Declaration Of Rights Analysis

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The articulations of custom, tradition and culture have been posited against discourses of rights in terms of British Colonial rule in India. These distinctions emerged alongside the British ‘civilizing mission’ in which the question of rights came to the forefront of the discourse and were matched with the invention of culture. Edmond Burke’s analysis of rights in the context of the French revolution reveals that natural rights are inherited and passed down from generation to generation, as they are forms of tradition. In contrast the colonial project in India rejected Burke’s organic view of rights and society and instead invented, preserved and gendered aspects of tradition. This resulted in the standardization of culture and tradition, …show more content…
According to Burkes analysis, rights are a product of customs and conventions . That is to say that they are inherited as they are passed down from generation to generation . Burke viewed society as an inheritance . Society was understood as an organic entity that progresses through natural forms of evolution, which can be understood through tradition. Consequently, the rights that individual’s posses and exercise are those that have been passed down through generations and produced through custom. Therefore, to understand society, is to understand its customs and tradition as a living and developing entity. Bentham on the other hand had a completely different view of natural rights. According to Bentham, the idea of natural rights was nonsense . He believed that rights were not in fact natural but were an effect of government . He stated that ‘all men are born into a form of subjugation ’, and as individuals are born into different forms of subjugation this creating a disparity in the distribution of rights as not everyone needs the same rights . Therefore, governments essentially grant ‘imaginary rights ’, as rights are the product of governments not the origin of governments . Thus, laws must be prescribed in order to be real and have an impact on society . Essentially, in order for humans to become …show more content…
In his analysis he discusses how Warren Hasting’s held a study into Indian languages would enable British authorizes to create a body of language that could be utilized to enact effective control . This protocol could thus define what is ‘Indian’ and give way to the creation of a system of rule that could be consistent with Indigenous institutions . Although, it was to be run by Englishmen and had to encompass British ideals of justice . Thus, the strategy was to modify and adapt the ‘old’ Indian traditions and society to fit English ideas and standards . By adapting to the British logic of administrating, the classification or standardization of actions into prefixed domains arose, thus making society static. Essentially, Indians were to be ruled best by a ‘strong hand’ one that could administer justice by enforcing rules and regulations . In turn, through the civilizing mission, the Burkian ideal of the preservation took on more of a Bethamite approach, in which British Colonists standardized certain practices, making them static, through invention, preservation and gendering. Clear examples of this are the debate on Sati, in which British men felt the obligation to ‘save’ Indian women from the barbaric practice of widow immolation, through the re-interpretation of scripture and the establishment of Hindu and Muslim Personal Laws, which

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