Short Essay on Moral Rights

Whenever we talk of moral rights we mean claims which can be converted into rights only when they have been recognised by the State.

Moral claims even when designated as moral rights still lack the force to be enforced. It is my moral duty to help the poor, the needy, and the sick, because as a moral agent of society I must try to create conditions which may contribute to the social good.

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But if I fail in my moral duty, laws of the State do not take cognizance of it. It must, however, be remembered that a moral right has a moral reference with it. It is recognised and sanctioned by society.

What is recognised and sanctioned by society must be sanctioned by laws of the State. No State, if it really does serve its purpose, can long afford to ignore things which are sanctioned by society. If it does, the citizens have a moral right to revolt against the authority of the State.

History tells us that great reformers and leaders of the community had to battle against unjust laws and traditions in order to lift men to a higher moral level. Gandhi’s mission in life was to moralise man and society and throughout his political career, first in Africa and then in India, he stood arrayed against tyranny of any kind, whether that tyranny was that of the State or of the individual.


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