New Delhi, Oct 1: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday stressed that Indian democracy allows space for everyone to express their opinions and while dissent was 'welcome', disintegration would not be tolerated.
Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the National Human Rights Conclave being organised as a part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) here, he said India has been unequivocal in its commitment to the preservation and protection of human rights globally as well as within the country.
Highlighting the challenges that lay in the path towards securing human rights, he argued that human rights did not confer unfettered liberty on anyone to speak against the state or nation, adding that 'human rights are best upheld if they are in harmony with the interest of the nation and fellow citizens.'
An official release said, he lamented that the misuse of provisions of the human rights had emerged as a recent phenomenon. Human rights are for everyone, in equal measure and therefore the rights of one person could not transgress the rights of another, he observed. In this context, he condemned acts of terrorism and noted that India had lost several of its luminary leaders including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and a number of MLAs and MPs to mindless acts of terror.
Human rights, he said, were the most natural rights, inherent to all human beings without discrimination, adding that the state had the primary responsibility to uphold, respect, protect and fulfill these inalienable rights.
Naidu lauded India’s robust human rights protection framework comprising a fiercely independent and fair judiciary, media, civil society and a number of proactive and independent human right bodies, such as NHRC. India is also a signatory to several of the core UN Human Rights and International Labour Organisation’s conventions, he added.
The Vice President insisted that special focus should be placed on protecting the rights of the vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and children. Speaking of India’s strong track record of affirmative action, especially women’s reservation in local self-governing bodies, he said the contribution of women, who are ‘Shaktiswarupinis’, was indispensable to nation building. The principle of gender equality was enshrined in the Constitution, he said and placed the onus on parents and teachers to inculcate the principles of gender equality in children. He declared that no civilised society would tolerate or accept any form of violence or discrimination against women and children.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Ramdas Athawale, Krishan Pal Gurjar and Vijay Sampla were among those present. (UNI)