A tumultuous calendar year is about to come to an end. It is only fittingly ironic that in December the world marks Human Rights Day. At a time when there has been a steady erosion of human rights, civil liberties, women’s rights and social justice across the globe but most urgently close to home, in India, our contributors in this issue have taken a close look at many of the debates and discussions around human rights.
Human rights is a popular term – used in development discourse, by governments, civil society groups and international agencies alike. But what does it mean? What is its history, and what is its present state? Our contributors have tried to offer both a long view, as well as some specific examples of human rights violations, in an effort to deepen our understanding of the term.
The powers that be need to recognize that repression does not put an end to the problem; but that acknowledgement is the first step. The conscience keepers of our society will continue speaking even if alone. It is the duty of the media to report that with honesty and integrity instead of trading in the fake news market or by engaging in concerted silence over many issues.
Some other exciting interviews that we are carrying in this issue are conversations with the renowned journalist Yvonne Ridley, and the second part of our very well-received interview with Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi. A stellar panel of three cancer specialists have also spoken to us about the disease, its management and solutions. Our young writers continue to share their feelings through poetry for your perusal and feedback.