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dhankhar: Politics of so-called freebies distort expenditure priorities, says Vice President Dhankhar

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The politics of so-called freebies in which society sees a “crazy race”, distorts spending priorities, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Sunday and insisted that the need to “give power not to the pocket but to the human mind”. In his address at an event at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) here marking Human Rights Day, he also said that no part of the world is “blossoming, developing in human rights as our country does”.

The occasion also marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The UN Resident Coordinator in India Shombi Sharp was also present at the event.

Sharp, in his address, also read the message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the audience.

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Dhankhar was the chief guest at the NHRC-hosted event at the Bharat Mandapam. “Incidentally, this (UDHR’s 75th anniversary) only follows our ‘Amrit Kaal’, and our ‘Amrit Kaal’ has become our ‘Gaurav Kaal’ mainly because of the flowering of human rights and values, ” he said. “We had an opportunity to get a message from the (UN) Secretary-General. It is appropriate and useful to draw attention to the massive, revolutionary affirmative change taking place in Bharat, home to one-sixth of humanity, in promoting human rights,” said Dhankhar. No part of the world blossoms, and thrives on human rights as much as India does, he added.

“And, why not, our civilizational ethos, Constitutional framework, reflects our deep commitment to respect, protect and nurture human rights. It is in our DNA,” said the vice-president.

In his speech, he also emphasized that human rights are strengthened when there is “human empowerment in sharp contradiction to fiscal patronage”.

“The empowerment of pockets through fiscal grants only increases dependence. The politics of so-called freebies where we see a mad race distorting spending priorities. Freebies, according to the giants economy, undermines the basic framework of macroeconomic stability,” he said.

There needs to be a “healthy national debate” on how costly this fiscal patronage is for the economy, quality of life and social cohesion in the long run, Dhankhar added.

“I would greatly appreciate it if the National Human Rights Commission… conducting the debate, issuing a paper that could be very informative, motivational and inspirational for the people in general, and those in the seats of governance can be clarified that we need to empower not pockets but human minds, human resource,” he said.

In his speech, Dhankhar also said that “no one is above the law, no matter how high you are, the law is always above you, is the new norm in the country. A peak paradigm shift”.

“There was a time when some thought they were above the law, there was a time when some thought they were beyond the reach of the law. Now, all the high and mighty, you can be anyone, you are accountable to the law,” said he.

It is happening. This is an “inalienable facet of promoting human rights,” Dhankhar added.

Transparency and accountable governance, a new standard, is a game changer for the promotion of human rights, he said.

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