Is Human Rights Activities a Crime? – Sandhya S.N.


‘Human Rights’ is one of the terms which we hear frequently in our daily life: its violations, protests and so on. It is widely accepted that all individuals are entitled to certain basic rights under any circumstances. These include certain civil liberties and political rights, the most fundamental of which is the right to life and physical safety. Human rights are the articulation of the need for justice, tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity in all of our activity. Speaking of rights allows us to express the idea that all individuals are part of the scope of morality and justice. But is it safe in the present period to talk about human rights? It is to be discussed widely. The question arises from the hardships which Dr. Binayak Sen and K.K Shahina face for the very simple reason that they advocated for the human rights. What is human right? Is it those rights and privileges that the benefited upper class and the power sections practice?

The present situation of K.K. Shahina, the Thehelka Reporter and Dr. Binayak Sen of Chhattisgarh create wide discussions on the subject. Binayak Sen, a doctor extending health care to poor people in the rural-tribal areas of the Chhattisgarh state is sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition for strongly criticizing the government on human rights violations during the anti-Naxalite operations, while advocating non-violent political engagement. K.K. Shahina was in search of the missing links in the case of Karnataka Police on Abdul Nasar Madani, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader. She was framed by the Karnataka police under Section 506 (2) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly trying to influence witnesses in the Bangluru bomb case in which Abdul Naser Mahdani is an accused. Later she was also charged under section 22 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a draconian law designed to silence voices of dissent and bury political freedom. The lower courts in Karnataka have denied her anticipatory bail.

It is shocking to know about the growing human rights violations in the name of tackling terrorism. The problems faced by K.K. Shahina and Binayak Sen are a grave threat to freedom of expression. The incidents also warn us about the fascist design of intervention in advocating of power. It resembles the terrorism advocated by America in the nations world wide in the name of tackling terrorism.

To protect human rights is to ensure that people receive some degree of decent, humane treatment. To violate the most basic human rights, on the other hand, is to deny individuals their fundamental moral entitlements. Instead of supporting the human right activities, the power signs in both the States are against these activities. What does it mean, is human right activities a crime? Or are the human rights unreserved for the marginalised sections of the society? Let us join together in the protests against the human rights violations. Let us not limit it on any of the discriminations of race, caste, power, language or so. The situations demand to think over the relevance of the famous anonymous quote;

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.


  1. the present power-centric politics jeopardizes the very basic right to one’s safety and security not to think of the freedom to work for the upliftment of the deprived!


    Jharkhand is an Indian state,
    Backward, and we have
    Two popular men from there…

    Binayak Sen, a doctor, who worked
    Among the tribes and down-trodden
    Is behind the bar for life!

    Madhu Koda, former Chief Minister
    Who ate away $1 billion public funds
    Is roaming freely!

    Luxuries are reserved only for
    The rich and corrupt politicians
    In bitter democracy!

    premji premji


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