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Tuesday Conference

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Theology e-magazine
To make humanity united in worshipping God

Priest: Human Rights Activist Our Heavenly Patron

The slaves fought for their rights against their masters, the
serfs against the feudal lords, the workers against the capitalists,
the females against the males and so on.
We have seen in these weeks both the central and state govts
being oppressive and squashing human rights in the disguise of
rule of law, whether it is of banning the food, the drinks, or
suppressing the peoples movements. We have only a simply
question to ask w h at is th e r ole of pr iesth ood w h en poor
vulnerable people are brutally oppressed? Tuesday Conference has
vociferous, full throated and vigorous support for human rights.
The following write up is just a call to join the secular front in
promoting this cause, and not a systematic development of a
thesis.

The killer killed the victims once, and there is nothing
we can do about it. But if they are forgotten, they will
be killed a second time; and this we can and must
prevent. On Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The doing of justice is not the application of religious
faith but its substance. Without it, God remains
Page - 02
unknown.

Poverty is Introduction
created by There is a famous and celebrated maximum that liberty
lives within restraints. As such no right is absolutely immune
decisions,
from restrictions, it is equally true that the excess of restrictions
policies and is
cripples, even destroys, the scope of rights which cumulatively
a matter of
constitute the liberty of the individual. Thus a pertinent question
injustice.
arises as to what restrictions should hedge a right or set of rights.
Poverty is not
accidental,
not the result
of nature’s
whims.

There is no place for human rights in a totalitarian
system, whether of the right (fascism) or of the left
communism for the obvious reason that such a system
is based on brute force.
God is not
Communalism or fundamentalism of any hue, pertains to the
neutral –
domain of fascism regardless of its mild extreme form. Fascism,
Bp. it is rightly said represents and extreme philosophy of the
Desmond Tutu supreme leader of unequal rights on two counts; racial purity
and infallibility. Some people’s races are stand to be superior to

others and for this reason they
have a claim for more rights
compared to those of a lesser
strata.

A perfectly plausible definition of the term human rights would be
that they are the rights that everyone has equal by virtue of their
humanity. They are grounded in our appeal to human nature.
Spirituality is the spirit with which we confront the real. It
Page - 03 is the spirit with which we confront the concrete history in
which live, with all its complexity.

Definition of Human Rights
The case of human rights have three essential features. 1) there is the right to
be free from governmental violation of the integrity of a person. Such violations
include the torture, cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and
arbitrary arrest or imprisonment. And they include denial of free public trial, and
invasion of the home.
2) there is a also the right to enjoy civil and political
liberties.

3) there is the
right to
education.

Theories on Human Rights
A number of theories have been propounded about human rights by different
personalities. They are: 1) The theory of natural rights
2) The legal theory of rights 3) The historical theory of rights
4) The social welfare theory of rights 5) The idealist theory of rights
6) The economic theory of rights.

Manu says; “The king shall The basic attraction
provide the orphan, the of Marxism for
aged the infirm, the afflicted
millions of people
and the helpless with
was not its scientific
maintenance, he shall also
provide subsistence top the theory but its passion
helpless expectant mothers for social justice-
and also to the children they
Jawaharlal Nehru
give birth to.”
Page - 04 The Classification of Human Rights

May be classified into civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Civil Rights enable an individual to lead a nor m al social life. They
are freedom of expression, of association, of assembly, right to rule of law and
equality before law.

Political Rights Social Rights
Include the right to vote, the The individual has rights not only
right to free and fair elections, the right as an isolated being, but as a member of
to participate in the functioning of the a society and state. These rights lay
State, the right to a Corruption free emphasis on social equality. They are
government and the right of recall and against social discrimination and
referendum. Political rights are of oppression. Social oppression arises,
paramount importance, as they generally, from harmful traditions such
provide a basis for working of a as accountability, caste hierarchy, etc.
democratic government.

Economic Rights
The right to life
and worthy manner of
living requires certain
economic rights. They
are right to employment,
right to fair wages, right
to human conditions of
work and the right to
equal pay for equal
work.

Cultural Rights
The main cultural rights are the right to education and
freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience includes;
 the freedom to believe,
 the freedom not to believe
 to practice propagate one’s belief or disbelief.
Woman Rights Page - 05

It is estimated that 80 million  Even in India in certain states like Bihar,
women worldwide have undergone Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Utter Pradesh,
the female gentile mutilation. Maharashtra and Gujarat such tests have
It is been popular. Some of the problems are;
practiced in
 female infanticide,  bonded labor,
one term or
another in  child marriage,  poverty,
40 countries,  compulsory marriage,  wage disparities,
mostly East,
 dowry deaths,  illiteracy,
West Africa,
some parts of Arabian Peninsula,  sex harassment,  ill-treatment,
North America and in some
 police atrocities,  torture
European countries too.
 subordination at home and outside.

Female Infanticide Bride burning for insufficient dow r y
It is nothing but killing of a is a field in which India can claim to be
female child, soon after its birth, undisputed champion. Dowry is a deep
especially with mother’s consent. This rooted social evil and legislation alone
custom of killing newborn babies is cannot eradicate it safeguard women from
prevalent all over India. Parents this evil. For many, street is their home.
afraid of the future of the female baby One out of 6 girls will not live to see their
they decide to nip it in bud. 12th birthday.

Raping and group raping occur ever yw h er e in India and abr oad as w ell.
This proves that women are the weaker section in society. Police personnel are also
involved in raping and the guilty officials get transferred with the help of the
powerful political leaders.

At least 2 girl children are raped in India,
every day is equally shocking.
Establishment of special courts to deal with
the rapists merits consideration at this
stage.
Violation of Child Rights Page - 06

Children were not regarded as separate entities with distinct interests and
attitudes and were taken for granted. Children were not recognized on their own
rights and were looked upon as properties that could be handled in any
way. There are 4 basic rights such as ;
 right to survival,
 right to protection,
 right to development,
 right to participation.
They were taken as merely the
members of the family, not of the
society as a whole.

Although children are regarded as God’s Apostles who come to this world
bringing message of God. Actually, only during this century “Children
have been discovered.”

Human Rights Violations on Refugees
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other
countries asylum from persecution. Other State obligations are ;
Travel Documents - th e state m ust issue r efugees law fully staying in
their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory.
Return- State sh all not expel or r etur n a r efugee in any m anner
whatsoever tot eh frontiers of territories where his belief or freedom would be
threated on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership or a particular
social group or political opinion.
Expulsion- State shall
not expel a refugee
lawfully in their
territory except on
grounds of national
security or public order.
Page - 07 From Charity to Advocacy

It is not simply an occasion for charity but a degrading force that
denigrates human dignity and ought to be opposed and rejected.
Charity is a necessary Christian virtue, but it is not an economic solution
to any problem. It is easy to preach charity... but the ultimate solution
must be to help people to participate in the life of society... to make their
contribution. This faith we preach, a faith of love. But since there can be
no love without justice, action for justice is the acid test of our preaching
of the Gospel.
-Jesuit General Congregation, 1975.
“If a citizen does not demand his rights he is no longer a citizen but a
slave.”- Card. Wyszynski

 What other purpose theology could render or what type of theological thinking
and responses are formed when human rights are violated?

 Do we have enough personnel
trained in human rights… if
not when our congregations/
dioceses/ provinces and
major superior begin to think
of its bare necessity?

 Whether our domestic meetings really become an act of community discernment
where the signs of the times are reflected and understood. Or do they end up
merely evaluating the material benefits of our community?

Conclusion...
On matters of human rights violations, the following also require our
immediate involvement such as prisoner's rights, trans genders, bonded labourers,
migrants etc. It is gravely wrong to take from individual what they can accomplish
by their own initiative…it is an injustice at the same time a grave evil and
disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser
and subordinate organization can do, Pope Pius XI.
History today calls us to defend our dignity and not to let others decide our
future; you must decide your future.

Editor: Tony Maliyekal VC Published from Vincentian Vidyabhavan, Aluva.