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

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

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.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

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".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Abysmal deficit of water, food waste recycle treatment 'impacting' Chennai life

By Simi Mehta*  We are living in a state where the most basic needs like food and water are not assured to the people residing in the urban areas, which account for the biggest sources of food and water wastage. Socio-economic inequality in society which is pervasive in urban areas is one of the main reasons for this.