Thursday, March 17, 2011

Generating rights awareness



[Also published on ViewPoint, Rising Kashmir]
[Also published on Counter Currents]
[Also published on Blogs, Kashmir Dispatch]

All human beings are ennobled for the freedom to practice their rights. Logic and reasoning demand human rights. God has given us an inalienable gift of conscience to alleviate sufferings of each other in the spirit of brotherhood. For this to happen, showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement is an utmost priority which is only achievable through the awareness of rights.

Rights are self evident and universal. If we want a world where human rights abuses are consigned to history, then it is up to all people, as individuals, communities and nations to be vigilant, and knowledgeable about human rights. Learning about human rights is the first step towards their recognition. Thus as members of a civilized society, we must be able to make fine distinctions between what we want and the panaceas of societal complexities which eradicate emancipation of individuals in the society we live.

The absolute operations of world human rights activism got its scope during the era of world war, the political and economic corruption faced by major economies of the world during the Great Depression, authoritarian land reforms in Europe and the militant uprisings in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. The events which took place not only paved the way forward for dissenters, but also raised sympathies for progressive realization of these rights, especially in poorer countries and conflict zones. Thus to transform our lives in the pursuit of happiness, freedom, equality, justice and peace, we as Kashmiris, need a proper education & awareness of rights which will provide a common standard of achievement and a social development for effective recognition.

Kashmiris need to make best efforts in interpreting the essence of rights and their meaning. Valuable insights and education on rights is the best protection against their violations. It also helps in the process of accommodating each other’s viewpoints and helps in attaining a goal of a pluralistic society. Our youth has an substantial platform for launching dissents which was not possible for the youth two decades ago. World should face a culture of dissent from articulate individuals, with a distinct mindset, having a spirit of change and a scope to revolutionize the pertaining social dynamics. In context to that, a well informed Kashmiri generation will likely be secure decision makers of the future and that effective transformation will be vital to uplift our societal standards.

To institutionalize and facilitate rights, trends of launching opinions on social networking portals, blogging, media debates, discourse events, constructive street demonstrations and petitions have been used as some eminent forms of protests against government policies, various social, economic  cacophonies around the world. Education and application of such tools and practices in our society is the need of the hour, especially in debased political circumstances, to address any grievances or to register any form of evolutionary platform to eradicate misconceptions and corruption. As responsible decision makers of our society, these effective means of expression and need for awareness is necessary for Kashmiris to manumit themselves as creditworthy advocators of just causes and opinions.
All human beings are entitled to rights to recognize inherent dignity and protection for human life. Human rights are respectable and recognizable norms which provide impunity from social and political abuses. They facilitate obligations and responsibilities. The definition of human rights has been subjected to an intense philosophical debate. Its scope recognizes both natural and legal rights, recognizable in the context of international humanitarian laws. Through the advent of intellectual, political and social activism, the need for human rights has strengthened in importance, thus paving a way for its codification into legal statutory bodies.

A human right, in terms of legality, is recognized as a constitutional right for the citizen of a particular country. They form a fundamental structure of a society. They create reciprocal rights and duties. Retrospection of human rights in the light of legality is important because it helps in creating a collective moral body and helps in creating a sovereign power by determining its legislation.

Under the context of internationalism, legal rights have been enshrined for a cause to disseminate and expound education to the world public, without any inherent bias towards any political country or institutions. The most popular of them include The Human Rights Charter, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic & Political Rights & International Covenant of Civil & Political Rights. The power engulfed in these global expressions of rights aims to expel disregard for economic prosperity and contempt for cultural statuses across the world. For Kashmir, a proper and insightful knowledge of these conventions is incredibly important to outcast any misleading persuasions.

Some of the internationally recognized rights found in the common speech of public include, right to liberty, right of a free trial and right to education. However, in recent developments of global politics, the basis of legality of both international and national laws has met with contradictions. For example, Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares all people of the world have a right to choose their own nationality or Article 20 which favors a peaceful assembly of protest, but this article comes to a compromise when a state through force, objects to a secessionist encouraging area in their country, and follows a codified legal philosophy of its own drafted constitution. This case favors the latter, especially to countries, who have not signed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these developments have been refuted by world activists, nevertheless, due to lack of respect to international norms. In case of Kashmir, India have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and their contempt for human rights have generated a criminal response towards our aspirations.

In Kashmir, due to increasing record of abuses and absence of an United Nations Truth Commission and respectable international humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, has been a halting consequence in the field of human rights protectionism and education. Thus, in filling this much needed gap, the revolution of discourse, mass events and educative campaigns through organizations can provide the social solution in any tormented crises. It will also lessen the trait of skepticism and moral criticism when activists can provide a visionary introspection for the future generations.

© Naveed Qazi, Insights: Kashmir