Mangaluru: The true growth of a nation should be measured based on its record in protection of human rights and not by its GDP and other economic factors, noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad said on Friday.
The process of protecting human rights should begin from the family by treating a boy and girl child alike, she said during an interactive session with students of the Sree Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) College of Management here.
She said youth should be given the option of choosing their careers and parents need not impose their wishes on their wards. The idea of equality was at present being violated in families, Setalvad said.
While there was growth in the corporate sector, the rights of labourers were being violated in the country.
Though the Constitution protects human rights, majority of people are living in penury. With the country's 'growth,' the food consumption of the poor and its nutritional value had been reduced, she said. Commending the three major schemes introduced in the country -- Right to Information Act, Food Security Act, and the MGNREGA -- which ensures food and daily wages, she said hunger and inequality still persists as governments had diluted these schemes. Setalvad said it was wrong to emulate the China model of development, which was feudalistic and did not give any room for human rights.
"The youth should come out against the wrong notions of the rulers on development." On the death of Dalit student Rohit Vemula at Hyderabad central university that sparked nationwide protests, she said such incidents had been happening for the last several years when students faced unequal treatment. She alleged that the media, which were being "controlled" by businessmen and capitalists, was not giving adequate coverage to the problems faced by the common man and was often 'biased and becoming spokespersons of the government.'
To a question on 'immoral policing' incidents in Mangaluru, she said it was unfortunate that in a city which is an educational hub, such groups had dared to show their might. Most of the time, the government was indirectly supporting such groups by not taking stringent action against the culprits on time, she said.
SDM Post Graduate Centre for Management and Research principal Aruna P Kamath was present at the interaction session.