Understanding Rights

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I have found no person uninterested about “Rights”. When I was a kid, I was taught in the school about the three fundamental rights : Food, Clothing and Shelter. Neither my teachers felt necessary to let me know about how they get fulfilled nor had I any interest in knowing. I had just considered those 3 aspects of life as fundamental rights. Nowadays, people have added many things in the list like: Water, electricity, education, health, speech, information, employment, recreation, reservation etc according to the society they are inhabiting and according to their convenience. Many of the times we have answers rumbling around us, but we remain unanswered. On going through “Man’s Right” by Ayn Rand, it was the first time I get a clear picture.

“At whose expense?”, the question by her, struck in my head deep. At whose expense should one be provided with food, clothing, shelter or any other so called rights. Who is responsible for “Right to life” of a man?, he himself, the government or other third party? In the article, Rand clearly illustrates: “the right to life means that a man has the right to support his life by his own work (on any economic level, as high as his ability will carry him); it does not mean that others must provide him with the necessities of life.”

Similar for the case of property and speech respectively as: the right to property means that a man has the right to take the economic actions necessary to earn property, to use it and to dispose of it; it does not mean that others must provide him with property. The right of free speech means that a man has the right to express his ideas without danger of suppression, interference or punitive action by the government. It does not mean that others must provide him with a lecture hall, a radio station or a printing press through which to express his ideas.

This helped me to understand the right of an individual more clearly. I am completely convinced with Rand about the only one fundamental right i.e. man’s right to his life (this entails his freedom to act on his own judgement, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, un-coerced choice) and all other entities to be the consequences and corollaries of his action. One has the right to education, it does not mean he should be given it freely. Every goods and services should be produced and if some man are entitled to by right to the product of others, it means the producers are deprived of their right. Taking the goods of others in free is stealing and make others provide service in free is enslavement. And nobody has the right of stealing or enslaving others. The conclusion is rights does not mean getting goods and services in free, right refers to get those through voluntary exchange in between.

What about the government? We pay the tax and in return the government should provide them in free.

Is it? I am not convinced.

What is the source of income of the government?

Tax.

Who Pays?

Economically active citizen.

Who receives?

Shared Amongst all for common good.

Then theres some questions. Are not economically passive getting the output of the toil of others? Isn’t it an enslavement?

Who gives the government authority to collect tax? They take them from coerced policy and law. Isn’t it stealing to take the outcome of others by force wherever they use? Isn’t stealing a stealing if its for noble purpose?

Then how can a government run to provide the facilities to people? I now say, why should the government provide the goods and services produced by others? The producers shall manage them. We all know how better we care and manage our property comparative to others.

Then whats the role of government? The answer is simple “Protect the rights of its citizen” through rational rule of law and voluntary exchange of the service.

In general, we have always been expecting the government to take better care of us and provide us the every goods and services. But being rational, we must think “How it comes?” I say – I no longer need the care of the government if it comes from theft. Being a man, I believe in myself that I have the ability to have my living on my own strength. I can support myself from voluntary exchange of my skills, knowledge and toil. In fact, each of us can, and most of us are doing so. Understanding rights helps to change our attitude regarding how we live our life. I just want to leave a question at last: “Do we want to enslave others and/or steal?

talking about freedom of choice in academics

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academic freedom, the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions.

To the academics where major of the studies are theoretical, few vocational and rare practicals, education is believed to be burden in the earlier days. Only rare students are seen to enjoy learning, however most of the others in reality study for parents and friends. The main reason is compulsory theory subjects with no interest. And most of the schools also have optional subjects taught compulsorily i.e. no optional subjects for the students to choose to study.

The first time a student have the chance to choose is after 10, for the higher secondary study. However, lots of social and family restrictions exist in selecting the subjects. I have seen only few students who choose the subjects with real interest. Some choose the subjects to remain with friends, some because of availability, some by teachers and parents reference and some so called brilliant students in school to choose science as a morality, because of social pressure.

A year back, I met a lecturer from my high school, who found difficulty remembering me. But, after introducing him as his student in science faculty, in high-school, he soon offered me a cup of tea with him. I was very pleased to his response, but on further chats, I was very astonished when he categorized students in reference to the faculty he taught. I soon realized, if only had I been his student in Arts Faculty, I would not have been offered the tea. He was just an example of categorizing students on basis of faculty in high school, entire society has different prospect regarding the subject one studies and the social existence in reference to their study. When I was doing my bachelors at Dharan, I found many houses who only rented the students of “Central Campus of Technology” a science college, despite there were many other colleges teaching other faculties.

This social categorization of students derived from the profession hierarchy decided by the society, they will be engaged in Future. Our education system is more driven by the social beliefs and restriction then by our inner will. Until the discrimination among students exists, there exists a social barrier in the freedom of choice in academics.

Although we have no formal restriction, in practice we have restrictions for the freedom of choice in academics. I consider freedom of choice in academics, is the basics of academic freedom, which is a target to achieve by continuous change in the concept of people and we ourselves.

Critical Question of a Child?

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I faced a critical question. Is Child Labor a Crime ? I was confused.

I met a child labor, to be more specific “an orphan child labor” . I had an informal chat with the child and found a self-respect in him. According to him, he used to be beg when he was a child then started to thieve until he was caught when he tried to pick pocket his current master. He showed his gratitude to his master and said : ” I still would have been a thief, if I was not caught by him that day “. On further chat with him about clarifying about the child labor and explaining it as a crime, he questioned ” Doesn’t a Child like me have the right to eat food by own labor ? , or Should I continue thieving until I grow up as a thief? “.

It is estimated that more than 700 children labor only in Nepalgunj. Everyone have a different story ” Why they have to work?” . And most of them would say : “Abandoning child from work is injustice, unless the government itself take the responsibility of them and assure there is no need of labor to them.” And this would refer to poverty as well, as far I understood them.

I would say: What are the factors causing Child Labor? Why do children go to labor? How are child laboring? Are they receiving their payments? What would be the best alternative of Child Labor? What are their challenges and risks? are some vulnerable questions we need to sort out. In one hand we are searching the right to choice on the next hand many children are seeking their rights to cloths, food, shelter and life.

However the question : “Doesn’t a child have the right to support himself when there is nobody to support him?” ” Is child labor a crime or the factors that lead to child labor are the real culprit?” has strike me. I believe “Generalization is various aspects of an Individual is a Crime?”. Nobody wants to labor, not only the children, even grown ups would dream to live a life without labor, but needs make them do so. If you can, solve their problem, if not, do not make their problem more complex.

Rule of Law : Will the dream come true?

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After the failure of “Constitutional Assembly I”, Nepal completed its “Constitution Assembly Election II” on Nov 19, 013. The vote obtained in this election is drastically different from that in the previous election, most likely because of the failure of previous Constitutional Assembly. Nepal has already tried various Constitution and various governance so far, after the end of the domination of Ranas in 1950, when King Tribhuwan declared “Democracy” for the first time in Nepal.

The term “Revolution” may indicate to a great cause and change in other parts of globe, but in Nepal it has already been an ordinary term with lots revolution and changes of rule and governance. Looking back to the two decades in Nepal, the government has changed the number of times as the number of years have past. At present Nepal is a Democratic republic country, which is preparing to be federal in few years along with the formation of new constitution in Nepal. The political inconsistency of back few decades and insolvency of the present have brought some political awareness in people up to some extent and still its much below the need. The industries are subsequently closing and/or migrating, unemployment is increasing, living has become fearful, and compulsory charity demand from the goons and political parties have badly impacted the life and freedom of people causing skilled  and capable manpower to drain abroad.

However there are some more issues that constantly strike to my mind. I expect one day the “Constitution” will be formed. And on that day, will there be the “Rule of Law”? Will every citizen be subject to law? Or there still prevail a special grading of citizen in reference to the approach in government. Will a minister get the same punishment as a common man when they both commit the same crime. Will the country be free of the threatens of the leaders of Political Parties? How can we imagine those threateners to contribute to form the “Constitution” of the country where they themselves will be bound to law.? Are they fools to end up their corrupting power themselves? Or are we fools to believe them to do so?

Every day different kinds of threatens are being heard from the various political parties in the name of maintaining the peace and formation of Constitution. Alliance of Major parties have made the “Interim Constitution” a doll and amend it upto 4-5 times a year. Leaders are playing with the law in the name of making law.

But Nepalese people are waiting for the answer of their question : Rule of law: Will the dream come true?

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Reservation : A Discrimination by government

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Nepalese government has been discriminating its people from years on basis of ethnicity and gender being most dominant. Classifying citizens on basis of gender and ethnicity and giving special attention the group clearly reflects that the government believes that specified group of people are inferior than the remaining. Nepalese government provides reservation classifying people on basis of gender (female), ethnicity, physical deformity, and many other categories.

I had one senior sister, who strongly was against the reservation system. Providing 33 % reservation seat to female clearly indicates a sympathy to female. In her view if government believes in equal equity in male and female then, government either should distribute the access on 1:1 ratio if not everybody should be left for equal competition. In her words “Government is saying females you are weak physically and intellectually than males, so we are providing you some reservation. Some girls may be weak and some may be more captive then males, attitude of government is just the thinking of paternal society.” She was not wrong, she competed fairly and was recruited as a government officer leaving behind many males.

My personal view regarding the ethnic reservation is completely bogus. Who are receiving the reservation in past many years? How much of real needy have received reservation? The matter of fact is many of those who are receiving reservations have lived prosperous life then many others who do not fall on the category of reservation list. Is it fair that by getting born in some family get special attention by government then others. Even the royal family now have sifted to Nagarjuna Durbar and the chief of the country now is not by bloodline until when will this continue.

I do not argue against the reservation to people with physical deformity or handicaps. But discrimination of other citizens by the government cannot be justified. There has always been discrimination as we go digging within each. The child with reservation listed father and reservation unlisted mother are reserved, while the child born with reservation listed mother and reservation unlisted father does not get reservation. Another discrimination between male and female. For eg: the child of Rai father and brahmin mother gets reservation and why not the child of Rai mother and brahmin father?

In fact, reservation system is carried out just as a political tactics. In long term it is deforming the nation. Weak candidates get better opportunities. We must think if the weak candidate was not reserved then the place would have more captive candidate and more efficient result would have been obtained in the field. This is how the country is not going in the development pace as it should have been. Secondarily, reservation system is making the candidates lazy by giving them easy achievable target. The competition is reduced by a great proportion and promoting less effort to them than others. This obviously result is less competitiveness of the people in reservation list and more competitive to the remaining. Lesser is the competition, lesser will be the effort and lesser will be the achievement.

It we have to cut down the tree, its useless cutting down the branches one by one. If we need to cut down the tree we should we should cut it down from the root. How much the branches are cut, the target is never achieved unless we cut the tree by its root. Reservation system is just like cutting the branches, to show public that they are doing something. Government fears if the problem is handled, they won’t get further work to do. But its a mistake, there will always be something task left for the government to do.

If the country believes some group of people needs special reservation then why not work to end. Why not plan to make them competitive. Why not work on the way that will end the requirement of reservation i.e. a discrimination ? Government should not discriminate its citizens nor any of us should expect such.

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