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Racism: Diverse faces of discrimination in India

India the land of culture, colours, tastes and also the land of rapes, caste-based discrimination and racism. India has a long history of racism. But the face of racism witnessed on this multi-diverse land is slightly different from the rest of the world.

For centuries different types of discrimination have flourished in this country. Discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour and sexes have always been in the headlines.

Caste-based discrimination

The caste system is one of the core problems the country has faced for millennia. The caste system has originated from ancient Indian civilisations. With time the cast problem has strengthened its root in the Indian society.

More than 2,000 different ethnic groups reside in India. Every group have its unique ethnicity, traditions and rituals. But with diversity comes differences; a world value survey reveals that 43.5% of Indian don’t prefer living with people of a different race than theirs.

Untouchability: Hinduism, one of the oldest religion in the world, which begin about 4,500 years ago. Hindu society back then was divided into varnas. Dalits were described in the fifth varna addressed as ‘Panchama‘.

The Dalits’ children have suffered discrimination in schools. There were cases when SC/ST teachers being abused by the people of the so-called upper class.

This kind of racism was witnessed in many aspects, for example, Social persecution by caste Hindus, Heath and nutrition and crime etc. But the government have provided these socially deprived group with reservations; to help them overcome their social situations. Various other kinds of political rights are provided. But still, the problem resides in a few rural parts of the country.

Marriages: Even in the 21st-century inter-caste marriages are a taboo in India. Various cases of honour killing come up from time to time in this aspect. Parents burn their daughter alive for inter-caste marriages. More than 100 cases of honour killing relating to inter-caste marriage come every single year in India.

Acces of Education, socioeconomic disparities, slavery, access to land, political rights; and many more are the problems have emerged from the caste-based discrimination in India.

Religion-based discrimination

Indian constitution’s article 25-28 guarantees it’s citizen freedom of religion. And on the ground level too, it is true; here every person has the right to choose the religion they want to have faith in.

But the problem and discrimination here are in the relations between the people of different religions. Especially the Hindu-Muslim who most of the time live together, love and respect each other; but sometimes ignite into battles against each other.

U.S. Commission on International Religious freedom stated India as “country of particular concern”. Reason being the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Bill); Which has turned into a violent protest and lasted for months.

“There has been a drastic increase in the religious discrimination and violence in India,” says United States Institution of Peace. Religion-based discrimination in India mostly targets the minor-sections of society.

Discrimination with the north-eastern Indians.

2012, a Manipuri student, Richard Loitam’s murder. Dana Sangma, Nido Taniam; Likewise hundreds of more people from northeastern India were assaulted or murdered. The only fault of their is, not being visibly Indian.

In other parts of India, a few people see northeast Indians as non-Indians. Northeastern Indians usually become the victim of violence and abuse.

Neha Sinha says in “Racism gets more and more pernicious when entangled with other forms of differentiation”. Women of northeast India suffers a lot. When the discrimination combines with sexes, people start generating the wrong perception about them.

With the COVID 19 pandemic, the northeast Indian’s suffering in other parts of the country has increased. People call them Chinese and blame them for the spread of the virus.

Gender-based discrimination

Since the entire world knows how safe India is for women, no wonder women face discrimination here. Apart from women safety, women here face discrimination in ways sounds impossible. The patriarchy of India has suppressed women as inferiors for centuries.

43% of women in India are married before age of 18; says district Information System for Education (DISE). 1 out of every child bride of the world belongs to India.

Income inequality, women here, are most of the time earn less than men for the same work. From property rights to acid attack women suffer everywhere.

The skin colour of Indian girls matters a lot in Indian society. Neha Dixit says that girls with dark skin colour are more prone to discrimination than lighter skin girls.

Xenophobia in India

Auwal Aliyu, a 27 year old Nigerian along with several other Nigerian, were attacked and brutally beaten in the capital city of India.

Africans face discrimination in India. Basically because at the core levels a few Indians still value the colour of skin. Having white skin is a big privilege here in India.

There have been mob attacks on Africans in northern India. Experiences of white men and women are contradictory with those of migrants with dark skin.

India need to stem the tide of racism

India is a diverse nation with people from different parts lives together as one. As one it is the collective responsibility of the government and people to conquer over discrimination.

India’s home ministry and external affair ministry have to take some concrete steps to tackle discrimination and racism problems.

If not fought soon than, racism will, without a shadow of a doubt, weaken the soul of India that is ‘unity in diversity‘. For a better world, complete eradication of racism is important, above all because ‘EVERY LIFE MATTER’.

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