Politics of so-called freebies for which society sees “mad race”, distort expenditure priorities, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Sunday and asserted that the need was to “empower not pockets but human minds”.
In his address at a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) event here marking the Human Rights Day, he also said that no part of the globe is so “blossoming, prospering with human rights as our country is doing”.
The occasion also marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
UN Resident Coordinator in India Shombi Sharp also was present at the event.
Sharp, in his address, also read out the message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the audience.
Vice President Dhankhar was the chief guest at the event hosted by the NHRC at Bharat Mandapam.
“A coincidence, this (75th anniversary of UDHR) just follows our ‘Amrit Kaal’, and our ‘Amrit Kaal’ has become our ‘Gaurav Kaal’ primarily due to the blossoming of human rights and values,” he said.
“We had an occasion to get a message from the (UN) Secretary-General. It would have been appropriate and worthwhile to take note of the massive, revolutionary affirmative changes that are taking place in Bharat, home to one-sixth of humanity, on the promotion of human rights,” Mr Dhankhar said.
No part of the globe is so blossoming, and prospering with human rights as India is doing, he added.
“And, why not, our civilisational ethos, Constitutional framework, reflect our deep commitment to respecting, safeguarding and nurturing human rights. It is in our DNA,” the vice-president said.
In his address, he also emphasised that human rights are spinally strengthened when there is “human empowerment in sharp contradiction to fiscal patronage”.
“Empowerment of pockets by fiscal grant only increases dependence. The politics of so-called freebies for which we see a mad race distort expenditure priorities. Freebies, as per economic giants, undercut the basic framework of macroeconomic stability,” he said.
There needs to be a “healthy national debate” on how expensive this fiscal patronage is for the economy, life quality and social cohesion in the long run, Mr Dhankhar added.
“I would greatly appreciate it if the National Human Rights Commission… catalysing a debate, coming out with a paper that can be extremely informative, motivational and inspirational for people at large, and those who are in seats of governance can be enlightened that we need to empower not pockets but human minds, human resource,” he said.
In his address, Mr Dhankhar also said that “no one is above the law, be you ever so high, the law is always above you, is the new norm in the country. A peak paradigm shift”.
“There was a time when some thought they were above the law, there was a time when some thought they were beyond the reach of the law. Now, all high and mighty, you may be just anybody, you are accountable to the law,” he said.
This is happening. It is an “inalienable facet of promoting human rights,” Mr Dhankhar added.
Transparency and accountable governance, a new norm, is a game changer for promoting human rights, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)