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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 11, 2008

Human Rights

Sivanandam Panneerselvam
Pages 85-91

Human Rights in Indian Context
Traditional and Modern Approach

Human Rights are fundamental. Rights should be considered natural to all human beings. Man, is born with some rights. These rights exist irrespective of the fact whether they are recognized by the society or not. Some rights of man are eternal to man and they are prior to States. These rights are known as “natural rights”. Para 3 of the Preamble to Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that whereas it is essential, if man is not be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human right should be protected by the rule of law. All men and women, everyone in the world, are entitled to the rights and freedom contained in the Declaration without any discrimination. The human rights contained in the Universal Declaration may be divided into two categories: civil and political rights, which are usually insisted upon in the western liberal democracies; and economic, social and cultural rights, which are generally emphasized in the socialist democracies. The Constitution of India has issued two broad mandates to the Parliament, the Legislatures of the States and to all institutions of the Government. They are: (1) not to take away or abridge certain rights described as fundamental rights; and (2) to apply certain principles described as Directive Principles of State Policy. Both are interrelated. The social and economic obligations of the State are to protect the rights of the citizens prescribed in the ancient texts. To show the importance of human rights and to protect it, the President of India promulgated an Ordinance on September 28, 1993 with a view to provide for the setting up of a National Human Rights Commission for better protection of Human Rights and for matters connected therewith.

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