CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex” - Karl Marx

ARTICLE


The Immunisation of Human Rights


Seldom does a day pass without some report of human rights violations released somewhere in the world. The concept of human rights has been elevated to the status of a global or NATO religion, on the other hand the human rights concept remains controversial. There is an absence of discourse on human rights in our sociopolitical life. How and why do human rights need prominence?  

The recently published Country Reports (with reference to India) on Human Rights Practices for 2018 (Report of 2018) by the U.S. Department of State describe glaring human rights violations committed by the state in India. The Report of 2018 questions the global consensus on human rights in the contemporary human rights movement and also highlights the fragility of the consensus among world nation-states. In the Indian context the report categorically mentions the lack of accountability and widespread impunity for human rights violations committed by state and non-state actors.  

But whether in India or the US, the state's constant indulgence in violence has led to legitimate suspicions about the human rights discourse. Today the human rights discourse in India is being centrally commanded monolithic entity with an immutable set of characteristics and poses a grave threat to the survival of human rights itself.  

Arbitrary deprivation of life  

The Report of 2018 cites Ministry of Home Affairs data in which the Investigation Division of the National Human Rights Commission reported 59 nationwide encounter deaths in 2017-18.  

From the Asian Center for Human Rights' Torture Update India report, the Report states that more than five custodial deaths per day have occurred on average between April 2017 and February 2018.  

It also cites the NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative which noted in its 2016 report that, of 186 complaints of human rights violations reported against the armed forces in states under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act between 2012 and 2016, 49.5 percent were from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  

The Report of 2018 estimates that civilian deaths by security forces ranged from 130 to 145, and between 16 and 20 killings by armed groups documenting alleged violations committed by security forces from June 2016 to April 2018, as published the Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir by The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  

This examination indicates the assault done on human rights and democracy in the garb of legitimacy of powers. The fundamental right to life is not extended to all the people of this country. The rise of arbitrariness and the unmistakable bias in not upholding the right to life force us to question the appropriateness of human rights agencies to undertake the task of delivering justice.  

Torture and the compromise of law  

As an absolute and universal norm, the ban on torture cannot be derogated under any circumstances, not even in a state of war or public emergency. States should not only desist from exerting any form torture, but are required to take preventive measures from it occurrence and investigate any allegations of torture. And yet, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment continues to be practiced in most democratic countries including India.  

The Report of 2018 mentions some of the ghastly atrocities: "On July 13 a 45-year-old Dalit man, B.Murthy, was found hanging in a police station in Mandya, Karnataka. On August 2 the activist Talib Hussain was allegedly tortured in the custody of Samba police in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and suffered a fractured skull, according to the NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative."  

The Report cites the meagre compensation of Rs 3,00,000 paid by the state government on the direction of the Odisha Human Rights Commission to the family of Abhay Singh, an antiques dealer, who died in police custody in June 2017.  

The Report highlights the inadequacies and the idiosyncrasies which have contributed to the prevailing culture of torture. The unwillingness to report crimes, police officials' refusal to register sexual assault cases, compounded by a perception of a lack of oversight and accountability by more democratic institutions, have given rise to the torture team of the state.  

Today the world's largest democracy needs to answer these questions that fall from its actions. How can the prohibition of torture be enforced in practice? What are some effective mechanisms, procedures and processes to prevent torture and ill-treatment? And how can continued public and political support for the prohibition of torture be secured in an age of rising populism, public insecurity and ebbing enthusiasm for human rights?  

Prisoners of prison: From capacity to conditions  

According to the National Crimes Records Bureau's Prison Statistics India 2015 report, there were 1,401 prisons in the country with an authorized capacity of 3,66,781 persons. The actual incarcerated population was 4,19,623. Persons awaiting trial accounted for more than two-thirds of the prison population. The law requires detention of juveniles in rehabilitative facilities, although at times authorities had detained them in adult prisons, especially in rural areas.  

The Report of 2018 states that there were 4,391 female jail staff for a population of 17,834 female prisoners as of 2015 as stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs. The Report takes note of the fact that National Human Rights Commission, India desperate efforts for seeking statistical reports on the number of children who live with their mothers in jails.  

The Report of 2018 throws light on the underbelly of our prisons which are severely overcrowded, with inadequate food, medical care, sanitation, and environmental conditions. Potable water is not universally available. Prisons and detention centers remained underfunded, understaffed, and lacked sufficient infrastructure.  

An analysis of the Report of 2018 produced by the US government is important because first, it shows a willingness to engage with the present state of human rights realities, and secondly it attempts to reorder priorities and confusion of human rights and human aspirations.  

What we need today is a greater reliance on empirical data on human rights violations, to confront and counter the Indian state's factual inaccuracies and misrepresentation. More such reporting will fulfil the needs of the overambitious human rights project. Only then will human rights violations be seen as political, social and legal actions, and face a similar response.  

Jitamanyu Sahoo is a research associate at the Centre for Comparative Law in the National Law University, Delhi.    

ARTICLE

  • The Taj That is India
  • The BJP and Triple Talaq
  • Rohingya: A People Condemned!
  • GLOBALISATION IS THE NEW COLONISATION
  • 9 Key Qs Raised on First Day of Aadhaar Hearing in the Supreme Court
  • A Critical Analysis of Delhi's Human Development Index
  • 3 Army Divisions For 300 Terrorists In JK But No End to Violence: Certainly the Answer Does Not Lie in Force
  • TWO CENTURIES OF BHIMA KOREGAON
  • 'It is Not the Left But the Congress That's the B-Team of the BJP'
  • Kasganj: A Story of People's Unity Fractured by Engineered Hate and Violence
  • Invisible Children Of Delhi
  • India 81 in Corruption Index, Amongst the "Worst Offenders"
  • Economists Hit Out Against Move to Privatise Public Sectors Banks
  • Tripura Trades Decency For False Eldorado
  • Syria's Bloody War
  • Pakistan And China Fill Space In Maldives Willfully Vacated By India
  • The Big Private Crop Insurance Scam: Farmers Par Premium of Rs 482, Receive Rs 5 as Insurance!
  • US Attack on Syria Violates International Law, Total Hypocrisy
  • Death Penalty Is Not The Answer To Sexual Violence: Implement Justice Verma Committee Report
  • Walls on Every Side: Trying to Get Data in India
  • The Ascent of Multi-Politics In Malaysia
  • Why the Objections to Marxism are Mistaken
  • The Rise and Fall of the Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim
  • BDS Has Placed Israel on Notice
  • CURTAIN RAISER: ELECTIONS IN PAKISTAN
  • Can We Promote Peace in India, Today?
  • Burying The Two-State Solution
  • Corruption And Class Rule
  • Is Ethnic Cleansing Coming to India
  • Our Real Heroes
  • Confronting Journalism's Misogynistic Trolls
  • ASSESSING THE RETURN OF AN UNLIMITED PRESIDENCY
  • After 17 Years of War, A Peace Movement Grows in Afghanistan
  • Taking Play Seriously: Time to Make Sports A Fundamental Right!
  • Law Commission Publishes Consultation Paper on Sedition
  • Foreign Policy: Between Folly and Foibles
  • Suu Kyi's Continued Denial And Bangladesh's
  • Economy Crumbles as Fuel Prices Skyrocket, Household Budgets Hit
  • Rupee's New Low: A Dangerous Drift
  • Are We Still Ruled by The British?
  • From Anti-National to Urban Naxal: The Trajectory of Dissent in India
  • Learning the Power of Lies: Facts vs. Falsehoods in the Age of Trump
  • The Indian Economy is in a Tailspin
  • China Walks a Tightrope on The Uighur Muslim Issue
  • Is Ram Mandir a Mere Election Strategy of the BJP?
  • The Harsher Counters of India's Drug Legislations
  • BJP's Election Strategy: Data is the New Opium
  • Geographical Indication - India's Untapped Resource
  • Climate Change to Make Prediction of Furious Storms More Difficult
  • Mountain echoes for India
  • Maldives: Has the Wheel Turned Full Circle?
  • President Sirisena Needs to be Reached Sooner Rather Than Later
  • Plastic Pollution in India
  • Prejudice by Any Name
  • 29 Years After Fall of Berlin Wall, Europe Has 1,000 Km of Walls to Stop Migrants
  • The Leftover Women of Afghanistan
  • Harmony of Music and Politics of Silencing
  • The Economics of Policy: Prohibition and Free Water Supply
  • Threat to Democracy in the Age of Social or Anti-Social Media
  • Intellectual Property- A Vital Discipline
  • What Happened in Britain, and What's Next
  • Assembly Debacle: BJP Got Taken in by Its Own Fake News
  • India: Secular Democracy or Hindu Rashtra
  • Adani is Byword for Government's Climate Inaction as Australia Gears for Elections
  • How The Modi Government is Killing Off MGNREGS
  • The Year of the Gazan
  • Assembly Polls: Ten Crucial Takeaways Ahead of 2019
  • The Real Effects of Fake Propaganda on Migrants
  • Why NGOs in Pakistan Are at The Brink of Extinction
  • Dogged by Brexit
  • In My Own Voice: Citizenship Amendment Bill And You
  • Oil Giant Shell Finally Faces Its Day In Court For Complicity In Rapes And Murders in Nigeria
  • The Geopolitics of Pulwama
  • Shah Faesal Cuts Through Calls for Blood and Lays Out a Roadmap for Kashmir
  • Modi's ABC: Avoiding, Burying, Confusing
  • The Kashmir Question: A 'Made in India' Problem
  • Opposition Must Take a Stand Against the War Politics of Hindutva
  • 'Patriotism' Made Easy in Times of 'WhatsApp Elections'
  • Urban Poor Have Set Agenda for 2019 Elections
  • Will the US End Up Putting Sanctions on Every Country That Doesn't Bend to its Will?
  • Minority and Indigenous Women Human Rights Activists More Prone to Harassment UN Report
  • Tribute to Speaker Rabi Ray (1926-2017)
  • International Participation is Necessary Where State is Part of The Problem
  • Italy Takes Belt and Road to The Heart of Europe
  • The Legacy of Shaheed-e-Azam
  • In My Own Voice: Heroes or Hiroshima
  • The Modi Years
  • Election in Israel: A Race to the Bottom
  • Why Bangladesh Overtook Pakistan
  • Digital Monopoly Platforms, Modi Regime and Threat to Our Democracy
  • Elitism and Development
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Organised Religion
  • A Brief History of the IUML and Kerla's Muslims
  • The Immunisation of Human Rights
  • How Can India Win The Struggle on Poverty?
  • The RSS's Chanakya Neeti
  • Diversity, Belonging and Multiculturalism
  • The Chinese Ambition
  • The Role City Govts Can Play in the Health of Citizens
  • Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew: Forgotten Warrior of Our Freedom Movement
  • Fighting Climate Change, Building Resilience
  • Mridula Sarabhai(the orignal anti-national)
  • Right to Education: A Dream Half Forgotten
  • Decoding One Nation One Poll
  • Tunisia Heads for Polls Amidst Economic Slowdown, Squsbbling and Crack Down on Islamic Extremist
  • Lynchings, Litchis and No Water: What the International Media is Saying Abount India
  • Blood in the Nile
  • Will the BNP Ever Again be a Major Political Force in Bangladesh?
  • 'Real Estate Brokers' Cannot Dampen The Palestinian Spirit
  • The Indian Liberal's Conundrum
  • Hope For Democracy in Sudan
  • In Depth: Water Crisis Looming Across Tamil Nadu
  • Missing Secularism in New Education Policy
  • Religion, Nationalism And Insurgency in Balochistan
  • Dim Lights, Closed Blinds: History Lessons From a Party in Power
  • Loan Waivers Need Better Designing to Prevent Farmer Suicides
  • Makimg Best Use of Sri Lanka's Strategic Location
  • FDI in Coal: Look Who's Coming to the Party
  • Weapons and the Never Ending Space Race
  • Thirty Years the Berlin Wall Brought Down
  • Reclaiming the Opposition and Political Space in India
  • An Interreligious Conference to Build Bridges in Sri Lanka
  • On 'Correcting' History and Akbar's Invasion of Kashmir
  • The Evolution of the 'Nobel Prize' in Economics
  • Close Coordination Between Turkey and Russia in Syria
  • Sri Lanka's Election Time Promises Costly to Keep
  • The India Economy and The Cobra Effect
  • Fascism: Is Liberal Use "Trivialising" This "Destructive Phenomenon?"
  • Treating the Poor as Development Guinea Pigs
  • A Not sp 'National Education Policy: Analysis Reveals Exclusion in Education Sector
  • University Fee Hikes Pave the Way for Selling Public Assets
  • The Truth About Middle Class 'Revolutions?
  • 50 Years of US Arms Trade: The Lasting Impact on West Asia
  • India Abjures Secularism in Bangladesh's View, Will Regional Cooperation Take a Hit?
  • Amidist Resistance to "De-Tribalisation", A Look at Why Jharkhand Polls are More Critical Than They Appear
  • The Dangerous Game of Citizenship: BJP Creates Divisive Agenda Through NRC
  • Revealed: US Losing Aghan War Due to "Fatally Flawed" War Strategies and Lack of Clear Objetives
  • 'Politics and Prejudice': Can Dalit-Bahujans and left Progressives Join Hands?
  • State Power's Attempts at Rewriting History
  • Afghanista's Tumultous Fourty-Year Journey
  • Nepal: Citizen's Needs Remain Sidelined as Turbulent Game of Politics Continues
  • "Enough is Enough": Secular India Revolts Against a " Majoritarian State"
  • Looking at Cuba's Revolution 61 Years On
  • Soleimani Murder Set to Spiral Out of Control, US Expected to Pressure India Under LEMOA
  • The Rise of Digital Media and The Viral Phenomenon of "Nowledge"
  • Thus Spake JP: Beware the Writing on the Wall
  • Sri Lankan Government Must Pay Attention to Problem-Solving in the North
  • Drowning Nation Clutches at Military Might?
  • India's Neighbourhood First Policy Crumbles
  • A Gobal Assault by the Far-Right
  • Delhi Riots: Historical Patterns, Complicity of Forces Point to Planned Violence
  • Behind The Protests Defending Public Education
  • Putting The Judiciary on Trial
  • "Sanctions Are a Crime": During Coronavirus Pandemic, Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela Causing Medical Shortages
  • Social Messiahs or Smart Entrepreneurs?
  • Justice Gogoi Joining Rajya Sabha Points to a Constitutional Crisis
  • A Russian "Plays Long Game" Firewall for Venezuela Against US Sanctions
  • RSS and the Question of Morality
  • Establishing COVID-19 Hospitals in Record Time
  • A New "Medical Internationalism" Needed: Cuba At the Pandemic Frontlines Even As Wealthy States Neglect Healthcare
  • Why They Suffer: The Human/Animal Conflict
  • More Books and Snowy Mornings
  • Statesmanship Required to Avert Constitutinal Crisis in Sri Lanka
  • Combating 'Hate Virus': Communal Forces Divide in times of Global Pandemin
  • How Biometric Authentication Has Excluded MAny From The Public Distribution System
  • Lessons From Iraq: Before Trump Sues China, US Must pay for Unjust War on Iraq
  • The American War System And The Global 'War of Error'
  • Demilitarising Patriotism in The Covid Fight
  • Muslims Need a Fair Media
  • Sri-Lanka: Shock of Covid-19 Wanes, Nationalist Sentiments Rise as Elections Approach
  • Covid-19 in Brazil: A 21st Century 'Reenactment' of the 19th Century Yellow Fever?
  • Iran's Fuel Tankers for Venezuela Sail to Safety Under 'Chinese Shield'
  • US Protests Bear Lessons For Sri Lanka
  • India and Nepal in For A Prolonged Standoff?
  • The Fifth Schedule: Tribal Advisory Councils and International Perspectives
  • The Asian American Response to Pandemic-Era Racism Must Be Cross-Racial Solidarity
  • Is Police Brutality Exclusive to the USA?
  • Libya's Future Seema to Rest on Arrangements Between Russia And Turkey
  • China's strategic Mind And Method: "Long-Term Planning" Behind Country's Geo-Political Moves
  • Returning Migrants: A Boon For Rural Industrialisation?
  • Why Refugees in Greece Are Afraid of the Word 'Camp'''
  •