[Answered] “The basic human rights cannot be denied on the basis of gender differences, religion or on the basis of ‘race’.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss basis on which human rights are violated in India. Various consequences of Inequalities in form of denial to basic rights.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Social exclusion refers to ways in which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in the wider society. It focuses attention on a broad range of factors that prevent individuals or groups from having opportunities open to the majority of the population. It is not accidental but is systematic and a result of structural features of society ultimately leading to human rights violations and gross social injustice.

Basis of human rights violations in India:

  1. Casteism: The caste system is an ancient, age-old belief system that plagues India till today. Today also, discrimination against people of various caste groups is common in rural areas, but surprisingly, even among educated urban dwellers. India’s upper caste households earned nearly 47% more than the national average annual household income, the top 10% within these castes owned 60% of the wealth within the group in 2012, as per the World Inequality Database. These practices of discrimination are humiliating, exclusionary and exploitative.
  2. Untouchability: Due to the above caste system, one of the most negative, yet unique features of India is the untouchability system. This system wrongly looks at the people from the lower castes as “impure”. Other people of higher castes used to refrain from touching them, thus calling them “untouchables“. When such cruel incidents are still seen in the news, it is an embarrassment to our country and us.
  3. Gender Discrimination: In India, traditionally, females and males were given rigid roles that they had to follow. For example, in villages, women are expected to cook, clean, bear children and raise them and men are the ones who work and earn money. The law does not allow such kind gender discrimination. The Global Gender Gap Report, 2018, ranks India at 142 among 149 countries. Unfortunately crime against women continue to happen and state has failed to such crimes.
  4. Religious Discrimination: In some places, people who follow a different religion than most people often face discrimination. They are looked down upon, often with suspicion. Religious identities can cause prejudices which may lead to economic exclusion and other forms of discrimination which can impact jobs and livelihood opportunities. Unfortunately certain religions are discriminated either due to political propagandas or ideologies. Recent rise in hate crimes and mob lynching is a dangerous trend.
  5. Racism: India is a diverse country with people belonging to different places. People have different cultures, food, clothes and also look different are sometimes discriminated or being abused. E.g. North-eastern peoples being called and labelled as Chinese.

Consequences of Inequalities in form of denial to basic rights:

  1. Religious inequality tends to generate feeling of exclusion among religious minority groups. This reduces their participation in mainstream, in India religious minorities have large population their economic exclusion compromises the GDP growth of nation as whole.
  2. Poor development indicators like IMR, MMR, low per capita income, lower education and learning outcomes at schools, high rate of population growth can be traced to existing socio-economic inequalities.
  3. High economic inequality is detrimental to public healthcare and education. Upper and Middle classes do not have vested interest in well functioning public healthcare and education as they have means to access private healthcare and education.
  4. Due to inequalities they are being denied equal opportunities in jobs, society etc. that prevent them to enjoy even basic rights due to poverty.

Equality is a basic human right and every human being on Earth deserves fair treatment and access to opportunities. Article 15 of Indian constitution says that state should not discriminate on basis of race, religion, sex, place. But it is important to understand that society also need to play a role in stopping such discrimination. Mere laws will not help. It is important to recognise basic human rights of each and every citizen.

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