It is time the UN concluded with the definition of terrorism to act against it, says Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India on the occasion of Human Rights Day function of NHRC, India (10.12.2017)
New Delhi, 10th December, 2017
Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India today said that giving value to human rights is part of the DNA of India, which has no history of aggression against any country in the world. He was addressing as the Chief Guest on the Human Rights Day Function of the National Human Rights Commission, India in New Delhi. He said that irrespective of different castes and creeds, India remains one; there may have been some violent incidents for which the governments should take action.
Mr Naidu said that violence is the worst form of human rights violation. Unfortunately, some people make violence and terror as part of the State policy. Terror has no religion. It poses serious threat to humanity. It is time that the United Nations concluded with the process of defining terror and acted against it by taking stringent action.
He also said that personal rights cannot come in the way of national integrity. Peace is important for development. If there is terror, there is tension and due to this, there cannot be attention for development. Power comes from ballot not from bullet. Those who seek to change system, have no right to kill people. They should join public life and change system.
Lauding the role of the NHRC, India, he said that it has made significant contribution towards spreading awareness about the importance of promotion and protection of Human rights. He said that Chairperson of the NHRC, India is a former Chief Justice of India, which shows how much importance, the country attaches to human rights and the institution mandated to Promote and Protect Human Rights. He said that the millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without ensuring protection of human rights. Poverty remains a challenge and it is not specific to India. The whole world needs to work to eradicate it.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC, India said that since 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR continues to be, perhaps, the most important and far-reaching of all United Nations declarations, and a source of inspiration for national and international efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. He said that in India, despite multiple challenges, the Constitution and democratic polity has ensured inclusivity and a respect for human rights. The NHRC, India has consistently endeavoured to expand the sphere of its work and activities, keeping in with the broad definition of human rights contained in the Protection of Human Rights Act and its expansive mandate, which has also been recognized by the Supreme Court of the country.
Justice Dattu said that the Commission has been observing Human Rights Day each year, with a view to renew and reiterate its unwavering commitment to the cause of human rights. He said that the NHRC, India has been recently recommended for retaining its 'A' status of accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), Geneva for the 3rd consecutive time, which is an acknowledgement of its work.
Giving a brief insight into the various features of the functioning of the NHRC, including the handling of a large number of complaints of human rights violations, Justice Dattu said that the Commission, enthused with the response to its Short Film Award Scheme, started in 2015, is planning to hold a National Street Theatre Festival in 2018 as part of its Foundation Day Silver Jubilee Celebrations to further increase its engagements with civil society.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in his message on Human Rights Day, read by Shri Rajiv Chandran, the representative of United Nations Information Centre in Delhi, said that " I urge people and leaders everywhere to stand up for all human rights - civil, political, economic, social and cultural - and for the values that underpin our hopes for a fairer, safer and better world for all."
Earlier, Mr. Ambuj Sharma, Secretary General, NHRC, dwelling upon the significance of Human Rights Day said that the Commission is committed to the cause of human rights. He also threw light on various activities and interventions of the Commission.
Marking the Human Rights Day celebrations, the Vice President of India also released three NHRC publications, including two Journals in Hindi and English respectively, carrying articles on important aspects of human rights issues by eminent persons as well as a book titled ' Standard Operating Procedures( SOP) for Combating Trafficking of Persons in India'.
Apart from this, he also give away awards to the winners of NHRC's Short Films on Human Rights Award Scheme 2017. These included, 'Knights of Terror' in Punjabi by Ms. Eeshrat Brar, first prize of rupees one lakh, 'Varvanta' in Marathi by Ms. Sayli Mathadhikari, second prize of rupees 75 thousand and 'Savitri Ka Syapaa' in Hindi by Mr. Mahesh Kumar Mishra, third prize of rupees 50 thousand. They were also given a certificate and a trophy each. The films relate to the issues of police atrocities, riots and terrorism impacting human rights as well as women's rights.
Earlier, the Vice President opened NHRC's photo and children's paintings exhibition showcasing the photographic depiction of the Commission's activities during the last year.
Several prominent dignitaries, including, among others, Judges of Supreme Court, High Courts, former Judges of Supreme Court, High Courts, UN representatives, diplomats, senior Government functionaries, civil society representatives, members of Para Military Forces, NHRC officers and staff attended the function.