Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Caste Discrimination and Minority Rights: The Case of India's Dalits

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

India's Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables) number around 167 million or one-sixth of India's population. Despite constitutional and legislative prohibitions of Untouchability and discrimination on grounds of caste they continue to suffer caste-based discrimination and violence. Internationally, caste discrimination has been affirmed since 1996 by the UN committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as a form of racial discrimination prohibited by the Inter national Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and since 2000 as a form of discrimination prohibited by international human rights law. India's Dalits have also pursued minority rights and indigenous peoples' approaches before international forums. Yet the Dalits do not readily meet the internationally-agreed criteria for minorities or for indigenous peoples, while in India they are not classified legally as a minority, enjoying a constitutional status and constitutional protections in the form of affirmative action provisions distinct from those groups classified as minorities. This article is concerned with the characterisation of the Dalits in international and Indian law. In particular it focuses on India's provisions on Dalits and minorities respectively, examining the origins and limitations of the Scheduled Caste category (the constitutional term for the Dalits) and the relationship between Scheduled Caste status and religion. The article addresses arguments for the extension of Scheduled Caste status to Muslim and Christian Dalits (currently excluded from the constitutional category on grounds of religion) and concludes by endorsing calls for re-examination of the domestic legal categories encompassing victims of caste discrimination and of the legal strategies for the elimination of such discrimination, while arguing that internationally caste discrimination might be more effectively addressed by the conceptualisation of caste as a sui generis ground of discrimination as in India.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    International Journal on Minority and Group Rights — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation