The relationship between Humans and Rights is complimentary: Humans require rights to be human in the real sense and rights need humans to be actual rights. One without the other is incomplete; humans without rights are like any other species of animals and rights without humans are devoid of any muscle and meaning. Rights, like humans, have been developing since the very outset of human race and in most likelihood will continue to do so in the future as well. There are bouts and periods where human rights suffer regression but by and large they are progressing with the passage of time.
The twentieth century can rightly be called as the century of rights primarily because humans in this century were more conscious towards their rights. They were and continue to be aware about what constitutes their rights and what acts result in the violations of these rights. In this century, the rights of humans have been categorized and compartmentalized without disturbing their connecting links. There is a general set of human rights, there are gender specific rights, there are rights reserved for some scheduled people in many countries of the world and there are rights which are reserved for the economically, educationally and socially backward people and areas.
To safeguard and maintain the sanctity of these rights various institutions have been established at the international arena down to the local level including the ones that exist at the intermediate levels of human association. The performance of these institutions can be said to be mixed, encouraging in many areas and countries and discouraging in others, encouraging where the status and standards of human life have improved and discouraging where these standards have remained static or have even deteriorated.
There are many regions in the world where human rights standards have literally fallen or have not improved since ages. Many factors and people are responsible for this state of affairs in respect of human rights in these regions but today let’s deal with the factor where the same very people, whose rights get violated, are responsible for the violation of their rights.
No doubt there are other factors responsible for the sorry state of affairs in respect of human rights but the factor where people whose rights are violated are also contributory agents in those violations. If this single factor is taken care of the violations of human right would immediately lessen to half, if not more.
It is said that the conditions of those people, and nations, cannot change who want, and work, not them to change. It is only when people start to fight for their rights; the other factors, and forces, fall in line to help men to achieve that. Unless, this is done nothing of that sort is possible. Therefore, if I want to safeguard the rights which are due to me on account of me being human, I must be the first person to make efforts to secure those rights against all violations. Others cannot do that what I can accomplish for myself.
Now, if we take up any place and people in the world where human rights are violated, the role of the people there could be found to be the main contributory factor responsible for their own violations. In Kashmir all around violations of human rights are committed and the failure of the people and politicians of this place to show a united stand is the main reason why no respite is provided and no investigation of human rights violations reaches to any logical conclusion and no violators of human rights are brought to book. The agencies beyond the borders of this state are taking full advantage of the weakness and division of people into factions and groups. They keep on violating these rights for the advantages which all accrue to the people and agencies that exist beyond the borders of this state. One person, and group, blames the other and other blames the first thereby providing ample room to the culprits to go scot free. Plus, when one party calls an act a rights violation there are others, of the local origin, who outrightly reject it and vice versa is also the rule in this part of the world.
In respect of Palestine, more or less , the same is the story. The Palestinians are not able to erect a single party against the illegal occupiers. They all may be jointly in agreement in calling violations as violations but the cunning adversary is somehow making use of their divisions.
The same is true about the other parts of the Middle East where right violations take place. In those places it is hard to find out about who is fighting whom. If people there are fighting for Islam, one wonders how when all the parties and people of the disputes are Muslims. So, when human rights violations take place there it is committed by Muslims against Muslims. Here the people are not only contributory factors of human rights violations but they are the actual agents and agencies of the violations.
Muslims are the highest prosecuted and persecuted people of the world. They are punished on any false pretext. As people of their countries it was responsibility of governments of Muslim countries to protect them, but the divisions and sub-divisions in the Muslim world make it almost impossible to do that. These governments covertly become parties to the tirade against Muslims. If we say that the rights of the entire Muslim countries receive a secondary consideration against the rights of the other countries it won’t be an exaggeration, and these countries themselves are responsible for that.
Saudi Arabia is fighting in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is arch rival of Iran and Iran of Saudi Arabia. Why they are fighting it is hard to find out, what gains are there for them to keep each other engaged in the acts of rivalry is again difficult to say but they are adamant, they are not bothered about the level of violations, the level of cruelty that the poor people are subjected to. Poor people feel nothing but betrayed and their helplessness compels them to trample the rights of the like people of the other countries. Indirectly they are in violation their own rights.
Coming to the status of other rights, here again the story remains unchanged. In case of the rights of women majority of violations against women are committed by women, or on the behest of women. Behind every act of domestic violence against a woman there are more than one women involved including the one who bears those violation silently.
In respect of rights of scheduled people and educationally and socially backward areas the people are not well informed about their rights and violations of these rights. They end up violating their own rights willingly or unwillingly. The legal recourses available to them are of no value when they know not that those recourses are available. Now, when the balance of the rights is shifting more towards women, men in many countries are coming forward as they feel their rights are compromised against those of the women. Here again if any preferential treatment is meted to women at the cost of men, it is men who are mainly responsible for that. Though these instances are rare but there are cases where men feel that they are given secondary importance and their female colleagues, unduly, primary.
To prove this point let men cite an example and leave the decision with the reader to make about what is the state of affairs. There readers can take it as a hypothetical incident or if they treat it real there is no harm in that.
In an office a newly appointed class –IV employee joins and, like others, he sits on a chair. After few moments the officer enters the staff room and once the boy introduces himself, and observing that the boy was sitting on a chair, the officer kicks the chair, abuses and bars him from sitting on a chair in future.
In the same office, a girl is posted after few days. The girl has lesser academic qualifications than the boy already mentioned and the same post. The same officer allots to the girl a chair and a computer and that too in his personal office chambers next of him. Here, the girl is of no fault and the fault is of a man who disgraced another man for violating a rule which the former man (the officer) violates himself. The women ended up as the beneficiary of moral corruption that existed within the officer.
Therefore, the first step for safeguarding human rights violations is people should desist from becoming parties in the violations of their own rights. The universe will come to our assistance but only when we first take firm stand to safeguard our own rights. Otherwise, it is a lost battle.
—The author can be reached at: [email protected]