Sunday, August 29, 2010






The concept of human rights is a very challenging issue now a day. Human rights are simply defined as the rights which every human being is entitle to enjoy and protected. These rights are civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Generally Human Rights are defined as essential claim of individual’s recognized by the society and enforced by the state. These rights are essential conditions for full development of a person as a human being. To protect all these human rights there have been a number of domestic and international documents adopted since the beginning of 20th century especially after the end of Second World War. In India also lots of provision made for this noble purpose. Many institution both government and non governmental were formed to protect these rights. Many constitutional provisions are there to look after the human rights concern in India.

Though numbers of documents and provisions are there to stop violation of Human Rights in India but it really failed in limiting violation of human rights through out the nation. Human Rights in India are violating in several grounds. Police, arm force and state agents violates human rights by using force against innocent human being, capitalist violates the human rights by exploiting poor class, minorities are being exploited by majority section of people. Woman rights and children rights are violated, people are displaced which violates the human rights. Development activities also violate human rights in India.

Development and Human Rights violation in India:

Though Human Rights are violating in several sectors but it is important to give a brief look at the violation of Human Rights in India by development activities. As India is a developing nation it has been going through a period of transition. This development and transition had resulted in Human Rights violation.

Medha Patkar in an article published in EPW said, “The people’s movement in all corners of India have bought forth number of serious issues related to rights, resources and life of the people, particularly the deprived section of the population. All these issues, if pursued in all earnest, relate to an alternative approach towards the development projects, policies and the paradigm itself. The struggle by the tribals, peasants, backward classes, labourers and other section of population against the displacement and destitution against big Dams destructive and large-scale industry, sanctuaries and national parks, five star tourism and “other developmental projects” have added an important aspect to the exploration of the alternative. Though the struggle of the project affected persons hitherto emphasized the demand for a more humane and equitable resettlement of late, particularly after 1980 in Narmada, Subannarekha, Koel-Karo, and scores of such projects the struggle have evolved a set of promises regarding the resettlement and displacement which may pave way for alterative paradigm and policy of development.”1

Dr. A.C. Shukla and Dr. Vandana Asthana Environmental Studies Center, Kanpur and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign the world is fast running out of water. Anthropogenic activities are polluting and depleting this finite wellspring of life at a startling rate. Industrialization, intensive agriculture, toxic dumping, deforestation and construction of large dams have damaged the earth's surface water in an unreplenishable way. Quite simply, unless we change our ways and practices the world will be living with fresh water shortages in the coming future. Keeping in view the increasing demand for water the government of India brought out a new National Water Policy, which states water is a prime natural resource, a basic need and a precious national asset. Planning development and management of water resources need to be governed by national perspectives (National Water Policy, 2002). While there exists excellent literature on different alternatives to water management, the national perspective guiding water resource development in India, since independence, has focused on the supply based paradigm of large water resource development projects as the only alternative to meet water needs for such diverse purposes as irrigation, drinking water, sanitation, industrial water and other uses in a sustainable manner. The policy decision announced by the government of India on the interlinking river project for managing fresh water resources in the twenty-first century is based on the national perspective plan of a linear model of decision-making and its subsequent stages of implementation. This top down solution to India's growing water needs has stirred a controversy and debate in one of the largest democracies of the world. The paper addresses the challenges inherent in the Indian policy decision of interlinking of rivers on the contested terrain of large water resource development projects vis-a vis human rights.

The experience of development in last six decades has clearly indicated how it has led to violation of Human Rights. The violation of Human Rights by development can be sort out in the following grounds:

Industry and human rights violation:

Industry is a major source of development. Development is generally determined with industrialization. But this industrialization has led to major human rights violation in all over the world and especially in India. In India establishment of industry has polluted the nation, displaced the people and also led to violation of workers rights. In industries child are employed, workers are exploited, thousands of raw materials are over used. Industrialization led to the violation of human rights in India on the following grounds:

1. Environment: In India because of industrialization environmental pollution took place. It occurred by emission of poisonous gas, water from industries. In India industrialization also has been effecting environment by noise pollution, by its waste materials etc.

2. Displacement of population: Industrialization also led to displacement of people in India. Many industrial projects in India had displaced several local people. For example we can point out to Tata Nano project.

3. Global Warming: Another aspect of human rights violation in India by industrialization is Global Warming. Because of set up of several industries the humidity level increases in India. Industrialization has caused in global warming which violates human rights not only in India but all over the glob.

4. Child labour: Another human rights violation in India by industrialization is child rights violation. It is noticed that now a day industries are using many under aged workers as they are cheap and easily available. So it also seen that industrialization has also led to human rights violation.

In these ways industrialization in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Dams and human rights violation:

Another aspect of development is constructions of dams in several parts of the nation which also results in human rights violation. In Arunachal Pradesh because of Dam several people are going to be displaced. It will also lead to flood problem in Assam. The proposal of construction of large scale Dams in Siang, Subansiri, Pagaladia, Tipaimukh. In this way construction of Dams violates human rights. Construction of dams has led to human rights violation on the following grounds:

1. Displacement of population: Construction of large scale dams had displaced a huge numbers of populations in India. Because of lake of adequate policy of the government to resettle these displaced population human rights violation take place in India.

2. Environment: In India during the construction of dams’ environment effects adversely. Dams’ construction led to deforestation, effects in bio diversity. Even construction of dams’ also effects in environment of the other areas located nearby to the dams.

3. Dam’s blast and flood: Another form of human rights violation caused by dams is blast of dams which led to flood in lower areas nearby the dams. When dam blast water flows in an unprecedented ways and the flood occurred because of it harms the people.

In these ways constriction of dams in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Urbanization and human rights violation:

Another development related problem is urbanization and human rights violation. With development and rapid growth of industrialization urbanization took place. This urbanization also resulted in human rights violation in India. Because of urbanization many people were displaced. Because of it people in urban areas failed to meet minimum basic health facilities and failed to have save drinking water. Following are few areas where urbanization led to human rights violation:

1. Flood: The unplanned urbanization in India especially in big and small cities caused in artificial flood. For example we can indicate the case of Guwahati and Mumbai where a single rain can result in artificial flood.

2. Displacement: Urbanization and expansion of towns and cities’ had results in displacement of local population inhabited in nearby areas. Urbanization in India takes place in the coast of poor people who sacrifices there land in the name of development.

3. Environment: Another kind of human rights violation in India by urbanization is effect in environment. As urbanization takes place environment become imbalance. Air, soil and water get polluted because of urbanization.

In these ways urbanization in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Deforestation and human right violation:

Along with development because of expansion of industries and town deforestation took place. This deforestation also led to Human rights violation by effecting the environment. It also affects the livelihood of several tribal people for whom forest is a source of livelihood. Deforestation in India violates human rights on the following grounds:

1. Environment: First of all deforestation led to adverse effect in environment. It makes the environment imbalance. It results in increase the level of carbon dioxide. It also results in less rain fall. So deforestation caused by development attacks the environment.

2. Bio-diversity: Deforestation also effects in bio-diversity. After cutting down of forest the inhabited of the forest displaced and many a time it led to end of a particular kind of inhabitant. It affects in biodiversity and in short run or in long run it affects the human rights.

In these ways deforestation in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Rivers inter linking process and hr violation:

River interlinking project in India is high discussion. Many people believe that this project will violate human rights of several people. To these people river interlinking project will harm human rights on the following grounds:

1. Displacement: River interlinking project will displace a number of populations. It will displace those people who are situated in those areas where from the linking river drain will flow.

2. Bio-diversity: Again some environmentalists believe that this project will effect on bio-diversity of India. They argue that it will harm the natural balance of the Indian environment.

3. Resource exploitations: Rivers inter linking project will led to drainage of wealth from one place to another places. With river water it will carry the river resources and it will affect the local people from enjoying their own resources.

In these ways industrialization in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Technology and human rights violation:

In India technology is also a source of human rights violation. The followers of Gandhian philosophy are against technology and they oppose use of technology. Use of technology violates the human rights on the following grounds:

1. Effect on ozone layer: Because use of technology various gas emission led in attacking the ozone layer. For example the gas emits from refrigerator attacks it.

2. Nuclear reactor: The nuclear reactor also violates human rights. The radio activity of nuclear reactor hams the health of people.

3. Mass killing: Technology also results in huge mass killing. Because of technology Mumbai attack by terrorist was successful. Even the last Jaipur petrol pump fire which claims a number of lives is also result of development and technology which results in human rights violation.

In these ways technology in India has led to human rights violation in several grounds.

Other sources of development in human rights violation:

Apart from all these above there are some other sources of human rights violation in India. These are like:

1. Uneven economic development: The uneven economic development in India also violates human rights. Because of uneven development many people from undeveloped areas are far from medical facilities, educational facilities.

2. Development led to trafficking: Development also led to trafficking of women and children. Because of smooth communication and transportation it became easy to traffic the weaker section illegally.

3. Arms proliferation: Developments also make arms proliferation and drugs supply much easy. Development in India helps the terrorist organization to easily transport arms and ammunitions.

In India these are the way which violates the human rights. Here we have seen that because of developmental activity large scale human rights violation take place. Development had violates all three generation of human rights.


So it is seen that the development activities in India had led to violation of human rights on several grounds. In India the development activities like industrialization, constriction of dams are short sighted. These activities are not aiming sustainable d4evelopment. Unplanned urbanization and improper planning of linking the rivers results in human rights violation. Though development is resulting human rights violation but we can not say good bye to development. What we need is some sustainable development policies which will violate less human right.


1. Patkar, Medha; “The People’s Policy on Development, Displacement and Resettlement, Need to Link Displacement and Development.” Economic and Political Weekly, September 19, 1998. Page 2432 to 2433.


1. Banarjee, N. and Marjid S.; “Development, Displacement and Disparity: India in the last quarter of the twentieth century.” Orient Longman publication, New Delhi, 2003.

2. Hussain, M.; “Interrogating Development: State, Displacement and Popular Resistance in North-East India.” Sage Publication, New Delhi, 2008.

3. Rajkumar, C and Chockalingam, K.; “Human Rights, Justice and Constitutional Empowerment.” Oxford, New Delhi, 2007.

4. Singh, B. P.: “Human Rights in India: problem and perspective.” Deep and Deep Publication, New Delhi, 2005.

5. Yasin, A. and Upadhyay, A.; “Human Rights” Akansha Publication House, New Delhi, 2004.


Anonymous said...

This was an really awesome article... Helped me a lot... Thank you..!!!

Pankaj Bora said...