Human rights: A regulator of international politics
�Human rights' is perhaps the most talked about issue in present world. We find every nation vocal at the top of their voice in terms of human rights. When any incident of human rights violations takes place anywhere in the world, we come to know through mass-media how the rest of the countries react, voice their concerns transcending borders, the very message of upholding the spirit and values of humanity. Indignant protests and demonstrations across the world begin surfacing in demand of the restoration of human rights and bringing perpetrators to book. Advices of sustaining democratic norms, rule of law and moral standards are directed from right-bodies as well as leading countries. In fact, in an age of today's free information flow, it is not possible to keep anything going unjust furtive.
Man from time immemorial has sought emancipation of his thought, expression, from arbitrary torture and shackle of servitude. Word of trial bemoaned alone in silence before the scaffold age after age. The process of consolidating human rights dates back to the17th century when the `English Bill of Rights' was passed.
But it took another couple of centuries to give it an institutional shape. The UN, in article 55, in its chart of 1945 declares, ``The World Body shall promote universal respect for, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedom for all.'' Later numerous human rights contracts were signed unanimously. These, undoubtedly, infused new hopes in the advancement of mankind with a view to protecting his fundamental rights he is naturally entitled to.
An overall expectation among people for a more egalitarian society and an end to the curse of feudalism began to granulate. But the paradox is the terminology of `human rights' since then has been used as an effective tool to control international politics more than human rights it-self. The proponent countries of it with their opportunist goal have always looted maximum benefit from it. In the name of preaching `human rights' they have served their own vested interests.
They successfully ferried their `capitalism' home and abroad. We know that it was the capitalist force that was behind the killing of Che Guevara, an illustrious precursor of socialist movement and humanist. But how many of us living in the developing countries do know that these were the capitalist countries who were selling T-shirts inscribed with Che''s effigy immediately after his death?
In fact, human rights situation has not changed. Styles and modes of its violations have changed in consistent with the course of age. The extent and intensity of it is no less than it was in ancient time. What does along the border of Bangladesh, Kashmir, Palestine, Syria and Iraq say? The direct impact of any major human rights violations is the increasing number of refugees with women and children becoming the worst sufferer of it.
Why do children in Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia have to reduce to skeleton? Who are gaining from conflicts in the Middle East? What is going on in the Guantanamo bay? Why don't those shedding crocodile tears on the plight of Rohingya's provide them shelter in their own countries with vast deserted arable land?
Why has the crises incurred additional burden on Bangladesh, an already over-populated country? What justice is being committed to the universal pledge of human rights enshrined in the international constitutions? What role has the UN as a common guardian been playing for the nations?
To extract the maximum benefit of human rights contracts, human being regardless of caste and creed, social and economic difference must be given upper hand over ideology and parochial party interests. True recognition of humanity will never be achieved without ensuring equal distribution of land and maritime wealth.
But the question is whether it is possible with the existing concept of individual state system with individual ruling machinery in the same planet? As long as the barriers of passport and visa process will persist in, the risk of entire mankind losing its inherent rights repeatedly cannot be ignored. The aim of establishing human rights should give more priority to human than state.
Human rights are the sap of a modern welfare state. Lately a UK based Human Rights and Democracy Report 2018 unveiled worsening situation of human rights and democracy in Bangladesh. The report brought forward the events of arrests and other obstacles faced by opposition political parties during last election including rise of extra-judicial killing and narrowed down space for freedom of expression.
We should not forget that indifference to democracy and human rights led the vast country like Soviet Union to ultimate collapse. Same was the reason behind British's loss of many city-states. In an environment of less democracy and decreasing human rights situation developing countries of third world is regularly falling to authoritarian governance paving the way for terrorism.
The writer is a poet