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Human rights in India

HUMAN RIGHTS 2000: Mathews George Chunakara— Editor; Institute of Human Rights, Vigil India Movement, 61, Charles Campbell Road, Coxtown, Bangalore-560005. Rs. 250.

THIS PUBLICATION provides an account of the significant events in the field of human rights in India during 1999. The book is divided into two parts. Part I consists of articles written by stalwarts in the field, who have made a thorough study of the particular topic in which they have written, but have also been dedicated workers in this field.

The articles which deal with different issues such as social and economic rights, civil and political rights, freedom of expression, religious freedom, minority rights etc., provide sufficient information on the subject matter, supported by relevant case studies and other empirical data. Possible solutions to issues at hand are provided at the end of each article. The general trend of human rights issues, their analysis as well as what has gone wrong so far has been clearly brought out. In conclusion, it is stated that there is public-private dichotomy in the realm of relationships, legality and crime. The state will not, for example, enter the private realm of family, and therefore most of the crimes committed within its ambit are not easy to prove or prosecute. Thus the way forward is truly one of collaboration between the state and the civil society.

The second part of the book is a human rights diary, which is a diary of events of 1999 compiled by Vigil India Movement drawing material from the print media. It is expressed that this is by no means a complete or exhaustive account of the year. However, it is believed that it provides a fair and clear picture of various kinds of rights violations occurring in the country. The book is concise and to the point, providing much information and possible avenues of action. "Struggle for truth and justice till the end" seems to be the motto behind the work of Vigil India Movement and this book reflects that to a great extent.

GEORGINA PETER

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