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Infringement of fundamental rights: Is it or is it not?

Annexing the city of Babylon was just as capturing the land, but not the subjects. This was what Cyrus the great, the first king of ancient Persia, wanted. 539 B.C. saw a development which changed the entire perception about civilians and one's own value of life. He set up a benchmark to the recently captured subjects by declaring the value and importance of one's own life. As establishing these facts, he released all those people which were labelled as slaves and set up a form where all people had a right to put themselves above everything, a right to choose their own religion and a right to equalize themselves amongst different behavioral patterns. This event demarcated the earliest development of human rights knowingly or unknowingly, for the better or for worse.

It is then in the year of 1215, a piece of document which was named the Magna Carta was forced upon the King John of England by way of signing the document. It was quite evident as to why such piece of document was signed by compulsion and how that piece of paper hold such power; the very fact that the then King had lightly taken into account many things and therefore the citizens wanted to hold onto something powerful which would make him stop committing the faults by not following ancient laws. This Magna Carta was later on held to be a symbol of human rights.

In this event it is evident that the then subjects of King John couldn't hold the infringements of those ancient laws and more grievous to hear that they weren't followed by the King himself, they had no other choice but to make him sign a document which would protect the subjects at all costs, the very reason to why the Magna Carta still holds as a historical symbol for human rights.

The Magna Carta consisted of rights that serve human rights in today's time; a few being, right to not marry, right to equality, right of property by widows etc.
Many other specific historic events as well took place since then, The Petition of Right, 1628, The United States Declaration of Independence, 1776 much more came into significance.

It was at last the making of Universal Declaration of Human Rights came into picture in the year of 1948 which was a breakthrough of human rights by the United Nations, specifically under the President Franklin Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a document listed thirty rights to what was established as rights which every human being is entitled upon. This is 'the' document that the world has taken upon itself as an agreement, to stabilize; as a contract between different governments of the world and its citizens in today's time.

A right that every human being must without a doubt possess upon is what human rights are; rights that don't get in anyone's way, rights that shouldn't be demanded or begged upon but must be present as soon as he is presented out to the world. These rights were long beyond fought and demanded in order to be conceptualized and declared as human rights.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights were established and declared in December 10, 1948, which most people would only think that the Human Rights declaration was quite early compared to other reform formulation. But this wasn't the case since rights such as right to life, right to liberty and freedom, right to the pursuit of happiness, right to live one's life free of discrimination which are some examples of the human rights were something people had to be given as fundamentals.

Now what one must understand is that Human rights are those that are widely recognized in the world as a whole. It must also be understood that each and every country in this world has different form of governments and is unique in every aspect. So a question naturally arises. Does every country follow the human rights? Even if every country follows the human rights, does every country follow the same set of rights or is it different?

This is where fundamental rights come into picture.

Human rights and fundamental rights, do you think there is a difference between them? Or is it just the same? Well, the answer is both a yes and a no, confusing yet easy to understand. The further explanation would be known as we go ahead.

Human rights are as earlier mentioned are rights that every country must respect and put into use some way or the other. These are moreover clear cut rules and regulations rather than laws that every country must have in their by-laws by hook or crook, in whatever form they might be. This would also mean that human rights are ever so universal in nature; the very reason why Human Rights without a doubt gets recognized at international levels.

Whereas fundamental rights in terms of law are those rights that exist within territorial boundaries, not to be confused. These are again basic rights every human being must possess. Yet fundamental rights have a small basal difference with the human rights. Human rights are universal and are common to every country whereas fundamental rights although the idea might be the same, they differ from country to country basis. This would mean that what one country might deem to be fundamental would not be deemed as fundamental to another country. Again not to be mistaken, this isn't the only point of difference found between the two rights.

Our country, India was one of the very few countries who understood the need in the recognition of human rights and was one of the very few who took these rights seriously in the beginning. Truth be told, no country at present play or take lightly these rights as these now form the basis of any nations legal existence.

It is India's pride to mention that the very Constitution of India's preamble itself evidently holds the importance of human rights in writ form, the definitive being 'dignity of the individual'. By gathering all that is mentioned above it is quite obvious to evolve that fundamental rights eventually arose from the human rights itself. In our country's case, both human rights and the fundamental rights have an uncanny resemblance which suggests the fact that our country took the very dignity of a human life to its truest sense.

India holds six fundamental rights; them being, Right to equality, Right to freedom, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and Right to constitutional remedies. Therefore it is clear that our country chose to follow and implement the same human rights as our fundamental rights which form a country's reason for legal existence.

This is where the real question naturally comes into existence. Even though our country had an un-denying basis for respecting and following the human rights and fundamental rights, is it certain that the citizens get to make sure of these rights? Are one's fundamental or human rights actually safeguarded?

This is sadly a very unstill answer, the answer being a no. It is obvious and kind of the fact that India is already developing so much both by minds and by actions, but there isn't answers when the citizens do really need. India does what it needs to protect us yet there is a flaw through which citizens don't get to make use of their basic rights.

Let us take the most recent case into example, The Disha Ravi Toolkit Case. Article 19 (1)(a) clearly mentions about freedom of speech and expression. This falls under the ambit of fundamental rights in our country. Yet there are certain restrictions that can be imposed on such a right when in dire need. These restrictions can be imposed on situations such as; security of the state, healthy relationships with countries, public order, morality and decency, being a few. To assemble peaceably and without arms and to form unions or associations are also consequently other such fundamental rights.

The Disha Ravi toolkit is all the rage these days, people voiced their criticisms as to why this 23 year old got arrested. The basic thing that any common man for those who aren't familiar with the case is that Disha Ravi, a 23 year old environmental activist got arrested sue to the 'involvement'/ connection in the Tractor Rally Violence and also in the great deal of involvement in the making of a toolkit that tarnished the image of India.

Now we won't be discussing the case in detail. All we would be noticing or getting into point would be the instances what might seem trivial to most but which isn't. Was there or was there not an infringement of fundamental rights?

Let us go step by step, problem by problem, and situation by situation.

The first and the foremost thing that needs to be pointed out, was there a failure of rights from Disha Ravi's perspective, her being a citizen of India? The answer is a yes. Is it against any law when it comes to communication to the people from outside India?

We can find in this current case that she was lost the very right of expression, be it personally or publically. What must be understood is that stripping away of one's freedom of speech and expression is as same as stripping away the right of food or water of a person. No person must whatsoever, at least in this point of time in this world must be stripped of such rights.

But as per law, there can be restrictions on this very freedom, the restrictions being; security of the state, healthy relationships with countries, public order, morality and decency, being a few. To counter this, what must be noticed was that this young woman's voice never went with/ against the restrictions that were set up to strip off her right to freedom of speech and expression. It was quite evident to anyone that this girl was stripped off her fundamental right.

Now, think of another possibility. If it was actually established that Disha was involved in conversations with the perpetrators, is it a crime to communicate with people from outside India? This very event made Disha voicing just her opinion as a crime. This can be also taken into account from a case which was adjudged recently in the year of 2015.

Priya Parameswaran Pillai V Union Of India & Others got us the judgement which clearly stated that adopting or the voicing of a particular section of people in our country isn't being anti-national. This very statement formed states that Disha Ravi indeed had every right to vent out her feelings or opinions, no matter it being right or wrong to the major section of the society.

Taking recourse to the next fundamental right, freedom to make unions or association, let us think of the latter possibility. Does taking help from people from outside, to borrow a hand, to be proved by being involved in the very making of the toolkit, what was truly wrong in it? Is it against a law where a person cannot have the right to stir a protest of support for a good cause in our nation?

This very contradiction made the fundamental right of freedom to make unions or associations also got stripped away from her. This might come to our country only as an interference and not done out of concern. But like it or not, the things mentioned till the above, nothing was against any law in our country, making Disha innocent till now.

The next question comes in place. Was it wrong to edit (in any way) a toolkit, for which Disha Ravi was mainly arrested for? What must be clearly established is that no matter if she did or did not do, the funny situation is, a person has a complete right to edit (in any way) a document. Generally speaking, gathering up of international support, moral support or a physical protest is perfectly legal, all the more; it would also be legal to edit a document in correspondence as well.

The information mentioned in the toolkit was nowhere near to harmful in nature, even so if people ever got this toolkit in hand and took this as a basis for performing violence, it was CLEARY mentioned in the toolkit that the very reason for the birth of such a toolkit was just to gather support, nothing more or nothing less.

There is so much more to analyze in this very case but only a very few fundamental rights which might be deemed as trivial in this case was pointed out in order to show today's condition of the world when it comes to the treating and respect of fundamental rights in a country especially like India who had far long ago recognized its importance. Today's scenario is as such, tomorrow it might be different, for better or for worse. However the situation is, there will come a time where protests against the working of human rights would arise to a point that the government would be helpless. Therefore it is time to take a stance. To ignore or to guide.

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