Staff Correspondent

‘India taught a lesson to the world on human rights 5,000 years ago'

‘Basaveshwara advocated equality, casteless society'

‘His followers are working against these principles'

TUMKUR: State Human Rights Commission Chairman S.R. Nayak said on Tuesday that Karnataka would have been free from all kinds of human rights violation if the followers of the 12th Century social reformer Basaveshwara had implemented his teachings.

Inaugurating a seminar on human rights here, Mr. Nayak said: “Our State would have been heaven and become a model State. But Basaveshwara's followers not only threw out Basaveshwara's teachings to the wind but also took an opposite path.”

He said that 5,000 years ago India taught a lesson to the world on human rights. “We find proof in the Vedas. Lord Buddha, 2,600 years ago, tried to propagate the principle (of human rights). Later Basaveshwara advocated equality, casteless society, status for women, and betterment of the downtrodden.”

“Basaveshwara selected an outstanding Dalit scholar Allam Prabhu to preside over an ‘Anubhava Manatap' on philosophy. Today, those who claim to be his followers are working against all these principles,” Mr. Nayak said.

He said there has been commotion over passing the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament. Women constitute only 18 per cent of the elected members in the legislatures in the world, although they accounted for 50 per cent of the population.

“Women must have 50 per cent reservation and share equal powers in politics,” he added.

He alleged that only 3 per cent of human rights violation could be traced to police stations and the balance were committed in the departments of Revenue, Education, Health, Mines and Geology, and Forest.

“If the Government had provided required staff and facilities to the SHRC, I would have conducted extensive raids and curbed all kinds of violations,” he claimed.

Citing the example of Manjula Devi, an IAS official, he said: “Senior (Government) employees have learnt to defend their actions stoutly whenever they ‘committed violations' (of human rights).

He said: “Every incidence of corruption results in violation of human rights. I have enough proof to prove that.”

Mr. Nayak told senior government employees participating in the seminar that they ended up bribing leaders for transfers and promotions and that led to large-scale corruption in public offices.

“It is a chain reaction. The nuisance must be stopped,” he added.

He said that the police should refrain from trying to adjudicate property disputes, land issues, and matrimonial matters.

“You cannot beat anyone, detain even criminals unnecessarily in the guise of investigation. I will salute you if you make police stations safe for the public to walk in and submit their complaints,” he said.

SHRC members R.H. Reddy and B. Parthasarathy; Regional Commissioner, Bangalore, G.M. Dhananjaya; Deputy Commissioner C. Somasekhara; and Superintendent of Police Harsha P.S. spoke.