Rights Vs Responsibilities

Rights Vs Responsibilities

The land’s leading lights of a distant past have left a legacy of copious texts in many languages as well as in many forms such as poems, lines of wisdom (Subhashita), anecdotes, voicing the various speechless animals, philosophical thoughts, idioms and proverbs laying down appropriate rules of the game of life, summarised simply and most briefly with the words Sarvejanaah Sukhinobhavanthu, not excluding any living forms. The related texts also spell out the duties and responsibilities to be adhered mutually in order to sustain societal stability. As if to outdo the land’s ancient folk, although on a different plane, later generations, more so those of present times, have gone full distance in clamouring for rights, side-lining duties and responsibilities, as reflected in the lines of the nation’s Constitution, most often quoted by all and sundry among the literati, side-lining responsibilities while highlighting the rights.

The right to live having been appropriated by the human species has stumped that right for all other life forms, particularly by slaughtering animals to assuage hunger of human populations, chopping down shade- giving, fruit-bearing trees to widen roads and raise buildings, not tolerating presence of cattle and dogs in urban spaces for whatever reasons and so on.

Humans, endowed with many faculties such as intelligence and speaking rhetorically with eloquence have virtually monopolised the living spaces by garnering privileges and rights drawing authority through self-satisfying means made to appear fair, such as adopting a Constitution in which the rest of the life forms don’t count. Right To Information, Right To Education, Right To Vote in Elections, Right To Claim various goodies ordered by successive governments, Right to this and Right to that such as Right to form Labour Unions in industrial establishments have pushed the matching responsibilities, particularly to live with civic sense (in every sense of the term) to oblivion as it were.  Desire, without capping its limits in both cash and kind, and not deserving, being at the root of the ongoing turmoil in the land, has reached unstoppable proportions resulting in people clamouring for rights and adrift in responsibilities.

July 13, 2017

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