Noor Ul Shahbaz
Coronavirus not beyond human brain but more destructive and horrifyingThe human life in this world since its existence has seen ups and downs, development and destruction, peace and war and this human existence is not without purpose, all it has as its goal and an achievable end that is peace, prosperity and well-being. Human being by his consciousness had at times attained the highest objectives of justice and peace and the same human being has to lead this existence to destruction as well. No weapon, machinery, atom bomb and other nuclear weapons can function unless and until the human brain acts behind it. One of the deadliest and destructive elements in addition to the former is environmental pollution, viruses, infections and diseases caused by it and at this present juncture, a pandemic Coronovirus Covid-19 has put the whole world under its cover. I am not an expert of medical sciences and neither will unevenly try to define the disease but will try to draw your attention to its other side.Polluted environment affects directly to the health-mental as well as physical, of human beings, and therefore, it is human being alone whose survival has become difficult due to the change in physical, chemical and biological conditions of the environment. Environmental pollution has considerably affected the quality of human life, and have a direct impact on a number of economic, social, cultural and civil and political rights. The legal sanctity behind environment as a basic human right is under the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (ICESCR) which provides right to work, right to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work, in particular, a decent living for himself and their families, right to safe and healthy working conditions, right to everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family including food, clothing and housing and to the continuous improvement of living conditions and the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Right to life provided under Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR) and all municipal laws is largely affected by the polluted environment. Although the term ‘right to life’ has not been elaborated under the covenant, broadly it includes right to food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care and a safe and decent environment. The protection of the above rights of the individuals, no doubt dependent upon the economic and social conditions of the states, but the environment has a direct bearing upon them. The polluted environment is bound to reduce the efficiency of work, results in various diseases like COVID-19 (coronavirus). Dangerous levels of pollution in water, air, earth and living things; major and undesirable disturbances to the ecological balance of the biosphere; destruction and depletion of irreplaceable resources and gross deficiencies harmful to the physical, mental and social health of men, in the man-made environment, particularly in the living, the working environment have effected the human rights.The destruction caused by the coronavirus or other related diseases in past may be controlled and the human lives are saved. The fulfilment of our rights is dependent upon the role played by the nations either they have to act to further the protection of our rights or they must be prohibited from doing certain acts which adversely affect our rights. The state as a supreme sovereign authority can prohibit, penalise its subjects if they play any role which is dangerous for the overall community and the state also can be made responsible if it remains negligent to control any evil which may lead to mass destruction. It is the collective responsibility of the nations towards the protection of the environment which is at its stake and a threat to this world further the better health care system rather the manufacturing of weapons, atomic bombs, other nuclear weapons, including in warfare which leads to destruction and wastage of public money. Here the state’s responsibility incurs by the breach of the “trust” which is entrusted on them in a democratic system. It is a breach of an obligation so essential for the protection of fundamental entrust i-e, health and it constitutes international crime when I relate it with collective responsibility of the international community. It is a criminal breach on a widespread scale for not safeguarding the human being or not safeguarding the preservation of the human environment or not prohibiting such acts which amount to massive pollution of the atmosphere and hence are an international crime. That is a crime independent of any treaty or agreement between the states but a breach of a basic agreement between the individual as a subject and the state as his protector from all evils. The economic conditions of maximum countries are sound enough if the drawing of their budgets towards military purposes is totally prohibited. There should be a major shift in the policies of states to utilise public money on the protection of environment and healthcare system and total prohibition at an international level consented by all the nations on the manufacturing of weapons and indulging in wars, which although seems very difficult but is not unachievable. It is an irony that priority is given to a weapon which is a sign of destruction and a human being is made the subject of sufferings for non-availability of basic medical facilities. It is ironic that millions of human beings die due to starvation and public money is utilised for warfare and other unreasonable purposes. It is ironic that doctor as a frontline soldier is forced to fight against a pandemic without providing him basic equipment as he is thrown into the mouth of death. It is ironic that the state sovereigns does not learn from their past mistakes in which these diseases have taken lives of millions of humans and they still are in the race of manufacturing more and more nuclear weapons. And it is the grave irony that their supremacy, sovereignty is rubbed under the foot by an invisible disease or virus and still they do not leave their arrogance of being at the top at the cost of lives of innocent human beings in the race of wasting public money for purposes which cause destruction.I am not talking about those aims and objectives which are unachievable but am talking it on the basis of the importance of environment and importance of safe and adequate human environment was stressed in the Stockholm conference of 1972. When the declaration adopted in the conference proclaimed that both aspects of men’s environment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights even the right to life itself. Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro has also recognised that “all human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. At all times the uncontrolled or unplanned activities of men have been causing environmental deterioration. Deforestation, soil and water degradation and desertification are recycling in an alarming proportion and are seriously endangering the living conditions. Changes in the atmosphere such as those in the Ozone layer and acid-rain pollution of the seas and island waters constitute grave threats to the human environment. The safe and adequate environment is one of the means by which human rights can be protected and promoted not by machine guns and nuclear weapons. The protection of basic rights is impossible to achieve until a safe and adequate environment is made available to human beings.If you are not taking it seriously this time, it will meet you next time with much power and strength. Grave irony!!! that across the world, governments are racing to build make-shift hospitals in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Ah!!! stadiums turned into hospitals, university’s gym turned into the medical ward, ice rink turned into a morgue, hotels turned into quarantine’s, shortage of masks, hand gloves, other PPE’s. Use public money on nuclear weapons…shame…shame…shame. Where are you leading this human race and other beings?Conclusion:- Although COVID-19 an intangible virus or disease and other diseases like it are a hundred times destructive in their nature than a machine gun. Such an enemy which takes its birth by our own error gross negligence, can be shot dead or avoided to take birth if we leave our arrogance. Nothing is destructive if the human brain takes its way in the right direction for the betterment of the existence of a human being and not only human beings but all beings in this universe. The utilisation of money on weapons leads to war’s, destructive and horrifying like world war-I and II and wise utilisation of money on health and working conditions of people lead to cure of diseases and eradication of poverty, starvation although (if attention is not paid and steps taken) more destructive and horrifying than world war-I and II.
(MA, LL.M GOLD MEDALIST)Lecturer and former acting Principal at Sopore Law College
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