The continuing Human Rights violation of ‘Dalits’ in India: A discrepancy between Legislative Intent and Subsequent Implementation

Shreya Mukhopadhyay
Adamas University, West Bengal, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The deep-rooted social stratification in India vitiates the efforts made towards development of our society. In 1891, from being accepted as a ‘standard classification of castes’ in the census to the recent Prathvi Raj Chauhan v UOI judgment of 2020, gross inequalities against ‘Dalits’ have been addressed by both the Legislature and Judiciary. For decades, they have being treated less than a human being who ‘polluted higher caste people with their mere presence’. However, be it Arya Samaj or our present samaj, the meaning of ‘Dalits’ remain the same: the Oppressed, Crushed and Broken. While the world speaks of flourishing human rights, ‘Dalits’ are still stripped of their basic human rights on a daily basis. Although this discrimination has been universally acknowledged and addressed, the international instruments and national legislative tools would mean nothing if the execution is not accurate. The National Crime Records Bureau data draws a painful picture of the rampant, extreme and blatant abuse meted out to them. The insensitivity towards the plight of a section of our community that comprises of over 200 million people is an absolute insult to the Constitution of the largest democracy in the world.

The author attempts to navigate through the origin and development of ‘Dalits’ in India alongside the Legislative and Constitutional provisions in place to fuel a solution to this conundrum. Additionally, the author would also attempt to throw some light over the present scenario of ‘Dalits’ bearing in mind the national crime records.

Keywords: Dalits, Abuse, Human Rights, Legislation, India