NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that human rights should not merely be a slogan but also a part of our ethos and the basis of public policy. He asserted that along with raising awareness about human rights, there is a need to remind the citizens about their duties and responsibilities as one who understands his responsibilities can only respect the rights of others.
Modi was addressing the human rights activists and NGOs from various parts of the country apart from foreign dignitaries, various police agencies and ministries/departments during the Silver Jubilee foundation day celebrations of NHRC at Vigyan Bhawan.
Asserting that protection of human rights, equality and balance have always been an important part of our culture and tradition, Modi said that “after independence, elements such as an independent and impartial judiciary; an active media; an active civil society, and organizations such as NHRC are in place to protect the human rights of deprived and oppressed.”
“There are many organisations in India which are working to uplift the poor, protection of rights women, children and disabled and who help in taking the development programmes to the citizens. Even during the emergency, when even people’s right to live were snatched lakhs were jailed by the government, these organisations worked to restore the rights of people. I salute these organisations,” said Modi.
He said that since NDA government came to the power in 2014, a lot of serious efforts have been made to improve the quality of life of the poor. “Government’s focus has been to ensure that all Indians have access to the basic needs of human beings. Schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, and Saubhagya Yojana, the building of toilets, and others have brought a transformation in the lives of the people,” Modi said.
Speaking the event, home minister Rajnath Singh questioned the intentions of activists who come in support of anti-national elements. “There is uproar whenever there is action against terrorists or criminals. The activists are more concerned about their rights rather than the rights of people who are killed by terrorists/criminals,” Singh said.
He also stood by government’s decision to repatriate seven Rohingyas recently to Myanmar. “Tell me, which country thinks about the human rights of illegal migrants/intruders? India is the only country which has never ill-treated the illegal immigrants. I am happy that Supreme Court recently supported government’s decision on deporting 7 Rohingyas,” he added.
Recalled government’s move to provide 26 weeks leave to pregnant women, PM Modi said,“ even progressive countries have not done something like this”.
He said that the construction of more than 9 crore toilets, has ensured sanitation, and a life of dignity, for crores of poor people.
The PM also mentioned that recently launched health assurance initiative – PMJAY – under Ayushman Bharat is also a step towards providing rights to health to people.
Talking about the law which provides relief to Muslim women from triple talaq, Modi said it is also part of this series of steps taken to ensure basic rights for people. “I hope parliament will pass it soon,” he added.
There is a need for not only raising awareness about human rights but also reminding the citizens about their duties and responsibilities. A person who understands his responsibility can only respect the rights of others.
He asked NHRC to scrutinize different type of complaints it receives, create a database and then study them to find out a solution.
The Prime Minister said that the role of NHRC is also crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.