THE rights of people are treated as a sacred thing all over the civilised world. In fact, the fulfillment of the rights of individuals is a yardstick of the extent of democratisation of a society.

In our context, however, governmental institutions have always been too interfering in the lives of people, though the Constitution guarantees the rights of people in unequivocal terms. Social institutions and political parties are also not sensitive enough to the rights of citizens.

The result is predictable. The rights of people are violated or undermined at every step, leading to a kind of social order in which the individuals have become subservient to institutional supremacy. The resistance to infringement on the rights of individuals also appears to be negligible , if not non-existent.

In this section, we have dealt with the problems that people face while exercising the rights despite the constitution and the law being on their side.

We have also shed light on the need for creating awareness among the people about their rights and privileges. This has traditionally been a weak point of our scheme of living, as a big chunk of the population is not aware of the truth that they have certain inviolable rights!

The rights of citizens do not figure prominently in the system of governance and administration that is in place today, though theoretically speaking there is nothing wrong. But no political system will work, and social advancement will ever remain an elusive goal, if the individuals are not allowed to exercise their rights.


Copyright 2004 The Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.