Author’s Bio-Student of BALLB(Hons),2nd year, University of Petroleum and Energy studies
“Racial discrimination is a violation of human rights and acts as a barrier to social progress and equality. Our collective responsibility is to challenge and dismantle systemic racism, ensuring that every individual is afforded dignity, respect, and equal opportunities.”
The article seems to analyze the meaning and the introduction of Racial discrimination in India. Human beings have from prior times been subjected to differences and societal norms. Classification of humans in various groups of society has been identifiable in Indian society. Similarly, the concept of racial discrimination draws its roots from the structure of classification in Indian Society. Racial discrimination refers to giving preference to a particular race rather than being specific to the traits and focusing on an individual’s characteristics. There are at times when a particular race is predominant in certain matters and the other races are left out.Racial discrimination refers to discrimination in terms of race, skin color, or any type of ethnic origin. This segregation of the various groups of society not only creates a deleterious impact on the society but on the same hand creates a feeling of ignorance in the minds of the other group of the population.
Racial discrimination prevalent in society makes it necessary for people to understand a person is true worth.There are many people throughout the country who are been subjected to discrimination based on color,creed,origin, or ethnicity. Several people suffer it just because of thereason that skin color is something that is given more attention and preference. Physical beauty being admired is something that is even given importance over the worth and the capabilities of the person. One’s worth is not determined by the racial traits or the characteristics which a person possesses.India is a diverse country with various social groups and its geography spans over a larger area. Due to various races and the communities existing people tend to give preference to fair skin people which in itself creates a gap in society. To bridge the gap, it is essential to inculcate the habit among the people that irrespective of the various backgrounds equal opportunities are given to all people. All the groups can get equal opportunities and equal status in society when this mentality amongst the people is changed. It would then be easier to bridge the differences and move ahead as a more united country.
The predominant nature of racial discrimination draws back to Indian history. The classification of the various groups according to the social institutions in the Vedic period led to segregation and the division of the people. This predominant belief hampers the progress of the nation. From past experiences, a particular class group was seen to be dominant and suppressed by the other classes of society. The others felt left out and felt alienated from society in terms of personal, business, and social matters of the society. The caste system which dates back to society is one of the important reasons for the division in society.The caste system divided the society namely in Brahmins,Kshatriyas,Vaishyas, and the Shudras.Brahmins were the superclass of the society whereas, on the other hand, the Shudras were at the bottom-most and were regarded as the untouchables and were given the most inhumane work of the society, and were neglected in the religious and social gatherings. Hence Caste system gives us a significant reason for the strengthening of racial discrimination in society in the present era. Another significant reason for the linkage of racial discrimination withsignificance is the British era. Britishers being fair in skin color concord themselves supercilious and much more authoritative and dominant over the Indians. Certain sections of society still were denied access to employment, and living standards, and given meager opportunities in society. Due to theabove-stated reasons, it has led to an increase in racial discrimination in society.
Linkage of Law and Social Justice
Rights of an individualplay a very important role in society.On a similar note, any kind of discrimination in society invokes the principles of Social Justice and Human rights. The concept and the arena of human rights consist of the rights which are inherent to every human being irrespective of sex, language, religion, ethnicity, or race. Any kind of discrimination in terms of race, ethnicity, or origin is again a direct violation of human rights in society. These rights are inherent to a human being from birth till death. It is unaffected by the place we are, whatever we believe in, or how we pursue our life. It includes freedom from slavery, the right to life, the right to work, freedom of expression, etc. These rights are not given by the state but are indeed inherent to all human beings. These rights are universal and are inalienable. Hence the social elements present like racial discrimination are subjected to the concept of human rights which makes it unacceptable in society.
The constitution is the law that is abided by and followed by the people of the country.There are some rules and regulations which need to be followed by the citizens of the country. The provisions of the Constitution provide Justice, and dignity to all people irrespective of race,ethnicity, and origin.The below-mentioned provisions of the Constitution lay down various qualifications to eradicate the practice of untouchability.
Article 15-This Article of the Indian Constitution forbids any kind of discrimination which is carried on terms of race, caste, religion, sex, or place of birth. It even mentions and prevents any kind of discrimination in cases of the use of public resources, public places, and educational institutions. It even states that the state has the right to make adequate provisions for other classes of the community which is socially and educationally backward.
Article 16-This Article of the Constitution grants equal access to all the people in terms of employment. It forbids any kind of discrimination based on religion, caste,race, or place of birth. It even makes sure that equal opportunities are given to every citizen for employment or appointment to any office.
Article 17-This Article of the Constitution prohibits untouchability and its practice. It forbids the practice of untouchability. It makes its practice in any form punishable under the law.
Article 29-This Article of the Constitution serves as a medium for the minority to protect and preserve their language and culture. It states that all those people having definite culture, religion or language are having right to preserve it.
Article 30-This Article of the Constitution guarantees the right of minorities to establish and uphold educational institutions of their choice. It even grants them the freedom to manage these institutions without any kind of discrimination.
Articles 325 and 326-These Articles of the Constitution grant voting rights to all the people and no person can be denied the right to vote in terms of religion, caste, sex, or any other.They prohibit any kind of discrimination in the exercise of this right.
Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill,2016-
This is one of the important legislations which was aimed to provide equal opportunities to all people irrespective of caste, gender, age, race,religion, or based on any other characteristic. It upholds the rights of individuals and promotes a society that is free from discrimination. The lower class of society is more suppressed and the bills aim to protect the interest of this class of society. It even inculcates direct and non-directdiscrimination. Direct discrimination involves when someone is discriminated against or treated less based on a particular characteristic or trait which that person possesses. Indirect Discrimination is another form of discrimination in which some policies may appear to be neutral but at times hurtsociety. It acts as a safeguard for the weaker and the suppressed sections of society from the inhumane behavior which they face in society.
The Caste Disabilities Removal Act,1850-
This particular legislation was passed under the rule of the East India Company in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie,the Governor-General of India.The people were given the freedom to convert from one religion to another.It even gave them the right of inheritance. The right to inheritance cannot be denied to a person even if he has a religious conversion.It was the legislation that abolished all the other laws related to religious conversion.It removed the restrictions which were imposed on certain sections of the society based on caste.Earlier the Caste system was predominant in society in which the higher castes enjoyed privileges and the lower ones were discriminated against.They were denied the rights and were not given the right to hold the office,social gatherings or to enjoy any other kind of privilege in the society. Legal safeguards were introduced for the people of the weaker sections of the society and discrimination based on caste was made illegal.
The Prevention of Atrocities Act (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes),1989-
This legislation is aimed at protecting the Schedules Castes and the Scheduled Tribes from any kind of abuse and violence against them.It even mentions the various offenses which come under this category and which are termed discriminatory.It was enacted from the prior historical discrimination which the people have faced. This legislation even lays down the various measures for the people who have faced discrimination.The legislation helped against the inhumane and ruthless behavior which the marginalized part of the society has faced.It is a framework and plays a very important role in regulating the atrocities which have been committed against the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Discrimination in any form can create negative impacts in the society.Discrimination of any kind is heinous and has a detrimental impact on society. Laws are passed but till the time they aren’t followed by the society and the society brings up a stratified and a unified mindset considering the very fact that these elements create a barrier hampering the overall development of the society. The mindset of the people needs to changed considering each and every person is equal and providing them equal opportunities for the same. Hence a society develops and walks down the path of progress by the thinking of its citizens and by the uniformity which exists in the society.
National Commission for Scheduled Castes(ncsc.nic.in)
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(socialjustice.nic.in)
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989