We are quite left behind in terms of the meaning of Human Rights in our lives. That said, we are also better off than many other countries in this respect, but still far behind many developing countries, which have put their laws and Human Rights in place and are very strict about it. If we really want to grow as a nation it’s very important that the rights of each and every citizen are protected. It needs to have a complete definition so that each and every person feels safe and empowered.
The rape law needs to be stricter. A crime like rape has become so horrific — it is only growing bigger in our country. Each and every rape of a child, of a woman, is getting more disturbing. It also shows that some of the criminal elements, even if they are young, have no fear of the law, of the police administration. And that fear can only be instilled if we really make an example by not only making strict laws against rape but also really executing them so that the message goes very straight to each and everyone’s mind and heart that this is not done.
I personally feel that developing countries have the right to expression in place. No matter which side of the government is at the Centre, the government can’t do anything about it! It is part of the Constitution but I feel that it should also be part of our governing style and manner that the right to expression cannot be touched or taken for granted by anybody in power. Right to opinion and expression is also a sign of a healthy democracy. Coming to gender inequality, it something that can only be addressed by the family. Each and every member of the family needs to be educated about it. It is not just ensuring that the gender that has been oppressed over the years, gets all the rights. It requires a mindset change that can only be corrected at the family stage.
Faith is very personal and the right to faith has always been a tradition of our county; that’s why it is such a beautiful country! All kinds of faiths and their followers have been existing and they have been doing so without any problem. Right to faith is like the other Human Rights; it’s my wish which religion I choose to follow. In fact, I am of the opinion that even parents should not impose their faith on children. Let the child choose their own faith. There shouldn’t be any coercion or compulsion around it.
Padma Shri and National Award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee is known for his unconventional roles in films
(Co-ordinated by Nichola Pais)