(With Special Reference to Muslim and Dalits)
Saiyad Md Shahnawaz
Academy of International Studies
Jamia Millia Islamia
(Discrimination Against Muslims and Dalits in India)
The constitution of India not only guarantees basic human rights as fundamental rights but also prohibits all kind of discriminatory practices, in any forms. There are progressive laws and human right redress mechanisms and institution, but these are not effectively implemented. The mindset of the supporters of discriminatory practices has yet to be changed. Laws are blatantly violated; perpetrators of crimes against Muslims and Dalits are often hand in glove with agents of the state. All of this constitutes a major challenge to India’s claims of being a democracy.
In the matter of social relationships, discrimination against Muslims and Dalits takes the form of barriers against access to justice, eating, drinking, worshiping, and having access to common properties. It puts a ban on all common cycles of participation. In the use of public facilities, the sprit of discrimination manifests itself in the exclusion of the Muslims and Dalits from schools, wells, temples, means of conveyance and access to land, water and other livelihood resources. Public administration is also deeply drenched in the sprit of discrimination against Muslims. It has affected law courts, government department, banks and particularly the police. Discrimination against Muslims in the matter of securing land, credit, job etc. in the most rampant form.
Many members of the Muslim minority in India feel marginalized within the nation’s secular institutions. They believe that while many people treat western secular values as universally valid, in actuality, they are not. For instance, many individuals and NGOs alike advocate for all citizens to have access to education. What these advocates may fail to recognize, however, is that the right to education means each individual’s right to have access to the public schools as defined and organized by the state, and as run by the dominant group. It does not necessarily mean the right of a group of individuals with some shared characteristics to institutionalize their own type of education.
I. The crisis faced by Dalits and Muslims is prevalent because of the biases and mindset of majority of the Indian people. II. Some social and religious quarters have created some beliefs and norms quiet adverse to the equitable position of marginalized people which is very difficult to crack. III. Modernization forces are not able to advance movement to overtake the traditions and to prevent degradation of pluralistic and equity based values. IV. There is lack of experience and mechanism in dealing with the problem of discrimination against marginalized people with new dimension.
Objectives and Scope of the Study
The proposed research study will try to achieve the following objectives and will putt forward and agenda for academicians, policy makers and highest legislative establishment in corporate thereof in their pursuit for making available equality and justice to the children of lesser Gods,i.e Dalits and Muslims in India.
The research will provide an overview of the structures and forms of discrimination and denial that Muslims and Dalits in India face, which, in turn, seriously challenge India’s democratic credentials. India has a population of 1210.2 million people (2011 census) in which about 400 million people are Muslims and Dalits who, in one form or the other, are vulnerable to discrimination.
The research will look at the need of human rights groups in India today to seek to create democratic space for marginalized groups like Muslims and Dalits and access democratic institutions for their empowerment. The limits of the liberal democracy...