Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2020)
Human rights education: A must for conveying ‘common language of humanity
Author(s): Naveed Ahmad Mir
Abstract: India, usually referred to as one of the glaring examples of ‘unity in diversity’ in the world. This ‘unity in diversity’ however is diminishing and paving the way for intolerance. The recent events unfolding, clearly depict the lack of ‘universal culture of human rights. Incidents such as ‘mob lynching’, attacking minorities because of their faith or caste, the attack on students upon showing dissent by the goons. The partisan media demeaning its role of being the fourth pillar of democracy. The role of main stream media in manufacturing the narratives has played a significant role in diminishing the human rights values. Mentioning few, the narratives such as declaring the human rights activists as ‘anti-nationals’, the student protesters as ‘tukde-tukde gang’, and labeling intellectuals as ‘urban Naxals’ etc. has become the routine of the prime-time debates across the national media channels. All these events have led to the categorization of people into ‘they’ and ‘us’ and this ‘othering’ is seriously threatening the age-old tradition of diverse India. This paper lays down the proposition that Human Rights Education (HRE) is answer to growing discordant among masses. HRE aims at strengthening and fostering the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. HRE is a requirement for developing the universal culture of human rights, it emphasizes that people everywhere must learn the ‘common language of humanity’ and realize in their daily lives. Human Rights Education is necessary for enlightening the people about their rights, as access to justice starts with knowledge of rights and of justice system at home and internationally. If people are not aware of their rights, then what are they going to defend? Who are they going to claim against? Right to live life with dignity includes right to know about one’s rights. The consciousness about the right(s) makes people more assertive while standing for their rights and for others rights. This helps in developing a common identity of all diverse people into one ‘humanity’ and will certainly lessen the divide among masses. Basic idea covered in this paper is to highlight the importance of human rights education in the time(s) of divide, as a necessary means to achieve the respect for human rights, and in turn justice and peace.