IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 3rd December, 2015NATIONAL
Constitution day and the question of basic human rights
- General Studies 1: Modern Indian history- personalities
- General Studies 2: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Parliament functioning, conduct of business, powers issues arising out of these.
- Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.
- In October 2015, while laying the foundation stone of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Memorial in Mumbai, the Prime Minister announced that this year onwards, November 26 would be observed as Constitution Day.
- The Constitution Day events will be a part of the year-long nationwide celebrations to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar.
- Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law
- Protection of civil rights act
- Prevention of atrocities act
- Untouchability abolition act
- Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act
- However the above laws are not implemented with any firmness.
- Atrocities against “untouchables” continue, and these notably include arson, rape and gangrape, mass and individual murder, stripping and parading as well as thousands of unspeakable daily horrors.
- This is not to say that no change has occurred in the past six decades — it has, but at a very slow pace.
- It now needs to be accelerated, indeed to a point and scale of war against untouchability in all its forms; only then will a celebration of Constitution Day be more apt.
- Census 2001 figures revealed 1.26 crore working children in the age group of 5-14, as compared to the total child population of 25.2 crore, approximately 12 lakh children work in hazardous occupations/ processes.
- Progress seems to have been made, if we take on board the National Sample Survey Organisation’s 2004-05 data, which estimates the number of working children at 90.75 lakh, and Census 2011, which places the number of working children in the age group of 5-14 years at 43.53 lakh, however it is not satisfactory.
- Significantly, though the above aspects were almost missing in the debate, no Constitution Day celebrations can be complete without a detailed recall of the communities of rights-less peoples.
- These call for greater attention, alongside the varied groups of new rights-less people now created by the forces of globalisation, of which the constantly re-victimised people of the Bhopal catastrophe are, till today, the first grim
- The traditionally impoverished groups also include communities of misfortune, such as people living with disabilities, people of different sexual orientation and conduct, people declared guilty and under trials etc.
- The overall picture on the first constitutional day celebrations were distressing, as even after six decades of independence, ratio and extent of vulnerable population still continue to be higher.
- Parliament and the Executive by taking adequate measures should try to visualise the basic human rights guaranteed to citizens in the constitution.
- Critically examine the contributions of Ambedkar to pre and post independent India.
- What are the basic human rights guaranteed in the Indian constitution? Explain the measures taken by the government to promote them.
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