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MGPE-016: Human Rights: Indian Perspective

MGPE-016: Human Rights: Indian Perspective

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MGPE-016/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MGPE-016

Assignment Name: Human Rights: Indian Perspective

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) Discuss the different perspectives of Human rights.

Ans) There is considerable dispute among researchers over the nature, scope, typology, and dimension of human rights, despite the fact that there is almost no disagreement among them regarding the desirability of human entitlements and empowerments. Since all of these problems are normative in character, scholars have evaluated and discussed them from various subjective vantage points. The fundamental principles of human rights have, of course, been examined from a wide range of ideological and philosophical viewpoints.


Natural Rights Perspective

The natural rights paradigm of human rights takes a more metaphysical and abstract view of human rights. Greek in origin, the thesis gained popularity as a counterargument to the Divine Right of Kings in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. According to the argument, people have the right to exercise certain birth-right privileges. It indicates that people have these fundamental rights, independent of and logically prior to their status as citizens of civil society or subjects of the state. As a result, neither society nor the government can create them nor change them. They apply to everyone because they are universal. Only when and as long as the state preserves a person's natural rights can its power be justified as lawful.


Positivist Perspective

The positivist paradigm views human rights as a derivative of state laws, reflecting the Enlightenment of the seventeenth century. The core claim of this paradigm is that human rights are a product of and hence rely upon the positive law of the state. The core notion of Benthamite philosophy is that pleasure and suffering are the two main components of human existence, and that human situations can be improved by enhancing pleasure and reducing misery. Therefore, Bentham's utilitarianism adopts a majoritarian perspective on human rights.


Libertarian Perspective

The positivist-utilitarian paradigm is harshly criticised in libertarian interpretations of human rights by famous academics like Robert Nozick, R. Dworkin, John Rawls, and Friedrick Hayck. According to Nozick, a group of men and women come together in a natural state to form a minimal state. The minimum state is founded on a few moral principles, and its only responsibility is to uphold the moral rights of its citizens. According to John Rawls, justice is a means of allocating obligations, privileges, rewards, and liabilities among members of a community.


Marxist Perspective

The Marxist viewpoint approaches the subject of human rights from an alternative perspective: the roots of class and class conflict. According to this interpretation, rights are simply seen as notions created by Bourgeon and as such, as a by-product of his capitalist system, created to serve the interests of the Bourgeon's class. According to the Marxist perspective, a person is fundamentally a social being who uses his ability to meet his needs. Only in a situation devoid of class can the whole potential of human rights be realised. The Marxist worldview appears to offer a rational and scientific justification for how rights could be enjoyed in a perfect socio-economic system by adopting a materialistic interpretation of social evolution.


Q2) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone in the path of mankind. Discuss.

Ans) The General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a resolution on December 10, 1948, following nearly two years of discussion and the efforts of numerous people who contributed to the creation of that vision. Due to their involvement, small nations and non-Western perspectives were given a voice during the document's writing, and ferocious debates on the philosophical and cultural facets of human rights resulted. The Commission on Human Rights refrained from endorsing a specific philosophical or religious stance on the matter in light of the prevalent religious, philosophical, and ideological divides at the time.


The two guiding ideas that have served as the cornerstones of efforts to establish human rights norms since the Second World War are apparent. The tenets of equality and non-discrimination are those. The two Covenants as well as the first two articles of the Declaration contain the principles. All people are "born free and equal in dignity and rights," according to Article 1 of the Constitution, and the majority of the grounds for discrimination are covered by the concept of non-discrimination, which is stated in Article 2 of the Constitution. Everyone has the right to those rights, "without difference of any sort, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or rank," according to this statement.


One must keep in mind that the inclusive and expansive nature of the non-discrimination provision does not forbid special treatment being given to specific groups of people in order to achieve more equality and rights. State legislation allowing for different treatment of women in order to raise their status in society are permissible, even when discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited. The Declaration emphasises individual rights, equality, and the absence of prejudice.

The Declaration places a high emphasis on individual rights and liberal democratic institutions. It is frequently argued that it is merely a Declaration, that it is not a treaty with legal force, and that it imposes no responsibilities on the member states. Having said that, it is crucial to highlight that the Declaration is one of the most significant papers that the United Nations used to declare a vision.


As a set of objectives that governments hoped to pursue and achieve, it has had a significant influence on law, politics, morality, and norms. The term "universal" was used in the title rather than the more usual phrase international to emphasise that the Declaration belonged to and was morally obligated on everyone. The Declaration effectively placed the individual at the centre of the human rights discussion and turned them into both the object and the subject of international human rights law.


Second, it has led to the passage of numerous human rights laws around the globe. Saying that it is simply a Declaration would be an understatement of its enormous significance and the tremendous acceleration it has provided to the creation of human rights legal instruments on a national and international scale. Many of those documents cite the Universal Declaration as being their authoritative document.


Thirdly, numerous nations that attained independence from colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s adopted the UDHR's rights and principles into their national constitutions, statutory laws, policies, and programmes intended to safeguard fundamental freedoms. Fourthly, it has evolved into a sort of moral force that all those working to uphold human rights can use as a basis for justification and legitimacy.


Q3) What is the difference between Liberal Feminism and Radical Feminism?

Ans) Liberal and Marxist/socialist feminism was the first wave of feminism to emerge. Radical feminism was the second wave, and postmodernist feminism was the third. Both Marxist/socialist feminism and liberal feminism, which are offshoots of their parent philosophies, apply the underlying premises of their respective parent doctrines to the woman's query.


Liberal Feminism

It links unfair laws to the subjugation of women. It emphasises on how women are oppressed in the private realm, which is shielded from the public sphere's dominant ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. The emphasis on equal rights by liberal feminists is intended to let women enter the public arena on the same terms as men. The liberal feminists demanded rights to marriage, property, inheritance, and child custody in order to change the traditional family structure and give women a sense of dignity, independence, and worth. Early liberals are the first to adopt the idea of sexual equality and provide the groundwork for later liberals to argue for equal chances for women in terms of education, employment, and political engagement.

For the first time, women are viewed as being free, rational, and equal to men. They are also considered to have a mind of their own. It is become harder to uphold and defend historical imbalances and injustices since it is widely accepted that they should be treated equally with men. Early liberals recognised that mothers had a similar claim to and authority over their children. Liberals uphold Aristotle's distinction between the public and private spheres, but they provide the groundwork for women's emancipation, equal rights, and opportunities, and ultimately their public role.


Radical Feminism

It contrasts from both liberal and Marxist/Socialist feminism in an effort to change it to only take into account the viewpoints and interests of women. It scorns liberal attempts to amend current laws as cosmetic measures that cover up and occasionally exacerbate the inequality that exists within the framework of the family, a subject on which liberalism and liberal feminism are quiet. Similar to how conservatives and liberals neglect non-economic factors, such as sexual forms, while emphasising the economic causes of women's oppression.


Because it legitimises masculine dominance, it criticises conventional political thought. It states that women continue to face discrimination even in jurisdictions with gender-neutral laws. Even though there are no longer any laws that forbid women from participating in politics, there are still much fewer women than men in positions of influence and authority in the majority of western liberal democracies. This shows that more than just a legislative adjustment is needed to achieve full, as opposed to formal, political equality.


Feminists are concerned to protect a sense of equality that goes beyond the legal equality of gender-neutral legislation, in addition to the need for gender-neutral laws. They emphasise the idea of difference, which means that a claim for equality implies that people should be treated equally but, in reality, societal interests are multifarious. Therefore, the idea of difference allows some groups to be given a particular say in areas of public policy instead of contemplating public decision-making on the basis of one person, one vote.





Write a short note on each part of the question in about 250 words:


Q1) (a) Libertarian Perspective of Human Rights

Ans) The positivist-utilitarian paradigm is harshly criticised in libertarian interpretations of human rights by famous academics like Robert Nozick, R. Dworkin, John Rawls, and Friedrick Hayck. According to Nozick, a group of men and women come together in a natural state to form a minimal state. The minimum state is founded on a few moral principles, and its only responsibility is to uphold the moral rights of its citizens.


According to John Rawls, justice is a means of allocating obligations, privileges, rewards, and liabilities among members of a community. He bases his argument on the well-known social contract idea, according to which everyone is treated equally with regard to the division of power and freedom. But he acknowledges that everyone is misinformed about their own unique features or traits due to a "veil of ignorance."


According to Hayek's thesis, human freedom is a requirement for social order, virtue, and advancement. According to him, an activist state that has evolved as a result of "the grasp of false popular constitutional government" has reduced human freedom. A "limited state" based on societal spontaneity is Hayek's response to the protection of personal freedom spheres.


Q2) (b) Hindu Tradition of Human Rights

Ans) Everyone was treated equally throughout the Vedic age; there were no superior or inferior individuals. By using the examples of Valmiki and Vyasa, who belonged to the second and fourth Varnas, respectively, this can be better illustrated. These two were the creators of the two great epics, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, and are still held in the highest regard by all as the nation's greatest poets, writers, and philosophers.


In terms of women's status in ancient India, it must be said that they had equal standing. In the realm of education, women were not subject to discrimination; they took classes alongside male pupils. In ancient India, it was also usual to find female sages and teachers. Women regularly performed Vedic mantras during the sutra era. However, as time went on, their status changed to one of dependency on men. Girls' rites were carried out without the recital of Vedic mantras since women were not seen capable of studying the Vedas.


Women were prominent in religion and culture throughout the early Vedic era. Women participated in religious sacrifices alongside men, received the holy Hindu thread that is now solely given to men, and were educated on an equal basis in both religion and academia. A group of women known as brahmavacinis existed during this early Vedic period, according to the Haritasmriti, and they dedicated their lives to Hindu religious study while remaining single.


Q2) (a) Socio-Economic rights in the Indian Constitution

Ans) In Articles 38, 39, 39A, 41, and 42, these socioeconomic rights and welfare principles are outlined:


"The state shall seek to promote the welfare of the people by maintaining, as efficiently as it can, a social order in which justice, social-economic, and political considerations shall inform all institutions of the national life," states Article 38.


Additionally, it instructs the state to "eradicate disparities in income, status, and opportunity, both across and within groups of people."

According to Article 39, the government must, in particular, focus its policies on protecting both men and women citizens:

  1. Equal entitlement to a sufficient means of subsistence.

  2. Pay equity for equivalent employment.

  3. Fair resource management and distribution for the benefit of all.

  4. To ensure that the economic system is functioning in a way that prevents the concentration of wealth and productive resources to the detriment of the general welfare.

  5. Protecting the wellbeing and resilience of workers, including men and women, as well as the impressionable age of children against abuse.

  6. Facilities and opportunities for kids and teens to grow up healthfully without being abused.


According to Article 39A, the State must ensure that the functioning of the legal system promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity and must, in particular, offer free legal assistance to ensure that no citizen is denied access to justice because of their financial situation or another barrier.


In accordance with Article 41, the state must guarantee the rights to work, education, and public assistance for the unemployed, ill, elderly, and disabled; ensure just and humane working conditions and maternity leave; ensure a decent standard of living; improve public health; and provide early childhood care and education for children under the age of six.


According to Article 43, the State is required to guarantee all workers, whether they are in the agricultural, industrial, or other sectors, the right to work, the right to a living wage, and the right to working conditions that would allow them to fully take advantage of social and cultural opportunities. The state is required by a new Article 43A that was enacted in 1976 to ensure that employees are involved in the management of businesses and other ventures.


b) Women Rights Violation

Ans) Women are the target of discrimination on a global scale. Even advanced, industrialised, and egalitarian cultures like the UK and the USA, where universal education is a reality, exhibit gender inequality. Despite the fact that there are many houses with female heads, men are still often considered the heads of the household. In these civilizations, there is a high prevalence of rape and physical violence, and more than 50% of women face physical abuse at the hands of their husbands. The Equal Remuneration Act in the US is still pending, yet abortion is illegal in many nations.


Discrimination still exists in the industrialised world. In the UK, 87 percent of major establishment managers were men and 13% were women in 1966. In the USA, 4 percent were women, in the UK, and 7 percent in Sweden, among all barristers. In the US, 0.07 percent, 0.07 percent, and 3.7 percent, respectively, of all engineers are women.


According to the 1995 UNDP Human Development Report, women hold only 14% of top management positions globally. In the US, the gender pay gap has remained constant over the past 100 years at 3:5. Women make up 70% of the world's poorest and most uneducated individuals. The 1995 Human Development Report addressed gender. "Human progress, if not encouraged, is imperilled," was its core thesis. That is the report's straightforward but important message.


The economic value of women's reproductive and productive work is typically low. The annual value of women's invisible and unpaid labour is $11 trillion USD. Women outnumber men two to one among the 900 million illiterate persons in the developing countries. And among the 130 million children who do not have access to a primary education, 60% are girls. In certain emerging countries, population growth has outpaced the expansion of women's education, leading to an increase in the proportion of illiterate women.

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