Human Rights in India



Human rights in India is an issue complicated by the country's large size and population, widespread poverty, lack of proper education, as well as its diverse culture, despite its status as the world's largest sovereign, secular, democratic republic. The Constitution of India provides for Fundamental rights, which include freedom of religion. Clauses also provide for freedom of speech, as well as the separation of executive and judiciary and freedom of movement within the country and abroad. The country also has an independent judiciary as well as bodies to look into issues of human rights.


Human rights are essential for the overall development of individuals. The Constitution of India makes provisions for basic rights also known as Fundamental Rights for its citizens as well as for aliens. A distinction is made between Specific Fundamental Rights and Unspecified Fundamental Rights. The rights enshrined in the Constitution also at times are at par with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right (ICCPR) which is an international treaty. The ICCPR is applicable to States rather than to an individual.


We hear about activists or common people fighting for their human rights. But what are these rights? And who gave us these rights? Why do people have to fight for their rights? Let’s find out more about Rights and Fundamental Rights.


Introduction To Human Rights and Fundamental Rights


The Rights and Fundamental Rights are sections of the Constitution of India that provides people with their rights. These Fundamental Rights are considered as basic human rights of all citizens, irrespective of their gender, caste, religion or creed. etc. These sections are the vital elements of the constitution, which was developed between 1947 and 1949 by the Constitution of India.


There are six fundamental rights in India. They are Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights, and  Right to Constitutional Remedies.


Under The Indian Constitution


1. Right to Equality


Right to Equality ensures equal rights for all the citizens. The Right to Equality prohibits inequality on the basis of caste, religion, place of birth, race, or gender. It also ensures equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and prevents the State from discriminating against anyone in matters of employment on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, place of residence or any of them.


2. Right to Freedom


Right to freedom provides us with various rights. These rights are freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly without arms, freedom of movement throughout the territory of our country, freedom of association, freedom to practice any profession, freedom to reside in any part of the country. However, these rights have their own restrictions.


3. Right against Exploitation


Right against Exploitation condemns human trafficking, child labor, forced labor making it an offence punishable by law, and also prohibit any act of compelling a person to work without wages where he was legally entitled not to work or to receive remuneration for it. Unless it is for the public purpose, like community services or NGO work. 


4. Right to Freedom of Religion


Right to Freedom of Religion guarantees religious freedom and ensures secular states in India. The Constitutions says that the States should treat all religions equally and impartially and that no state has an official religion. It also guarantees all people the freedom of conscience and the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion of their choice. 


5. Cultural and Educational Rights


Cultural and Educational Rights protects the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic minorities by enabling them to conserve their heritage and protecting them against discrimination. Educational rights ensure education for everyone irrespective of their caste, gender, religion, etc. 


6. Right to Constitutional Remedies


Right to Constitutional Remedies ensures citizens to go to the supreme court of India to ask for enforcement or protection against violation of their fundamental rights. The Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to enforce the Fundamental Rights even against private bodies, and in case of any violation, award compensation as well to the affected individual.


The Supreme Court recently added Right To Privacy in the fundamental rights.


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