NHRC-IGNCA National Conference concludes on a note to organize a series of such dialogues to spread the Indian ethos of humanity and human rights; assimilation, not the imposition of thoughts, is the crux of the Indian belief system, says NHRC Chairperson

New Delhi, 1st July, 2022

The two days National Conference on Human Rights in Indian Culture and Philosophy jointly organized by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, IGNCA concluded today, in New Delhi triggering a predominant feeling that a series of such dialogues is necessary to be organized to study, understand and discuss the rich Indian heritage of art, culture and philosophy nurturing humanity to highlight its contribution to the global civilization, and sustain those practices juxtaposing with the realities of changing times.

Chairing the valedictory session, the NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice Arun Mishra said that Indian civilizational ethos is blessed with the power of assimilation of different streams of ideas and faiths, as we want to improve and not impose our culture upon others, which may amount to violation of human rights. He said that the concept of respecting human rights can be sustained only by understanding that this is an integral part of sustainable development. For the sake of development, we cannot emit so much carbon endangering the entire world.

He said that today the world is facing destructive weapons, posing a serious threat to the environment and humanity. The use of destructive weapons benefits only their manufacturers and not the common people. India’s doctrine of nuclear policy is a manifestation of its past ideology that prohibits the use of weapons of mass destruction, which only harm humanity. It has reflected both in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata when the use of weapons of mass destruction was prohibited.

Earlier, the NHRC Member, Dr. D.M. Mulay asked that in times of terrorism, can’t we think of a roadmap to sustain humanity. The Indian view of human rights is not for human beings alone but for the entire world, planet and the universe. This may be used as a fulcrum for building a roadmap for human rights all over the world. He said that democracy is nothing, but the practice of human rights, and India is the best ground for practicing human rights given its long traditions of values reflected in art, culture and philosophy.

Dr. Mulay said that awareness is needed to be built about them for the sake of sustaining humanity as most of Indians don’t understand the rich Indian heritage of respecting human rights. There are disturbing trends everywhere which need to be dealt with democratically. The idea of India revolves around 1.3 billion stories, the collection which will set a narrative for human rights.

The IGNCA Member Secretary, Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, giving an overview of the various sessions of the two days National Conference, said that the Indian culture stands out as the identity of any Indian abroad. Our scriptures are the repository of human rights centric ideas. Those values are seen even today when Indian society, despite facing multiple challenges, sailed through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving the vote of thanks, NHRC Secretary General, Mr. D.K. Singh said that this National Seminar marks the beginning of a discourse wherein twenty star speakers ignited a thought process to understand, assimilate and take forward the rich traditions of Indian art, culture and philosophy for sustainable concept of human rights, and the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Prior to the valedictory session, the third thematic session was held on human rights in art and literature. This was chaired by NHRC, Member, Mr. Rajiv Jain and co-chaired by Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor, Ms. Najma Akhtar. Ms. Akhtar hailed the advent of New Education Policy and expressed the hope that human rights will be an inclusive part of it not as a subject but as a way of life.