Duties equally important as human rights: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addresses the Foundation Day of the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi on October 12, 2021. (PIB)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12, 2021, said that it is important to understand that human rights are not associated with rights only but a subject of our duties too.

Addressing the 28th National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Foundation day programme through video conference, PM Modi said, “Rights and duties are two tracks on which the journey of human development and human dignity takes place. Duties are equally important as rights and they should not be discussed separately as they complement each other.”

He cautioned against the selective interpretation of human rights and using human rights to diminish the image of the country.

“Of late, some people have started interpreting human rights from their own angle as per their selfish interests. Tendency to see infringement in one situation and not in a similar situation has damaged human rights to a great extent,” PM Modi said, adding that the biggest infringement of human rights takes place when they are seen from the prism of politics and political profit and loss.

“This selective behaviour too is equally damaging for democracy.”

The Prime Minister highlighted that India’s freedom movement and its history have been a great source of inspiration for human rights,

“As a nation, as a society, we resisted injustice-atrocities. We fought for our rights for centuries. At a time when the whole world was engulfed in the violence of World War I, India suggested the path of ‘rights and non-violence to the whole world. Not only India but the whole world sees our Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) as a symbol of human rights and human values,” said PM Modi.

The Prime Minister said that India has also tried to remove the injustice happening at different levels in different sections.

Talking about women’s rights, PM Modi said, “For decades Muslim women had been demanding a law against triple talaq. We have given new rights to Muslim women by enacting a law against triple talaq. Many sectors have been opened for women and it has been ensured that they can work with security round the clock. India has ensured 26 weeks of paid maternity leave for career women, a feat that even many developed nations could not achieve.”

 The Prime Minister also listed the measures by the government for trans-genders, children and nomadic and semi-nomadic communities.

Recalling the inspired performance of the para-athletes in the recent Paralympics, the Prime Minister said that in recent years laws have been enacted for the Divyang Jan.

“They have been connected to new facilities. Buildings are being made, divyang friendly and language for divyang is being standardized.”

PM Modi said that during the pandemic, poor, helpless and senior citizens were given direct financial support in their account. Migrant labourers were spared much hassle due to the implementation of the One Nation-One Ration Card.

‘Human rights closely related to dignity of poor’

The Prime Minister also equated the dignity of the poor with human rights.

The concept of human rights is closely related to the dignity of the poor, said Prime Minister Modi.

When the poorest of the poor does not get an equal share of the government schemes then the question of rights arises, he said.

 “When a poor person gets toilets ensuring freedom from open defecation, he gets dignity. A poor man who was hesitant to enter a bank gets a Jan Dhan account, it ensures dignity. Similarly, measures like Rupay card, Ujjwala gas connections, and property rights of pucca houses for women are major steps in that direction.” (Press Release)


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