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‘Human rights must reach the masses’

Staff Reporter
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Lawyers told to ensure that people are aware of human rights

CRUCIAL MATTERS:Supreme Court judge V. Gopala Gowda (foreground) and senior advocate K. Subbarao at a seminar in Bangalore on Thursday.—Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
CRUCIAL MATTERS:Supreme Court judge V. Gopala Gowda (foreground) and senior advocate K. Subbarao at a seminar in Bangalore on Thursday.—Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Take the help of young lawyers to reach across to masses and help ensure they are aware of the rights granted by the Constitution. This was the message given by V. Gopal Gowda, judge, Supreme Court, at the All-India Lawyers’ Union (AILU) meeting here in the city on Thursday.

Speaking at the session on human rights and the Indian Constitution here, Mr. Gowda pointed out that with a large percentage of the population being unlettered in the country, it was difficult to ensure that all the citizens were even educated about their rights.

“Without people being aware of the Constitution, how can they elect the right person to govern them?” he asked, adding that lawyers must ensure that the human rights awareness is taken well beyond the urban areas and out to rural areas.

Echoing Mr. Gowda’s statements, H.N. Nagamohan Das, judge, Karnataka High Court, also stressed on the implementation of these rights. “It is not just about civil and political rights but also the status of economic, social and cultural rights. When there is no equality in these arenas, it is difficult to understand the value of the human rights.”

He said that human rights must be used as a tool to bring about change in the society. “We have remained silent when it concerns rights of the victims in the cases filed and is a matter which should be debated and focused upon.”

He also said there is a huge gap between intent and practice. “How committed is the government in ensuring that the citizens are granted their rights? This question must be on the minds of the citizens, especially with the upcoming elections in the State,” he said.

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