I am writing to thank you for the article in the Dec. 1-15, 2018 issue of MEL that was published to mark the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day, which carried the byline `Navnirman of Indian society based on modern conception of human rights is an immediate necessity.' The most important feature, if I may say so, is that Human Rights have been won by the peoples of the world through long decades, if not centuries of struggle and is not something that the bourgeoisie should congratulate itself on giving to the peoples of the world. But rather, right from the era starting at the end of World War II, the issue of Human Rights has been a sticking point for the bourgeoisie and the imperialists on which they are unable to satisfy the crying needs of the peoples of the world. The concessions that were made at that time have also been rolled back. The concessions that were made were the result of the extreme pressure brought on the bourgeoisie and the imperialists by the Soviet Union which had argued for a modern definition of Human Rights, and an enabling mechanism for the same. The latter was denied by the imperialists and what came to be, while being an important benchmark, remained and remains largely a paper promise to the peoples of the world.
The Human Rights Declaration also known as the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, at the end of the victorious struggle of the peoples of the world in overthrowing fascism and defeating Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers and Imperial Japan. It was also the era in which colonial countries ended their formal colonial status and nationalist struggles bore fruit.
These latter were aimed at the liberation of the peoples of the world from want and suffering, from poverty and hunger, and from exploitation. It was not just to end the colonial rule. As it happened, only the latter actually was realized and many of the tasks of those anti-fascist struggles and national struggles remain unfulfilled. At the heart of these is the fact that the provisions of the UDHR remain unfulfilled precisely because of the lack of enabling provisions. In the article many of the features have been discussed at length, and the machinations of the imperialist powers to repudiate the position of the Soviet Union have also been listed, an essential reading for those in the revolutionary camp.
Furthermore, after the end of the Cold War that set in after the end of World War II, in 1989 the victors of the Cold War, namely the USA, Britian, France and indeed Germany and other western European countries signed the Paris Charter which put in place the supremacy of the rights of property over that of the peoples of the world, of the rights of free-market over any social programme, and of the supremacy of multi-party (read bourgeois) democracy. This Paris Charter has also been embraced by the India State, which willy-nilly had always violated every single feature that was mentioned in the UDHR right from the period since 1948 until today, including the rights of the people of India, of the working masses, of the nations that constitute India. The Indian State has derogated all the duties of the State and has emerged as the prime defender of the rights of property, of the right of capitalists, domestic and foreign to plunder the land and the people and the fruits of their labour.
Today, the crisis resulting from this has reached unbearable proportions. It has destroyed the lives of the millions of the people of India. It is therefore important that there is an immediate discussion on the inalienable rights of the people by dint of their being human. communists are the ideal force to take this discussion forward and repudiate the bourgeois view of Human Rights as empty slogans. Communists must lead the struggle to actualize Human Rights, under the broad rubric of `Navnirman' viz., the reorganization of the economy and the polity that is human-centric. I congratulate you on carrying this article that has brought this matter into sharp relief.
- Narayan, Bangalore