Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2016)
The idea of human rights in ancient Indian society
Author(s): Swati Singh Parmar
Abstract: The idea that every individual, by the virtue of being a human, is entitled to a set of basic rights that are inalienable is fairly new, although this idea has its roots in various ancient cultures of the world. It was only after the two World Wars that the idea of human rights was centre-staged in the international arena. Human Rights were only then explicitly mentioned in a formal document, that we know as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The historical evolution of the human rights is complex as the idea of Human rights already existed either in oral or written form. Many concepts of religious or philosophical origin, when analysed carefully, would seem to be based on the ideals on which the Human Rights are based. Its evolution is the result of philosophical, spiritual, cultural and legal developments throughout the world history. The value of human dignity and belief in justice is found in almost all the religious texts or practices of the world. The inviolability of these fundamentals is stressed in the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and others. The underpinnings of the modern day international human rights jurisprudence is actually influenced by the moral foundations that were laid by the practices of various religions across the world.