Download Against Caste in British Law: A Critical Perspective on the by Prakash Shah PDF

By Prakash Shah

This e-book discusses the salience of the caste query in united kingdom legislations. It offers the historical past to how the caste provision got here into the Equality Act 2010 and the way it was once bolstered in 2013, and analyses many of the pursuits that performed a job in getting caste into legislations.

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Extra info for Against Caste in British Law: A Critical Perspective on the Caste Discrimination Provision in the Equality Act 2010

Sample text

The background Western framework to caste means that evidence is not required for legislating against it because its immorality is clear. We saw earlier how missionaries unanimously identified caste as a major obstacle to conversion. We also saw how a society based on religiously sanctioned caste stratification was inimical to core Protestant ideas about equality of spiritual status, and how the Aryan invasion theory was brought in to explain caste as a religiously ordained racial order. The implicit idea of a violent sacerdotal order lies behind this secular theorizing of the caste system and of the corruption of Indian culture and society.

The notion of an Aryan race has been discredited in mainstream Western thought particularly because it led to the tragedy of genocide during the Second World War. Prior to that it was advocated widely in European intellectual circles. However, it continues to rear its head when India’s population and caste system are brought into discussion. Many scholars of India working in different disciplines assert that there was indeed an Aryan intrusion. Whether it was an invasion or a series of migrations is a secondary matter of some debate.

Indian organizations in Britain feel that adding caste to the Equality Act stigmatizes their members and is unwarranted and offensive especially because they were never consulted about the legislation, which has caught them unawares. Both legislative initiatives, of 2010 and 2013, were rushed, leading to the suspicion that the aim was to avoid proper dialogue about the wisdom of having such a provision. Many Hindu, Jain and Sikh organizations have said they were by-passed in consultations prior to the legislation, while those who expressed misgivings about the legislation have complained about their being ignored.

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