Special Correspondent

International Symposium on ‘Human Rights Thoughts in Modern Literature’ held

VELLORE: The Principal Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), R. Christodas Gandhi, has urged the women students to create awareness of human rights among public and carry on a crusade against human rights violations taking place in various places.

He was speaking at an international symposium on ‘Human Rights Thoughts in Modern Literature’ organised by the Department of Tamil of Auxilium College and the New Century Book House at Auxilium College here on Thursday.

Mr. Gandhi said that bonded labour, which is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights, was being practised in many work spots. Human rights violations were also taking place in many institutions, while discrimination against women was witnessed in many places. Women students should find out instances of such human rights violations and protest against them, he said.

Vice-Chancellor of Thiruvalluvar University, Vellore, A. Jothi Murugan, who presided, said that the importance of protecting human rights have been emphasised by litterateurs even during the Sangam age.

The famous phrase, ‘Yadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir,’ (every town is my native town, and all people are my relatives) written by Tamil poet, Kaniyan Poongunranar, clearly depicted the poet’s penchant for ensuring human rights. Poet Subramanya Bharati’s revolutionary statement, ‘Thani Oruvanukku Unavilayel, Jagathinai Azhithiduvom’ is a classic example of human rights thoughts, which pervaded Tamil literature, he said.

Mr. Murugan said that the Union government had implemented 14 articles in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It is this day which is observed as the World Human Rights Day. The Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) received not less than 12,000 complaints about human rights violations every year. On the orders of the SHRC, the Tamil Nadu government had disbursed compensation to persons affected by human rights violations and the money recovered from officials found guilty of violations, he said.

Professor of Tamil, Auxilium College, A. Jayaseeli, said that literature formed the roots of the development of the human civilisation and that the search for human rights thoughts in literature would lead to the understanding of human rights. By exposing atrocities committed on children, women, Dalits, tribals, the differently-abled and trans-sexuals, it would be possible to sensitise students to the problems faced by such people, she said.

Jacintha, Secretary, Auxilium College, and Eugene Fatima Mary, Principal of Auxilium College, participated. J. Sugirtha, Head of the Department of Tamil of Auxilium College and programme coordinator, welcomed the gathering.