How to Protect Fundamental Rights

16 07 2007

The idea of making a gift of fundamental rights to every individual is no doubt very laudable. The question is how to make them effective ? ‘The prevalent. view is that once rights are enacted in a law then they are safeguarded. This again is an unwarranted assumption. As experience proves, rights are protected not by law but by the social and moral conscience of society. If social conscience is such that it is prepared to recognizes the rights which law chooses to enact rights will be safe and secure. But if the fundamental rights are opposed by the community, no Law no Parliament, no judiciary can guarantee them in the real sense of the word. What is the use of the fundamental rights to the Negroes in America., to the. Jews in Germany and to the Untouchables in India.? As Burke said, there is no method found for punishing the multitude. Law can punish a single solitary recalcitrant criminal. It can never operate against a whole body of people who are determined to defy it. Social conscience—to use the language of Coleridge—that calm incorruptible legislator of the soul without whom ail other powers would ” meet in mere oppugnancy— is the only safeguard of all rights fundamental or non-fundamental”

SECTION VI, Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah. Vol-I, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writing and Speeches

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