Sunday, December 9, 2018

1217. Human Rights OR Human Duties???

Today is World Human Rights Day.....Congrats!!!

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status be. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. These Rights sometimes are enforced by the court of law taking jurisprudence into consideration. In few occasions Rights may be entirely based on morality in which the court of law cannot enforce. For example, the obedience on the part of teenaged children towards parents and the respect on the part of adults towards elderly parents. 

Everywhere in the world we see fight for Rights. Much of the discord is a result of one’s belief that if one is being denied of his Rights and he has to fight to regain it.  It has become a general trend for everyone to demand for their Rights even if it is hampering the Duty they need to perform. The Duty takes a beating here as he wastes his energy in regaining his Rights and has no time to perform his Duty.

It is a debatable question whether Rights and Duty are necessarily co-relative. As I understand every Right has a corresponding Duty. Therefore if they are not co-relative they are interlinked, as every Right claimed involves two or more persons bound together by Duty. There can be no Duty unless there is someone to whom it is due. Likewise, there can be no Right unless there is someone from whom it can be expected from.

Duty also sounds to be similar to Rights as both are used in jurisprudence as well as in morality. Duty is that which is performed
and Rights are those which are claimed. Duty also sometimes attributed to a good action which is prescribed for us to do. But there are actions which are obligatory and many are tempted to avoid. However the claim of Rights is never spurned as they are considered mandatory.

If Rights are justifiable as claimable in a community then Duty has to be an obligation to fulfil that claim. Duty may thus be defined as the obligation of an individual to satisfy a claim made upon him by other in the society living with him for a common good. The child has a Right for education and it is the Duty of the father to ensure it is provided. Rights are claims for which Duty is never a requirement. A son is obviously the claimant of the father’s ancestral property even if he fails to perform his Duty as a son.

It is not only in the Father/Son arrangement but even in society we have seen that there are many organisations fighting for the Rights but I have never noticed any organisation which is highlighting the Duty that has to be performed. 

An organisation is formed to agitate to claim reservation for certain community but have they ever stroked the Duty conscience of that community. A legislator who is elected to represent us also wants to know about his Rights as a politician rather than knowing his Duty. An accused in the police station is more knowledgeable about his Rights and it becomes more relevant than the duty of the police officer at the station. We have Human Rights Commission have we ever thought of having a Human Duty Commission???

"Karmaneva Adhikarasthe" (Your Rights is in performing your Duty) says Sri Krishna to Arjuna In Bhagavad-Gita. This words from the Lord prompted Mahatma Gandhi to decline to say about Human Rights when Julian Huxley, English evolutionary theorist and the then director-general of UNESCO wrote to Mahatma asking him to contribute his reflections on human rights when it was intended to be commissioned. Mahatma had said, “I learnt from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world.”

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