About Human Rights Forum
Human Rights Forum (HRF) holds that structured inequality is at the root of violation of rights. The inequality could be in status, opportunities, access to resources, entitlement and so on, but all of it is in the end inequality in value. Such inequality leads to other forms of violation such as violence, deprivation etc., but is itself a human rights issue for inequality in value means that people are unequal as human beings. HRF believes that the essence of human rights is the notion of equality in human value and worth, an idea that originated in the fight against brahmanical society that began in the middle of the first millennium BC and continues till today, though it has got to be strengthened by the ideas that owe their origin to the liberal, socialist, feminist, ecological, anti-racist and other democratic movements, whether they are of Indian or non-Indian origin.
Even as every political movement or social activity that works against such inequality carries with it an agenda of fight for rights, a theoretical and agitational movement for human rights as such is both desirable and possible. Its task is to pick up the values generated by political and social aspirations and struggles for greater equality and freedom, including both radical and reform movements, situate them in the broader social context, establish them as values that go beyond the immediate context, articulate them to other contexts, work for their integration in social consciousness, political practices, culture and the law, fight for their protection where there is already such recognition, fight against their destruction or distortion by the forces of power and privilege, and work as a bridge between different aspirations for equality.
HRF believes that this role requires an open-minded attitude towards the diverse political and ideological streams and aspirations, within the framework of equality as the core value. The open-mindedness means refusing to privilege any particular idea, approach or aspiration as the only truth, but it also means being open to recognizing and criticizing the tendency to domination, or reinforcing of inequality, that the diverse tendencies within the stream of democratic activity may explicitly or implicitly, wittingly or unwittingly, reveal.
HRF questions the laxity and indifference of the State in governance and demands the accountability of the party in power towards the people. HRF firmly believes that ultimately it is people’s will and democratic aspirations that matter in a true democracy and any social movement or organization has no right to take people for granted.
HRF responds to issues and concerns all over the country and also outside, but for the present its membership and organization are confined to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. HRF takes up rights issues and violations through extensive fact-finding investigations, issuing press statements and media releases, circulating leaflets and other forms of literature, organizing dharnas, peaceful agitations and public meetings, making policy interventions, filing representation petitions, and legal interventions. Our publications include reports on rights abuses and a ‘human rights bulletin’ brought out periodically in Telugu.
HRF is a non-political and non-funded voluntary organization and does not accept funding, either national or foreign. Members meet expenses and occasionally small contributions are accepted from friends.