddhism in India: Road Ahead’, Manav Adhikar Bhawan, New Delhi
Dr. Carlos Alfonso NegretMosquera, Challenges of Human Rights & Media today on the 27th February, 2019. In
Ombudsman of Colombia since in Twenty-First Century’, ‘Self- his inaugural address, Mr. Justice
2016, as GANHRI Chairperson for a realization, Non-Violence & Growing H.L. Dattu Chairperson, NHRC said
three-year term. From 2019 to 2021 Role of Buddhism’ and ‘Buddhism that the objective of the Open House
and will take office in March, 2019. and Women-The Dhamma has no Discussion is to raise awareness
Dr. Carlos Alfonso is a lawyer from Gender’. amongst all the stakeholders with
the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, regard to the linkage between Rural
with a specialization in International These sessions will be addressed by Development and Human Rights.
Human Rights Law from the several prominent speakers
Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio in including, among others, Prof. Arun He said that the grass root level
Spain. The General Assembly also Kamal, Eminent Hindi Writer & Poet, democracy ushered in by a
elected Dr. Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri, Sahitya Academy Award Winner from constitutional amendment at the
Chairperson of the Qatar National Patna, Bihar, Mr. Dilip Kumar, Joint village level, defines the legal
Human Rights Committee, as Secretary, NHRC, Dr. Imtiaz Gulam framework of the Rural Development
GANHRI Secretary. Ahmed, Professor of Law, Sikkim Institutions in India. It has a close
University, Prof. Jeta Sankrityayana, link with the rights based approach
NHRC National Seminar on the Gangtok, Renowned Buddhist, Mr. to development. He said that the
Role of Buddhas preaching in Mithlesh Mishra, IAS, Patna, Writer Commission has come across several
realization of human rights at & Sr. Bureaucrat, Prof. Ananda Gopal complaints with regard to non-
Sikkim University, Gangtok Ghosh, Jalpaiguri, Renowned availability of basic facilities in rural
from 7th - 8th March, 2019 Historian, Dr. Subhash Sharma, IAS, areas, including roads, electricity,
The National Human Rights Patna, Eminent Writer, Mr. Snehasis schools or teachers without schools,
Commission is organizing a two day Sur, Kolkata, Sr. Journalist & among others.
National Seminar, on the ‘Role of President Press Club, Kolkata, Dr.
Buddha’s preaching in realization of Rajiv Ranjan Giri, University of Delhi, Justice Dattu referred to a complaint
Human Rights’ in collaboration with Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Delhi, Director, received in the Commission alleging
the Sikkim University, Gangtok at Centre For Social Research, Prof. that children had to cross a river to

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 19


attend their school in the absence of are on to improve the situation its online complaint registration
a bridge. It was constructed after the because education holds the key to mechanism with Common Service
intervention of the Commission. He poverty alleviation. Citizen centric Centres to expand its outreach to the
said that rural development implies Apps are being developed to provide people in order to get redressal of
both the economic betterment of an interface locally for grievance their grievances related to rights
people as well as greater social redressal. Public information violations.
transformation, which can be ensured campaign is also been encouraged.
with the participation of government All Gram Sabhas have been requested Some of the important suggestions
agencies, civil society organizations to put a notice board highlighting the emerged during the discussions were
and NGOs. welfare schemes for awareness. as follows:
Social audit tools have been 1. Increase the number of days of
Mr. Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary developed, which can be used to audit assured employment under
Ministry of Rural Development, any schemes. Allocation for rural MGNREGA with wages
Govt. of India highlighted various development has gone up steeply. Mr. commensurate with the provisions
welfare schemes of the government Sinha said that Anganwadis require of Minimum Wages Act;
aimed at improving the life and living having their own good buildings for 2. Ensure mechanism for excess to
standards of people in rural areas of which the Centre is providing justice in rural areas;
the country. Quoting the global multi financial assistance but the States also 3. Improve payment system for
dimensional poverty index 2018, he need to pitch in their efforts for this. Anganwadi centres as a number
said that India has made momentous The housing in rural areas is being of children still remain
progress in reducing multidimensional promoted with a human rights malnourished;
poverty, which was almost halved perspective by provisioning the 4. Road connectivity and other
between 2005/6 and 2015/16, construction of houses having a facilities apart, ensure availability
climbing down to 27.5% from 635 dignified space of at least two rooms of potable water as a major
million poor persons to 364 million. with an attached toilet, kitchen and a challenge;
He said that making a difference to veranda in 25 sq. meters area. 5. Ensure rehabilitation of displaced
rural poverty is the way forward to Employment alternatives are being persons;
ensure people’s rights, opportunities worked out for the rehabilitation of 6. Ensure that books and uniforms
and their well being. manual scavengers. reach the school going children
in time and not towards the end
Mr. Sinha said that in order to ensure Prof. Dr. Nupur Tiwari of Indian of the academic session in rural
transparency in the delivery Institute of Public Administration, areas;
mechanism, the government has also Delhi raised concerns on the 7. Give some powers, including
started geo tagging of the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension judicial and financial to Gram
beneficiaries with their assets. The to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, Panchayats;
focus of the government programmes PESA. She said that the 8. Synthesize the work related to
and schemes is to improve the lives implementation of schemes is uneven various welfare schemes under
of rural household from prism of across states. The role of Gram Sabha different Ministries in a manner
opportunities, human rights and and Gram Panchayat lack clarity. The so as to ensure that the
poverty alleviation, which is very participants generally felt that there prospective beneficiaries do not
much in tune with the Sustainable was still a gap between the policies have to run from office to office
Development Goal, SDG-17, which and implementation thereof at the in different departments under
mostly pertains to rural development. ground level. various Ministries;
9. Constitute a special task force to
Mr. Sinha said that the lack of health Earlier, Mr. Jaideep Govind, Secretary indentify the places of dry latrines
and education facilities dominated the General, NHRC said that the NHRC to end the menace of manual
social sector neglect, which is now through its various interventions has scavenging;
the key area of government’s focus. been ensuring the benefits of all the 10.NHRC in collaboration with
He said that despite Sarva Shiksha welfare schemes as well as the basic SHRC and civil society should
Abhiyan, the learning outcomes are amenities to the people in different ensure access to the grievance
unsatisfactory and therefore, efforts parts of the country. It has also linked redressal mechanism in rural areas

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 20


11. Eligibility criteria for providing suo motu cognizance of media reports the errant officials and the violators
skill development training for rural that the number of deaths climbed to of law. It appears that this issue of
people is very high, which, 143 till the last Sunday after spurious and illicit liquor is not
specially for the rescued bonded consuming toxic liquor in Golaghat restricted to one or two states rather
labour, needs to be scaled down and Jorhat districts of Assam on it has become a serious issue at the
to make it useful for them; Thursday night. Reportedly, there are national level. The law is very much
12.Each department under various more than 300 people admitted for in existence to deal with this menace
Ministries should have a rights cell; treatment in the hospitals. As per but in view of present scenario, it
13.Human Rights Defenders, who news report, the police authorities seems that there is a need to sensitize
raise concerns on the rights have expressed apprehension that the the police and the excise authorities
violation of others, should be Methanol used in the hooch is the in the states to be more active and
defended in collaboration with reason behind the deaths but the exact vigilant so that precious human lives
civil society organizations; cause of death will be known only are not lost. An effective mechanism
14.Partnership with media should be after the examinations are conducted. is required to be evolved to curb the
encouraged to build awareness on unlawful network of spurious liquor
various welfare schemes with a The Commission has issued notices manufacturers and distributors who
rights perspective; top the to the Chief Secretary, are playing with the lives of the
15.It should be ensured that the Government of Assam calling for a innocent people.
victims of Kamaiya system also detailed report in the matter, within
get employment under four weeks including action taken According to the media reports, at
MGNREGA and the benefits against the officers/officials, relief least 20 people, have been arrested
under skill India programme. and rehabilitation provided to the by the police in connection with the
victims and their dependents along incident in Assam. During a raid at a
Besides the NHRC Members, Mr. with status of the medical treatment godown, the police have recovered
Justice P.C. Ghose and Mrs. Jyotika being provided to those who are still jaggery, alum and urea which are the
Kalra, the participants included civil fighting for their lives in the hospitals. main ingredients used in making the
society representatives Ms. Maja illicit liquor. The Excise Department
Daruwala and Sanjoy Hazarika, The Commission also expects from has reportedly stated that the poor
CHRI, Dr. Nupur Tiwari, Associate the union Home Secretary to issue quality jaggery, meant for cattle feed
Prof., IIPA, Mr. Surendra Kumar, necessary directions to the Directors is routed for making hooch and it is
AVARD, Ms. Suman, FIAN, Mr. General of Police of all the States and impossible to check its sale. The
Bejwada Wilson, Safai Karamchari UTs calling upon them to look into records furnished by the Excise
Andolan, Ms. Neha Khandoori, Ms. the matter personally and issue Department however expose lapses
Tina Kuriallose, Mr. Vinod Agarwal, relevant guidelines to enhance police on their part.
Spl. Rapporteur, NHRC, Mr. Surajit patrolling and vigil in the affected
Dey, Registrar (Law), Mr. Dilip areas of their states and take strict Reportedly, two persons were
Kumar, JS(T&R), Dr. Ranjit Singh, legal action against the culprits. If arrested from Jugibari village of
JS(P&A) and other senior officers of necessary, special teams at the district district Golaghat in December, 2018.
the Commission. level be constituted to clamp down The village is adjacent to “Halmira Tea
on the perpetrators of law, in an Estate” which supplies hooch to the
NHRC issues notice to the effective manner. Response from the local distributors. The distributors,
Government of Assam over Union Home Secretary is expected reportedly, purchased five liter cans
hooch tragedy; also asks the within four weeks. for between Rs. 350 to Rs. 450 to
Union Home Ministry to issue sell it to the consumers. One of the
necessary directions to the The Commission has observed that villagers had stated that there were
Directors General of Police of all a few days back, it had expressed at least three persons in the village,
the States and UTs to enhance concern over the death of people in who instead of making hooch from
vigil to check illicit liquor hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and jaggery, just mixed spirit with water
menace Uttarakhand as apparently, the State and sold it openly. It is also mentioned
The National Human Rights authorities had failed to take effective in the news reports that some people
Commission, NHRC, India has taken measures and stringent action against mixed spirit with liquor before

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 21


consuming, which led to their deaths. Government of Tamil Nadu calling and narrated her story as to how she
Reportedly, as many as five for a detailed report in the matter queued three times to use one of the
suspected distributors of the hooch within four weeks. only two toilets provided by the
were also among the dead. factory owner, for 200 employees
It has observed the reported denial where she is working in Chennai. She
As reported in the media, the State of basic facilities to the workers, told during radio broadcast that due
Excise Minister hadstated that the employed at these industries is a to scarcity of the toilets, the factory
phenomenon of “Sulai” (hooch) matter of concern for it. Toilets, workers have been forced to use a
consumption was not just restricted Drinking water, First-aid and Special corner of the mill as a toilet where
to Assam but all of the North-East. provisions for the female workers are waste cotton is discarded during the
He promised to clamp down on the the most crucial and primary process. The humiliated lady decided
network of illicit distribution and take requirements at the workplaces. to share her daily ordeal and the
action against the guilty excise Denial of the basic facilities by the factory managers have now,
officials, after the inquiry. The news factory owners to their employees is reportedly, begun to add more toilets
report also states that more than seven not only violation of the law and at her workplace.
lakh liters of illegally distilled liquor prescribed norms but a serious
had been seized in the State of Assam violation of human rights. The
from April, 2016 to November, 2018. workers have right to dignity. There
is a need for the authorities to look Please subscribe to
NHRC issues notice to the into the matter and take action. A
Government of Tamil Nadu over national level campaign for cleanliness
Human Touch
reported denial of basic is going on across the country which and support us for
amenities to garment industry is being promoted by the Government
workers in the state of India in collaboration with the creation of a just
The National Human Rights states and it includes proper toilets, and equitable
Commission, NHRC, India has taken sanitation and clean environment.
suo motu cognizance of a media Irregularities as mentioned in the society
report highlighting the plight of news report are in violation of the
thousands of the garment factory “Clean India Campaign”.
workers, who are employed in large
number at Factories and Mills in The Commission has said that going
different parts of Tamil Nadu. The by the contents of the media report,
news report reveals that many of the it appears that the workers at these
factories and mills in the state, which garment factories and mills are
is the largest textile and garment working in miserable conditions.
industry hub in the country, operate There is no formal grievance
informally with inferior working mechanism available for the workers
conditions and poor grievance due to which, even the basic amenities
mechanism for their workers. The at these places are absent. It has also
media report is based on the commended that radio stations set up
interviews of some women garment across the state of Tamil Nadu for
industry workers, aired by three radio raising such issues. Visit our website at :
stations, which are free and broadcast www.humanrightsnews.net
through mobile phones, set up across According to the media report,
Tamil Nadu, during last year. carried today on the 21st February,
and
2019, these radio stations are giving www.manavadhikar.net
The Commission has observed that voice to the thousands of garment for online
the contents of the news reports, if workers, whose grievances remained
true, raise a serious issue of violation unheard by the authorities, so far. A human rights updates.
of human rights. Accordingly, it has woman, working in a garment
issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, factory approached the radio station

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 22


International Human Rights Update

Why Independent Groups Don’t debating whether to ratify, suppress, to this year ’s Regulation on
Need Government Supervision in or change it. Associations requires NGOs to
Brazil provide data on members, including
When people organize peacefully to name, work, educational status,
end abuses, hold their governments identification number, and date they
accountable, or provide services to joined. In Egypt, a law passed two
improve quality of life for themselves Given the outcry, Congresswoman years ago under the guise of
or others, they often form non- Beatriz Kicis, a Bolsonaro supporter, regulation criminalized the work of
governmental organizations—NGOs. has proposed axing the word many groups.
A network of NGOs, charities, and “supervise.” She’d like to substitute
other independent groups is an “keep track of” NGOs’ actions and If you don’t like hearing this from
essential part of any free society. achievements, and she’d specify that someone employed by an NGO,
In Brazil, such groups work on the aim is to “verify their compliance” consider a different critic. In its 2017
issues ranging from violence against with Brazilian law. Global Risks Report, the World
women to environmental problems, Economic Forum (Davos) warned
including the pesticide poisoning of That may sound better, but it doesn’t that dangers raised by the closing of
rural communities and the collapse make Bolsonaro’s move any less civil-society space include instability,
of mining dams. Whether you agree frightening. His failure to identify a polarization, fragile governance, and
with any one group’s particular need to ratchet up monitoring and erosion of basic civil and political
causes or not, all Brazilians are better surveillance calls into question his rights.
off living in a society where they can true motives.
operate without unreasonable That’s not where Brazil needs to go.
government restrictions or Besides, Santos Cruz has made quite Congress should reject the NGO
interference. This is why the clear that the aim of the measure is snooping order.
Constitution of Brazil provides full to exercise control. When two
freedom of association for lawful colleagues and I met with Santos Malaysia: Don’t Quit
purposes. Cruz in January, he confirmed his aim International Criminal Court
to “supervise” all nongovernmental Malaysia’s decision to withdraw
So, it is alarming that President Jair groups, whether funded by private from the International Criminal Court
Bolsonaro—and some members of or public money. When we objected, (ICC) barely a month after joining
Congress—are rushing to monitor he insisted the measure would harm makes a mockery of the
and potentially restrict NGOs. only “bad NGOs,” not “good NGOs.” government’s commitment to justice,
President Bolsonaro signed an He gave no criteria for judging, Human Rights Watch said today. On
executive order on inauguration day beyond his own opinion. April 5, 2019, Prime Minister
giving Government Secretary Carlos Mahathir Mohamad announced that
Alberto dos Santos Cruz—a retired Various governments have used because “certain quarters [had]
Army general -- authority to similar tactics to control NGOs, limit criticized the issue,” the cabinet had
“supervise, coordinate, monitor, and their impact, or impede their decided to “avoid political confusion”
track” the “activities and actions” of operation, as if they were enemies. and withdraw from the court’s Rome
local and international NGOs Nearly a decade ago, Venezuela Statute.
operating in Brazil. banned international funding of NGOs
that “defend political rights” or “By quitting the ICC, Malaysia’s
The measure has raised alarm bells “monitor the performance of public government is undermining its
in civil society, and Congress is bodies.” In Turkey, an amendment credibility on human rights reforms,”

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 23


said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia “The Malaysian government’s Free Opposition Leader From
director. “Rather than stand up for standing on international justice has House Arrest in Cambodia
justice, the government caved to taken a nosedive because of Cambodian authorities should
pressure from former ruling parties misleading and unpersuasive immediately and unconditionally
and certain hereditary rulers.” criticism of the ICC,” Robertson release opposition party leader Kem
said. “Unless the government stands Sokha from house arrest and drop
When Malaysia acceded to the firm on its original decision to join the politically motivated criminal case
Rome Statute on March 4, Foreign the ICC, it will be putting its whole against him, Human Rights Watch
Minister Saifuddin Abdullah human rights reform agenda at said today. Sokha, president of the
declared Malaysia's commitment “to risk.” Cambodian National Rescue Party
combating international crimes for (CNRP) at the time of his arrest, has
global peace and security,” saying Make Public New Draft NGO been without his freedom for over
that “Malaysia stands ready to work Law in Egypt 18 months.
with all state[s] parties in upholding The Egyptian government announced On March 19, 2019, an investigating
the principles of truth, human on April 5, 2019 that it “will repeal” judge in Cambodia’s politically
rights, rule of law and its draconian 2017 NGO law and that controlled courts rejected Sokha’s
accountability.” it will submit to parliament a new renewed request to drop the charges
draft law on nongovernmental against him. The judge provided no
In the ensuing weeks, the opposition organizations. Egyptian newspapers update or additional information about
alliance of the United Malay National reported that the new draft law the completion of his investigation
Organization (UMNO) and Parti eliminates the criminal penalties for and whether the case will be sent to
Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) criticized non-compliance in the 2017 law, and trial.
the government, alleging that joining limits oversight of these groups to a
the ICC would harm the rulers and single government authority, also in “For a year and a half, Cambodian
Malaysia's sovereignty. The crown contrast with the multi-authority authorities have imprisoned Kem
prince of Johor state alleged that the review of the prior law. Sokha, first in a remote jail and now
government had not consulted the in his own home; denied him visits
hereditary rulers, and said the king The government has not made the from colleagues, diplomats, and
could face prosecution for war new draft law public. The parliament journalists; and conducted a baseless
crimes “orchestrated” by individuals will need to discuss and approve the investigation with no end in sight,”
seeking to damage the royalty. draft and the president will need to said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The
sign it before it becomes a law. government should immediately end
These criticisms reflect a Sokha’s arbitrary detention and
fundamental misunderstanding of the The following quote can be attributed release him.”
role and practices of the ICC. The to Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East
ICC is a court of last resort, and only and North Africa director at Human On September 3, 2017, eight
steps in when national authorities are Rights Watch. members of Prime Minister Hun
unable or unwilling to deliver Sen’s personal bodyguard unit and
credible justice for the grave “Repealing Egypt’s draconian 2017 about 100 police officers arrested
international crimes under the ICC’s NGO law, which could have ended Sokha at his home in Phnom Penh.
jurisdiction. any meaningful existence for An investigating judge charged him
nongovernmental groups in the with “colluding with foreigners”
This latest reversal on human rights country, and replacing it with a law under article 443 of the Cambodian
follows the government’s that eliminates all prison penalties for criminal code, which carries a
backtracking on its pledge to ratify nongovernmental groups and their maximum penalty of 30 years in
the International Convention on the staff would be a positive move. The prison. He was immediately stripped
Elimination of All Forms of Racial government should quickly publicize of his parliamentary immunity on the
Discrimination and its decision in this draft so that civil society, which grounds that he was caught in the
November 2018 to lift a moratorium will be most affected by the law, has act of committing a crime, even
on using the draconian colonial-era an opportunity to review and though the purported evidence
Sedition Act. comment on its contents.” against him was a highly edited video

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 24


of a speech he gave in 2013, more senior leadership on the basis of violation, and promised to investigate
than four years earlier, in which he fabricated harassment charges. and take appropriate disciplinary
explained that his party had received These moves were made in advance measures against those involved.
advice from a United States-based of national elections in 2018, in which The statement alleged that the victims
NGO. the CNRP was expected to challenge were bandits about to execute an
the longstanding rule of the CPP. On attack in Shakanfi local government
On June 5, 2018, the United Nations July 29, 2018, the CPP staged area of the state.
Working Group on Arbitrary elections without a major opposition
Detention, a body of independent party, extending its autocratic rule for Nigerian security forces have
experts, declared Kem Sokha’s another term. previously been implicated in serious
pretrial detention “arbitrary” and abuses, followed by promises of
“politically motivated,” and said that “Prime Minister Hun Sen has used investigations that have failed to lead
Cambodian authorities should every unlawful trick in the book to to significant outcomes. On January
immediately release him. solidify his one-party authoritarian 17, 2017, a NAF airstrike on a
rule and remove the one viable displacement camp in Rann, Borno
Sokha spent a year in pretrial detention opposition party,” Adams said. State, killed 70 people and injured 120
in a remote jail during which his health “Cambodia’s donors and trade more, allegedly because displaced
sharply deteriorated. On September partners should insist on Kem people were mistaken for Boko
10, 2018, a judge ordered him Sokha’s unconditional release as a Haram fighters. Despite repeated calls
released under highly restrictive first step to stop Cambodia’s for accountability, authorities failed
conditions of judicial supervision that precipitous human rights slide.” to release the investigation report or
amount to house arrest. Under article to compensate victims.
208 of Cambodia’s criminal Video Exposes Beatings by
procedure law, the investigating judge Nigerian Security Forces An August 2017 Presidential Judicial
may only detain a felony suspect on Video footage circulating online Panel was inaugurated to investigate
legally justified grounds for up to 18 appears to implicate Nigerian security compliance with human rights
months. However, the judge has wide forces engaged in abuse of a group obligations and allegations of war
discretion to determine bail conditions, of men. The footage shows around crimes and other abuses by the
which allows for severe restrictions two dozen armed men wearing military, including against Boko
on the suspect’s freedom of military camouflage repeatedly whip Haram suspects in the northeast; the
movement and other rights. There is about 15 men. The beating caused December 2015 killing of 347 Shia
no provision in Cambodian law that huge welts on the victims’ backs. Islamic Movement of Nigeria
allows for house arrest. They were forced to lay on the members in Zaria, and pro-Biafra
ground, screaming in pain. One man protesters in the southeast. Almost
Marking the 18-months Sokha has was ordered to keep his eyes open two years later, the panel’s findings
spent in detention, senior members despite the blazing sun. A man in are yet to be released and no effort
of his since-dissolved party issued a uniform could be heard saying that has been made to ensure
statement on March 3, describing the victims were bandits. Another accountability or reform.
him as “the symbol of positive change man wore a shirt with the insignia
and non-violent struggle for freedom, “Special Force.” While steps towards investigation
respect for human rights and are important, authorities should go
democracy in Cambodia.” In January, the Nigerian Air Force beyond constituting panels and
(NAF) deployed 1,300 special forces boards if they are to end impunity
Sokha’s arrest was soon followed, to Zamfara and Benue States. for security forces abuses. They
in November 2017, by Hun Sen’s should ensure prosecution in fair
decision to dissolve the CNRP. The On March 30, the NAF said in a and open trials of the military
CPP-controlled Supreme Court also statement that NAF officials attached officials implicated in torture and
banned 118 CNRP members from to a joint military team stationed at other abuse of detainees, as well as
political activity for five years. The Galadi, Zamfara State, were in previous cases of abuse, to
Cambodian authorities have since involved in the incident. They demonstrate their genuine
forced into exile most of the party’s denounced it as a human rights commitment to justice.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 25


The Unpredictable:
Monsoon & Agriculture in India

N
o other climatic phenomenon allows good crops to grow after the climate change is making the
affects the lives of so many receding of the excess waters. monsoons more unpredictable and
people around the world on an worsening the severity of events like
annual basis than the monsoon. India floods and droughts. The rainfall
is one among few countries whose situation in parts of north and
agriculture and economy critically northwest India does not look good.
depend on the rains of the summer Monsoon which directly impact Deficient rains threaten agriculture in
monsoon. Moreover, these countries agriculture is an important segment States like Punjab, Haryana,
are home to most of the world’s of the economy because of the Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and
population and with the exception of following reasons: Himachal Pradesh, although there is
Japan, Singapore, South Korea and · It produces about a quarter of still some hope of a recovery. The
Taiwan, are not industrialized. the GDP. India Meteorological Department
Ninety-five percent of all rice is · Provides raw materials for a reports that the country as a whole
produced and consumed in monsoon fifth of the industry. received “near normal rainfall” during
Asia. · Generate demand for industrial the week ending July 8. Of 36
goods. meteorological sub-divisions, rainfall
The impact of an abnormal monsoon · Nearly 40 per cent of the was normal or higher than normal in
is tremendous. Damages can cost in manufactured consumer 21 and deficient or scanty in 15
the millions. Characterized by either goods are sold in rural areas. during that week. However, it was
being too wet or too dry, an abnormal · 60% of the population depends “deficient by 59 per cent over
monsoon can result in the loss of on agriculture for livelihood. northwestern India.” If the ‘grain
seasonal employment, shortages of bowl’ States fare any worse, fears
food and income, and the spread of Since attaining independence in 1947, over crop failures would be natural.
disease. Those violent contacts with India has taken enormous strides A normal July can account for a third
nature can also be felt in subsequent toward freeing herself from of the season’s total rainfall. Of the
years. It is therefore understandable dependence of the vagaries of the four months in the season, July
that India possesses one of the monsoons. With the aid of the rainfall has the most critical impact
densest and most continuous surface international community, India has on agriculture.
climatological station networks in the made concerted efforts to improve
tropics. both short and long-term forecasts The last time India suffered a drought
in order to alert farmers and manage was in 2002, when economic growth
It is said that an abnormally wet resources. Nevertheless, even today slumped to four percent, dramatically
monsoon is better than a dry one. it is not far wrong to say that “in India illustrating the impact of monsoons
India’s rice production is directly scarcity is only a missed monsoon on the economy. The following year
proportional to the season of rains. away”. when India had the best rainfall in five
For example in 1965-66, rainfall was years, the economic growth sprang
about twenty percent below normal This year in 2009 as the threat of back to 8.5 percent. In 2004, the rains
in 14 of the 32 meteorological drought looms up across India thanks were the second lowest in two
subdivisions of India causing rice to this season’s seriously deficient decades and growth slowed to 6.9
production to decrease substantially monsoon - so far - it looks as if the percent. The nine percent growth
and famine to ensue. Whereas a wet days when India’s farming was India experienced in 2005 and 2007
monsoon, despite causing much referred to as a ‘gamble with the was accompanied by normal rainfall
human misery and suffering, monsoons’ are returning. There is during those years.
improves groundwater availability and growing evidence to suggest that In 2006, Cherrapunji in India’s

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 26


northeast - famed as the wettest place India’s long stagnant agriculture Climate change studies undertaken
on earth - received considerably sector, which has grown only 2% so far reveal that action is essential
lower amounts of rainfall, whereas over the last decade, has already led in order to prevent long term damage
arid, desert states such as western to much farmer distress. Instances to India’s water cycle. The livelihood
Rajasthan received unusual amounts of farmer indebtedness and suicide, of a vast population in India depends
of rainfall, bringing in its wake all already frequent, could go up. on agriculture, forestry, wetlands
manner of calamities, including Although experts point out that there and fisheries and land use in these
diseases. is no immediate threat to India’s food areas is strongly influenced by
security after last year’s bumper water-based ecosystems that
The July 2005 Mumbai deluge crop last year, low yields could make depend on monsoon rains. Changes
wreaked havoc in the western the proposed Food Security Act, to the water cycle may also cause
metropolis, causing billions of dollars new legislation that aims to provide an increase in water borne diseases
of damage and the loss of hundreds poor families with a legally such as cholera and hepatitis, as well
of lives. Surging floodwaters enforceable right to food, practically as diseases carried by insects such
triggered by the 2002 monsoon killed difficult to implement. The effects as malaria. There is need of having
more than 800 people in Bangladesh, are being felt beyond the farms in following plan of actions with
India and Nepal and displaced urban areas as well, which are proper schedule to conserve water.
millions. This year Cyclone Aila reeling under water and power
devastated coastal Bangladesh leaving shortages due to declining water 1. Making of concrete reservoirs
over 24,000 people homeless, and levels in reservoirs that provide both in all villages, equipped with
destroying large tracts of mangrove water and hydroelectricity. pumping facilities, pipelines
forests. for distribution & filtration
Changes to India’s annual monsoon system. Gujarat Govt has
The Indian subcontinent lies close to are expected to result in severe already initiated actions & has
the centre of the monsoonal region, droughts and intense flooding in made many reservoirs in the
and despite a gradual shift away from parts of India. India has made little state.
agriculture, India is still largely an advance in monsoon management, 2. Linking of rivers as for as
agrarian state with agriculture whether in forecasting or planning possible.
accounting for a third of its Gross for it, over years. But right now, the 3. Compulsory Rain water
Domestic Product. Only about 40 need is for clear-sighted and firm harvesting
percent of the land is irrigated - policy intervention that provides 4. Water maker plants in coastal
leaving farmers exposed to the confidence to the people that the areas for converting sea water
vagaries of monsoons. India’s system can cope with any into potable water
farming is focused on feeding contingency. Climate change and its 5. As India’s 90 % agriculture
domestic demand and follows the impact must form a part in all depends on monsoon, there is
country’s long-held policy of government as well as non a need of having a separate cell
maintaining food self-sufficiency. government initiative. in each state to execute this
plan. The monitoring to be
done by Central Govt.
Depending on performance of
state, plane outlay to be fixed
by planning commission.

- HT Bureau

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creation of a just and
equitable society

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 27


Need of the Hour:
Overhaul Policing System to Arrest Rights Violations

T
he Indian government should Awasthi, Convener, ‘Uttar Pradesh and extra-judicially executing an
take major steps to overhaul a Shehri Gharib Kaamgar Sangharsh individual is commonly known. “I am
policing system that facilitates Morcha.’ looking for my target,” the officer
and even encourages human rights said. “I will eliminate him. … I fear
violations, Human Rights Watch said “India is modernizing rapidly, but the being put in jail, but if I don’t do it,
in a report released in Lucknow on 7 police continue to use their old I’ll lose my position.”
August 2009 at UP Press Club. For methods: abuse and threats,” said
decades, successive governments Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Almost every police officer
have failed to deliver on promises to Rights Watch in a press statement. interviewed by Human Rights Watch
hold the police accountable for abuses “It’s time for the government to stop was aware of the boundaries of the
and to build professional, rights- talking about reform and fix the law, but many believed that unlawful
respecting police forces, according system.” methods, including illegal detention
to the report ‘Broken System: and torture, were necessary tactics
Dysfunction, Abuse, and Impunity in of crime investigation and law
the Indian Police.’ enforcement.
The report launch was organized by
‘Uttar Pradesh Shehri Gharib The Indian government elected in
Kaamgar Sangharsh A fruit vendor in Varanasi described May has promised to pursue police
Morcha’, People’s  Vigilance how police tortured him to extract reforms actively. Human Rights
Committee on Human Rights confessions to multiple, unrelated Watch said that a critical step is to
(PVCHR) and Human Rights Watch. false charges: “[My] hands and legs ensure that police officers who
were tied; a wooden stick was commit human rights violations,
“This 118-page report -Broken System: passed through my legs. They regardless of rank, will face
Dysfunction, Abuse, and Impunity in started beating me badly on the legs appropriate punishment.
the Indian Police – documents a range with lathis (batons) and kicking me.
of human rights violations committed They were saying, ‘You must name “Police who commit or order torture
by police, including arbitrary arrest and all the members of the 13-person and other abuses need to be treated
detention, torture and extrajudicial gang.’ They beat me until I was as the criminals they are,” said
killings. The report is based on crying and shouting for help. When Adams in the statement. “There
interviews with more than 80 police I was almost fainting, they stopped shouldn’t be one standard for police
officers of varying ranks, 60 victims the beating. A constable said, ‘With who violate the law and another for
of police abuses, and numerous this kind of a beating, a ghost would average citizens.”
discussions with experts and civil run away. Why won’t you tell me
society activists. It documents the what I want to know?’ Then they Human Rights Watch also said that
failings of state police forces that turned me upside down… They while not excusing abuses, abysmal
operate outside the law, lack sufficient poured water from a plastic jug into conditions for police officers
ethical and professional standards, are my mouth and nose, and I fainted.” contribute to violations. Low-ranking
overstretched and outmatched by officers often work in difficult
criminal elements, and unable to cope Several police officers admitted to conditions. They are required to be
with increasing demands and public Human Rights Watch that they on-call 24 hours a day, every day.
expectations. Field research was routinely committed abuses. One Instead of shifts, many work long
conducted in 19 police stations in Uttar officer said that he had been ordered hours, sometimes living in tents or
Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, to commit an “encounter killing,” as filthy barracks at the police station.
and the capital, Delhi” said Asheesh the practice of taking into custody Many are separated from their families

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 28


“India’s status as the world’s largest
democracy is undermined by a police
force that thinks it is above the law,”
said Adams in the statement. “It’s a
vicious cycle. Indians avoid contact
with the police out of fear. So crimes
go unreported and unpunished, and
the police can’t get the cooperation
they need from the public to prevent
and solve crimes.”

Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse,


and Impunity in the Indian Police
report sets out detailed
for long stretches of time. They often of traditionally marginalized groups recommendations for police
lack necessary equipment, including in India. They include the poor, reform drawn  from  studies  by
vehicles, mobile phones, investigative women, Dalits (so-called government commissions, former
tools and even paper on which to “untouchables”), and religious and Indian police, and Indian groups.
record complaints and make notes. sexual minorities. Police often fail to Among the major recommendations
investigate crimes against them are:
Police officers told Human Rights because of discrimination, the · Require the police to read
Watch that they used “short-cuts” to victims’ inability to pay bribes, or their suspects their rights upon
cope with overwhelming workloads lack of social status or political arrest or any detention, which
and insufficient resources. For connections. Members of these will increase institutional
instance, they described how they or groups are also more vulnerable to acceptance of these
others cut caseloads by refusing to arbitrary arrest and torture, especially safeguards;
register crime complaints. Many meted out by police as punishment · Exclude from court any
officers described facing unrealistic for alleged crimes. evidence police obtain by using
pressure from their superiors to solve torture or cruel, inhuman, or
cases quickly. Receiving little or no Colonial-era police laws enable state degrading treatment in suspect
encouragement to collect forensic and local politicians to interfere routinely interrogations;
evidence and witness statements, in police operations, sometimes · Bolster independent
tactics considered time-consuming, directing police officers to drop investigations into complaints
they instead held suspects illegally investigations against people with of police abuse and
and coerced them to confess, political connections, including known misconduct through national
frequently using torture and ill- criminals, and to harass or file false and state human rights
treatment. charges against political opponents. commissions and police
These practices corrode public complaints authorities; and
“Conditions and incentives for police confidence. · Improve training and
officers need to change,” Adams said equipment, including
in the statement. “Officers should not In 2006, a landmark Supreme Court strengthening the crime-
be put into a position where they think judgment mandated reform of police investigation curriculum at
they have to turn to abuse to meet laws. But the central government and police academies, training
superiors’ demands, or obey orders most state governments have either low-ranking officers to assist
to abuse. Instead they should be significantly or completely failed to in crime investigations, and
given the resources, training, implement the court’s order, providing basic forensic
equipment, and encouragement to act suggesting that officials have yet to equipment to every police
professionally and ethically.” accept the urgency of comprehensive officer.
police reform, including the need to
“Broken System” also documents the hold police accountable for human - HT Bureau
particular vulnerability to police abuse rights violations. Source: Human Rights Watch

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 29


Indirect Reservation:
Best Way to Achieve Conflict-free Society
- Dr. Prem Kumar Sinha

An innovative approach, herein after referred to as indirect reservation, is advocated for easing out tension
which is brewing up among forward and backward groups of people in various countries of the world. It will
expedite pace of empowerment of weaker sections by gently prodding them to improve their performance level.
Moreover, it will, also, gradually diminish the intensity of conflicts among the various stake holders. In the
proposed system of indirect reservation, candidates of weaker sections will have considerably higher motivation
to improve upon their performance. Thereafter, in due course of time, the need for this reservation (preferential
treatment) will itself fade away, without causing any commotion in the society. Moreover, by the early empow-
erment of the people of the weaker sections, productivity and prosperity of the society will increase at a faster
rate which will bring enhanced cheers to all.

The aforesaid scheme of indirect which are exclusively meant for somehow crept in due to reservation-
reservation is formulated below, in them. Therefore, the issue of related policies.
the context of India which can be reservation (preferential treatment to
applied in other countries, too, to some selected groups of people for It is apparent that schemes like
narrow down the gap in the any reason whatsoever) should be reservation for the weaker sections
achievement levels of different of society were instituted to provide
groups of people: initial push to the people who have
remained oppressed and marginalized
Of late, India has witnessed large- for centuries in India due to caste-
scale unrest and agitations due to tackled intelligently so that the based excesses of dominant sections.
demands by various groups of people, remaining people (who are deprived But I feel that it might not be the
for securing reserved quota for of this kind of preferential treatment) intention of the framers of the
candidates of their castes, for do not feel so much demoralized and Constitution of India that to
admission in government-aided hurt that they start demanding compensate the centuries-old
educational institutions and for jobs reservation for themselves and in the oppression of weaker sections, now
in government organizations. process vent their anger through reverse wave of oppression be
Consequently, clashes are being violent agitations. created whereby people of present
witnessed between those groups who generation of some other sections be
have already been notified in reserved In India, vote-bank equations compel penalized for the excesses committed
categories, such as Scheduled Castes political parties to desist from raising by their forefathers. Since such a
(SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and any issue or argument which may be judicial system which demands an
Other Backward Castes (OBCs); and termed as anti-reservationist and thus eye for an eye cannot be
those groups which aspire to be could be used by their opponents contemplated in a civilized society.
included in the aforesaid categories against these parties. Such
so that they could also reap the constraints have effectively put a lid No one stresses openly that
benefit of preferential treatment on initiating pragmatic measures, intervention through reservation for
which is bestowed on the candidates which could provide sustainable weaker sections should remain in
of reserved categories. It is because stimulus to the people of the weaker force for all times to come. Even the
the former groups feel that the latter sections for their early empowerment framers of Constitution contemplated
ones will start competing with them and simultaneously shake off their veil that the tool of reservation should
for a share in the welfare schemes of complacency, which has remain operative initially for ten years,

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 30


reservation itself fades away
gradually. Only, thereafter, the real
equality among all citizens of the
country can be materialized.

Therefore, at this point of time, we


should not argue whether we should
have reservation for the weaker
sections or not, as it will stir the
hornet’s nest. Instead, we should
proceed to provide indirect
reservation to the candidates of SCs/
STs/OBCs categories, without altering
their quota share under reservation.
For this purpose, we should find out
from existing data, say, of last five
years that what was the median of
achievement level of successful
candidates of the four categories of
people, viz., GN (General)/SCs/STs/
OBCs, in various reputed public
thereafter, its utility should be probed. as backward instead of forward, one examinations, which are held for
However, even after six decades of is tempted to think that India is granting admission in government-
the Independence, no one thinks that moving backward as more and more institutions of higher learning and
the concept of reservation has people are becoming backward. which are held for finalizing selection
achieved the purpose for which it was in jobs in government-organizations.
instituted and thus it can be shed Therefore, if we are to create an
away, now. From this, one can egalitarian society, early, where all the The main idea of choosing data of
conclude that the people of weaker people enjoy equitable status and have reputed examinations is that their
sections could not attain parity even equal opportunity to achieve objectivity level is high and secondly,
after six decades. Thus the noble goal prosperity, we will have to shed away these have a large data base, thus their
of reservation as an affirmative the temporary crutches of reservation data will be more reliable statistically.
action for a limited period to bring sooner than later, otherwise the Differences in medians of (i) GN
forward the weaker sections of prolonged use of these crutches will category and SC category, (ii) GN
people who are socially and incapacitate Indian society for ever. category and ST category, and (iii)
economically backward by giving And we will end up with a caste-based GN category and OBC category, will
them a gentle push, has not fractured society whose various give a fairly clear picture with regard
succeeded so far, which the groups of people will ever remain to the levels of difference in the
Constitution framers thought, might suspicious of each other and social performance of SC/ST/OBC category
make a significant impact in ten years. strife will be witnessed every now candidates vis-à-vis GN (general)
and then. category candidates. Then instead of
In the Pre-reservation Period, people assigning direct quota for the
wanted to get rid of backward group Since reservation is one of the most candidates of various reserved
tag but now during the Post- sensitive and hottest issues in India, categories, we can give an additional
reservation Era, even those people a sudden change in present frame weightage, equivalent to the
who were earlier considered work of reservation is almost difference observed in the medians
belonging to forward groups, claim impossible.Thus need of the hour is of achievement level of candidates of
that they are backward so that they that we should take such steps which these categories vis-à-vis the median
could also enjoy protection enjoined would protect the weaker sections of of achievement level of candidates of
under reservation. When more and society and simultaneously empower GN category. Thereafter, a combined
more people seek to be categorized them so much that the need for merit list of all candidates can be

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 31


made for the purpose of selection for of weaker sections as well as it shows that the level of
admissions as well as jobs. This lessening their dependence on the empowerment of persons of weaker
system will have many benefits some protection available under the sections has improved. Case II: If it
of which are mentioned below: umbrella of reservation. is noticed that the number of selected
candidates has fallen in comparison
• This will unleash spirit of After the preparation of a combined with the previously allotted quota
competitiveness and the people merit list of all categories of percentage for them, then any further
of every category will try to candidates (wherein candidates reduction in their additional weightage
improve upon their performance belonging to SC/ST/OBC categories should be put on hold, till the
as it will enhance their chance will be having advantage of additional percentage level of their selection
of selection if they perform weightage as discussed earlier), the reaches the existing quota limits. Case
better than the candidates of next step should be to gradually prune III: If it is observed that the number
other categories. this additional weightage and reduce of the selected candidates of the
• Those who are benefitted by it completely over a period of time, reserved categories has increased in
reservation, have lower level of say, within 20 years, which can be comparison with the previously
motivation in comparison to more or less depending upon the allotted quota percentage for them
those who do not have pace of empowerment of SC/ST/ then it is the most heartening scenario
protection of reservation. Thus OBC candidates. To start with, as it is the real indicator that the pace
the gulf between the achievement additional weightage given to of their empowerment has gathered
level of those who enjoy candidates in their respective reserved momentum. In this scenario,
reservation and those who do not categories should be reduced quantum of additional weightage
enjoy reservation, will keep on gradually, say, by 5 percent every given for these categories can be
widening if the reservation quota year. However, the regulators should reduced at an increased pace.
system continues in its present compute with statistical tools every
form. If the indirect reservation year, whether this reduction has I have a hunch that there is larger
as advocated above is practised, adversely affected chances of probability of recurrence of Case III
this gulf in achievement level of selection of candidates of the scenario. Because, now, the candi-
general category candidates vis- reserved categories? dates of the reserved categories will
à-vis reserved category be able to improve their level of
candidates will eventually reduce, Case I: If it has not affected the achievement at a faster pace as a re-
meaning thereby, that the number of selected candidates vis-à- sult of newly acquired motivation
process of empowerment of vis their allotted quota percentage then which will open up opportunity for
weaker sections of people has
taken off in the right direction.
• The tag of backwardness (SC/
ST/OBC) will not be visible, once
a combined merit list is prepared.
It will induce feeling of
uprightness among candidates of
weaker sections, too, who
otherwise do not always enjoy
equitable status with their
colleagues and develop complex
leading to strained relations
within colleagues, which is not
a healthy trend by any yardstick.

Now, I proceed to elaborate as to


how the system of indirect
reservation should be taken forward,
with a view to expedite empowerment

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 32


However, in the proposed system of
indirect reservation, candidates of
weaker sections will have consider-
ably higher motivation to improve
upon their performance, because it
will enhance their chances of selec-
tion dramatically.

However, there is a word of caution:


If we are unable to dispense with the
existing quota system and reserva-
tion debate is not put to an end soon;
harmony and prosperity of the coun-
try will remain severely compro-
mised. Thus, I plead that since man-
them to improve upon their chances ology of indirect reservation for kind could make mistakes, societies
of selection in comparison with the weaker sections will initially benefit should be receptive to the new ideas
general category candidates who are them more and will constantly moti- rather than remaining stuck to rigid
already at a high pedestal from where vate them to improve their achieve- doctrine of the existing reservation
moving further upward becomes in- ment level further, which will culmi- policies. Accordingly, the people must
creasingly difficult. To clarify this nate in their true and early empower- seriously weigh the pros and cons of
scenario, I take up the example of ment. In this manner, the aforesaid the methodology of indirect reserva-
sprint athletes. Suppose, there is a system of indirect reservation can tion as suggested above, as here is a
group of 100 athletes of a country steadily empower people of the re- chance which we should not miss!
where sports are highly developed served categories and, consequently,
and these athletes clock a median time render the need of reservation super- In the end, it is submitted that
of 10 seconds for a 100 meter dash, fluous over a period of time. though the aforesaid scheme of
then there is very remote chance that indirect reservation is formulated
this group can reduce median of its A by-product of indirect reservation in view of the ground realty pre-
racing time further by a wide mar- will be that the scramble for entry vailing in India, its methodology
gin; even a reduction of 0.05 seconds into the club of SC/ST/OBC catego- can be applied in other countries,
would require a commendable effort ries will also slow down thereby in- also, to narrow down the gap in the
on the part of this group. Now, con- creasing prospects of enhanced peace achievement levels of their differ-
sider a group of 100 athletes from among various groups of people. ent groups of people.
another country where sports are not Thereafter, there will be fewer
adequately developed, supposing this agitations and even lesser conflicts - The author is working as the
group clocks a median time of 11 sec- between the proponents and the op- Assistant Registrar (Academic) at
onds for a 100 meter dash, then there ponents of the reservation policy. Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
is very high likelihood that these ath- Because, everyone would see the end Agra.
letes can easily improve upon their of the dark tunnel of caste-based di- The article is available online at
median clocking time by a significant visive system, where after no one http://www.curingindia.com/
margin, say, by 0.5 seconds or more, would require reservation as there will
without insurmountable difficulties if be equality among all sections of peo-
they are properly trained. ple.
Visit our social media page at
It implies that when the score of a In the existing system of reservation, : https://www.facebook.com/
person is in the middle of perform- beneficiaries become complacent be- humantouchmagazine/
ance ladder, he has a better chance cause they know that their chances for online
to climb higher than the one who is for selection are somewhat limited by
near the top of the performance lad- the quota limit, and it hampers pace
human rights updates.
der. Similarly, the proposed method- of their growth and empowerment.

Vol. XVI No. 4 April 2019 33


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