Human Rights In India

Human Rights In India: All You Need To Know

This article on ‘Human Rights In India: All You Need To Know’ is written by Sai Srinija an Intern at Legal Upanishad.

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The main objective of this article is to understand, explain and analyze the concept of Human Rights and it does also focus on the origin, importance and development of Human Rights in India.  The Role of Indian constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights in functioning of the Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is although not a legally binding instrument but it is adopted while making the Indian Constitution in order to understand the nature of the Human Rights in India.

What are Human Rights?

Human rights are those rights that are built in all the human beings through their existence, in order to protect their interest and maintain the stability among all of the human beings regardless of background, language, sex, religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, or any other status. The enjoyment of these rights by on person depends on the actions or usage of their rights by the others person. Hence these are dependent on one another but not been imposed by any state. As it is interlinked every individual have a responsibility to ensure that they exercise their rights with consideration for the rights of others.

Origin and Importance

The origin of Human rights is from multiple areas although which stick to a common point called as culture. The development of human societies is been possible through the concepts of ethical behavior, justice and human dignity. The enlightenment of “natural law” in the Middle Ages recognized these oral histories and practices as the essential for every individual.

The main roots of this concept are found to be in religious aspect of India, Babylon and China and later put up to the laws of Greek and Roman society. The foundational principles lie in various doctrines that have been stated in Gita, Vedas, Arthasastra, Buddhism, Jainism etc.

Human rights are the crucial aspect to reduce the friction in the positive development of the society through the equity, responsibility and duty that is bound to it.

Human Rights In India
Human Rights In India

Human Rights in India: Eras

Human rights in India were developed gradually from ancient times and it includes different eras. Let’s discuss the crux of each era and analyze.

Ancient phase

The message is “Dharma” as the higher value, which binds kings and citizens, men and women. It features the concept of Independence of Judiciary which is the path where Human rights can be enforced in a true spirit. During this period certain laws were not regarded as outcome of the parliaments or legislatures but as above all human authority.

The basis of ancient human rights jurisprudence was Dharma – the ideal of ancient Indian legal theory was the establishment of socio-legal order free from traces of conflicts, exploitations and miseries. Such a law of “Dharma” was a model for the universal legal order.”[1]

In the Post-Vedic period there was the rise of Buddhism and Jainism. Which feature on the maintenance of moral order and ensuring the fairness in accessing the rights among each class. It was more liberal during that period after the emperor Ashoka has successfully established a welfare state by protection and securing the most precious human rights.

Islamic Phase

The first time of religious discrimination arose was after the invasion of Muslim. There was a clear discrimination of Hindus during this period. Muslim rulers like Akbar and Jahangir have also given value to the Justice and equity. There was the application of the principles of Qur’an with the method of traditional interpretation in order the curb all the aspects that are leading to failure of harmony in the society.

British Era

This was the period where the people of the state have suffered in many ways and there was indeed violation of their rights. There was a sudden outbreak of voice of the people against the Britishers after facing a lot of humiliation and discrimination. The idea of modern version of human rights jurisprudence said to arose at this moment along with the freedom movement.

Modern Era

The strong stipulation for fundamental rights came logically in the wake of the nationalist movement, simultaneously the birth of the Indian National Congress took place in 1885. In the process to study the fundamental rights National Congress has appointed a committee under Motilal Nehru.

Motilal Nehru Committee

Indian national congress has finalized the draft of common wealth of India in 1925 and later it demanded for the incorporation of ‘Declaration of Fundamental Rights’ during the madras session of the congress in 1927. The rights that are stressed by the Committee Report, 1928 are now the basic and crucial part of the Constitution of India. Such as Equality for all before the law and rights, right to the writ of Habeous Corpus, Non-discrimination against any person on grounds of religion, caste or creed in the matter of public employment, Equality of rights to man and woman and many more.

In 1945 Sapru Committee has stressed the need for a written code of fundamental rights and the Constituent Assembly and subsequently raised a forceful demand for the inclusion of human rights in the Constitution.

Constitutional Era

During the making of Constitution of India, the General Assembly proclaimed and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Constitution of the Republic of lndia which came into force on 26th January 1950 with 395 Articles and 8 Schedules, is one of the most elaborate fundamental laws ever adopted.. The term ‘democratic’ which is stated in the preamble of the constitution denotes that the Government gets its authority from the interest of the people. It gives a feeling that they all are equal “irrespective of the race, religion, language, sex and culture.”

What is the Present Situation?

Human Rights have been completely recognized in the country and incorporated in very concrete way. The key areas they are active at present are like Civil Liberties, Police Torture and Religious violence etc. These rights make bit easy in a way to protect the interest of the public and also to maintain the dignity of the human in a highly populated country like an India.


Human rights are the combination of essential rights of the human being. The part III and Part IV of the Indian constitution can combinedly noticed as the replica of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as almost all the rights were covered up. The Independence of judiciary, Democracy and Republic are the positive factors to the enforcement of human rights. Whereas as Population, Secularism are still the challenges.


[1] S.N. Dhyani, Fundamentals of Jurisprudence: The Indian Approach (Allahabad: Central Law Agency, 1992) 79.