There are rights, then there are responsibilities..

In one way or another, our little injustices, our everyday battles are our fights for our rights. Whether it is the right to not be conned by our autorickshaw drivers (Article 25), or the right to marry the person we choose (Article 16), or the right to fight deadlines and get our fair share of leisure. (Article 24) 🙂

My current research site is community organizations in Kerala and one frame that resonates with the masses is the Human Rights frame (a frame is simply put the cognitive models with which you view the events around you and take action. Like a picture frame). My social movement heroes in Kerala have been working tirelessly for the Palliativ ecare to be recognized as a right – a right to live and die with dignity. Good news is the Kerala state government now recognizes this as a human right!

The context of Kerala presents a very interesting paradox for the study of rights. One hand,we have a very vibrant civil society – in a state of almost constant mobilization. One the other hand, it is also infamous for its hartals and strikes. Work hardly ever progresses there; it is difficult to find labor. No doubt, the high levels of literacy are one explanation. But I’ve come across numerous situations where labor exists, but is obnoxiously demanding. For instance, I’ve experienced first-hand as well as heard stories of the notorious headload workers unions, who neither work nor let others work in their territories and are quite a menace to the rest of the world. A case of rights without responsibilities?

Update: In case you’re wondering what rights you have? This site should give you an exhaustive list of Human Rights respected (or supposed to be respected) by member countries.

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Filed under interesting websites, Social movements, The Battered Hat

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