Delhi: Prominent women from various fields demonstrated solidarity for the victims of human rights violations worldwide at a national seminar held to mark Human Rights Day. In the context of Human Rights Day, they also expressed concern about the contradictions and difficulties pertaining to the implementation of human rights laws and principles.
Delhi University professor Jenny Rowena underlined that the delegitimization of human rights is a continuous process and that many people are beyond the human limit. She explained how her husband, Professor Hanie Babu, was tricked into going to jail by fabricating evidence, saying that the true issue is structural. Through this process, about thirty thousand Adivasis are forced into jail and charged under UAPA.
Journalist and author Bhasha Singh stated that human rights and the equality paradox are directly related to democracy. Everyone is guaranteed equality under the Indian Constitution, but how it is put into practice varies. Referring to attacks on minorities and weaker sections, she said that in today’s India one’s human rights are determined by politics. Furthermore, she stated that the media has now evolved into an industry to create perception.
In her inaugural speech, Rahamathunnissa, the national secretary of Jamaat- e-Islami Hind, stated that in order to address the issues surrounding the paradox of equality and guarantee human rights for all people, educated advocacy is crucial. She urged those who still believe in justice and humanity to take up arms, citing examples such as the ongoing atrocities committed against women and children in Palestine, atrocities against specific targeted groups, attempts at ethnic cleansing and genocide in various nations, including India, and the hypocritical stance taken by international organizations, politicians, and the media in addition to human rights and social activists.
Echoing her words, eminent sociologist Prof. Nandini Sunder said whatever is happening in Palestine is a sheer violation of the Geneva Convention. Boycotting Israeli goods is imperative, and we must never lose sight of the fact that Palestine has existed and always will. Social activist Dr. Sabiha Khanam pointed out the 30 articles of the UDHR, their history, and how each has been broken in Palestine. She voiced her worries about the state-sponsored violence in India and the way that the nation’s spaces are getting smaller while protesters aren’t even allowed to be allowed. She argued that we shouldn’t give up on making changes if we want to see a better, safer, and more free world.
Journalist Heena Fatima from the Print shared her fieldwork experience and voiced concern about the systematic marginalization of minorities in India. She questioned what human rights we could expect in a country where getting a “rotti” for a girl like her is considered a luxury and speaking up for justice is fraught with danger, using the case of a 13-year-old girl who was raped in Allahabad as an example. According to her, women are capable of a great deal in this area.
In her final remarks, Jamaat e Islami Hind National Secretary Shaista Rafat stated that accountability is a vital instrument in the fight against human rights abuses worldwide. We have seen that when all other voices raising concerns are combined, something positive happens. She suggested that we never lose hope that the world cannot be changed by even a small, dedicated, and concerned group of people. The seminar was organized by the Women’s Wing of Jamaat e Islami Hind under the caption: Human Rights and the Equality Paradox.