By Manju Gupta
Human Rights in a Changing World, P Sukumaran Nair (ed.), Kalpaz Publications, Pp 379 (HB), Rs 890
Human rights and freedom were given international recognition in the 19th century. Experience in the Second World War resulted in widespread demand for international protection of human rights which was one of the essential conditions of international peace and progress. “We cannot have peace unless we accept human rights. Human rights can evolve only in an atmosphere of peace,” said Dag Hammarskjold, former United Nations Secretary General.
Human rights are those conditions of life with which mankind’s increasing demand for a life in which the inherent dignity of each individual receives respect and protection. The right to life is central to and is the foremost of all human rights. In India, human rights are protected not only by the Constitution but also by laws
This book has grown out of the deliberations of a national seminar on human right sponsored by the University Grants Commission and where papers covered a wide spectrum from conceptualisation of human rights, to protection of human rights. It presents a synoptic view of the concept of human rights which ultimately determine man’s relationship with the State and the society. The papers are classified under different sections with Section 1 devoted to conceptualisation of human rights; Section two carries papers related to the challenges facing human rights and human rights movement. Section three includes papers dealing with environment and human rights while papers discussing protection of human rights are placed in section four.
The first section discusses the challenge that the 21st century posed in providing effective and legislative implementation of human rights through local and regional globalisation. Dovetailing Gandhian perspective with Marxian approach to human rights, one of the papers describes Gandhiji’s faith in dignity and approach of every human being, making him a crusader of human rights throughout his life. Another paper discusses the nature and impact of globalisation/neo-liberalism on human rights. Still another paper shows that in the midst of dislocation, dispossession, malnutrition, increasing poverty, disparity, homelessness, shrinking urban spaces and ambiguous state policies, the argument for creating new human rights paradigm became increasingly difficult.
The book lays special emphasis on advising the government to desist from imposing restrictions on the legitimate functioning of NGOs in the protection of human rights.
This book will interest NGOs and organisations involved in overseeing proper implementation of human rights.
(Kalpaz Publications, C-30 Satyawati Nagar, Delhi – 110 052, [email protected])