Skip to main content

Control population to abolish bonded labour: NHRC official praises Emergency policy

By Rajiv Shah

A senior National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) official, Justice PC Pant, wants the population control policy initiated by Sanjay Gandhi during the Emergency days to return in order to end bonded labour. Speaking on the occasion of a virtual book release function, Justice Pant, who is member NHRC, and was Supreme Court judge between 2014 and 2017, recalled, “During 1975-76 under the 20-point programme there was not only emphasis on abolition of bonded labour but also population control.”
Releasing the book “Bondage: Human Rights & Development” virtually along with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Justice Pant made this remark while referring to the its pages which state, Dr BR Ambedkar as the first labour minister of India “was of the view that by enacting the law alone, bonded labour system cannot be eradicated.”
Taking a different view from Ambedkar, Justice Pant said, “May I add here that during 1975-76 under 20-point programme there was not only emphasis on abolition of bonded labour but also population control. Unless we work on that, bonded labour system will remain there in one form or the other.”
He underlined, “Increasing population neutralizes all efforts aimed to eradicate poverty which is the root cause of bonded labour, child labour or other forms of forced labour and trafficking.”
Published by Vitasta Publications, the book is authored by Dr Lakshmidhar Mishra, a retired IAS bureaucrat. Following the release of the book, a panel discussion took place on the impact of Covid-19 on incidence of child bonded labour, where speakers highlighted how the recent lockdown due to the pandemic brought “untold miseries to more than 40 million migrant labourers.”
“Thousands of anxious men, women and children walked hundreds of kilometers on the highways in worn out footwear or bare feet to escape the hunger and starvation which they were confronted with having been rendered jobless due to the lockdown”, a communique released by the Kamal Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, an NGO set up by the Nobel laureate, said, giving details of the panel discussion.
“The heartrending images of these people were beamed into our bedrooms by the electronic media causing pain, anguish and consternation to everyone”, it said, making the book release an occasion to highlight the plight of migrant labourers is fresh in the memory of the entire country. The Satyarthi Global Policy Institute for Children (SGPIC) organised the function.
A 1964 batch IAS official, Dr Mishra has been Union labour and parliamentary affairs secretary (1996-2000), advisor to the International Labour Organization (2000-2003), special rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission (2006-11), and special advisor, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (2011-12). Currently he is independent advisor to the International Justice Mission, an international NGO, as also member of a committee constituted by the Delhi High Court to investigate labour irregularities connected with the Delhi Commonwealth Games, 2010.
The book “exposes” the state’s failure in upholding the rights of vulnerable families and children, even as making “a clarion call” to the state and the law enforcement functionaries to enforce law with zeal and devotion bringing an end to the miseries of millions of people including children who are still in bondage, the Satyarthi Foundation communique said.
“His book is expected to provoke debate, discussions and introspection among the state and non-state stakeholders in eradication of bondage from our society and analyse as to where we as a society have gone wrong and failed the poor of our country”, it adds.
Dr Lakshmidhar Mishra
Dr Mishra stated on the occasion, “Even after five decades of the human rights declaration and our constitution recognizing human bondage as a serious crime, there is still no decline in the cases of bonded labour, leaving the generations of marginalized families to face the brunt of failure of the system and state.”
Satyarthi, who released the book along with Justice Pant, said, “The moral commitment, wisdom and compassion of Dr Mishra over decades towards children and bonded labour is inspiring. When we started back in 1980, not only were we repeatedly confronted by those who employed and exploited children, but also had to fight against the mindset that considered child labour normative.”
The Nobel laureate added, “This pandemic too has exposed and exacerbated the deep inequalities faced by the most marginalised section of our society, that continue to perpetuate bondage. This book written by Dr Mishra is a valuable addition to his luminous works that will act as a treasure cove for anyone who is driven to bring an end to slavery in the world.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
The very word Emergency sends shivers down the spine, but there is no doubt that we need to control the population. In fact, I believe that most of the problems in the country today are because of unemployment, which in turn, is because of over-population. Even the rapes and murders are, in my opinion, due to men being frustrated because they have nothing to do and these acts give them a feeling of power.

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen