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The Citizen


By Litcy Ludvic, Culture Contributor, MPP ‘13

Human Rights? Oh, No! Not now, please! I don’t want to get depressed about gruesome stuff happening in distant lands to unknown people. I know I should care. I am even empathetic. I feel bad for all those people. I might even donate something, if need be!

[This is how most of us would react when someone tries to start a conversation about Human Rights.]


Do you like to smile? Well…. there is no specific Right to Smile under the UN charter of Human Rights! But definitely, article 24 of UN Declaration of Human Rights gives us the right to rest and leisure. No one can dictate to us on that!

We, the few Human Rights believers in the HR PIC, have not taken an oath to make our lives depressing and to infect our sadistic pleasure on to the world. The only oath the Human Rights believers have taken is to respect the “inherent dignity of all human beings”.

In order to raise the profile of human rights at the Kennedy School, we, the Human Rights believers, have created a platform for believers, including non-believers of human rights, to join us in our discussion about various issues. Our primary medium of interest and communication would be films. We are doing our best to stay away from gruesome and depressing visuals for the time being, obviously with an eye on attracting more to our fold. Let us watch some Academy Award winning documentaries and good films on issues around the world. Let us discuss and debate!

We started our Film Screening Series on January 27, 2012 with the Academy Award winning documentary “Witness to War”. A handsome, young man who was an Air Force pilot flew combat missions over Vietnam, believing that the war was to protect freedom and democracy. Hmm…it turned out that President Nixon was not such a good believer of ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth will always win!). As the war progressed, our young pilot realized the blatant lie that was sold to him, his friends and to the American public. He did not budge and decided to follow his conscience. He told the world that this war is a lie! How did the world react? Put him in a psychiatric world for his honesty. The story does not end there. This young pilot recovered himself from the injustice, decided to become a doctor and embraced non-violence as his mission in life. One of the key protagonists who made the Global Landmine Treaty a reality, he moves on unchallenged. He is none other than Dr. Charlie Clements, the Executive Director of Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School.

We have many more stories to tell. Many documentaries await your attention. You can smile and care at the same time. Every second and fourth Friday, we will have a film on an important issue selected from around the world. So, join us in our Film Screening Series.