India has been ranked among the highest racist countries of the world. The present scenario is that even our own citizens face discrimination and are frightened to move freely in their own country. There are villages where the people of backward classes are not even allowed to worship their god in the temple as they will make it impure. The question is who gave them the right to exclude other if the Indian Constitution expressly provides equality to all its citizens? This happens because there is no expressed law to deal with racial discrimination.


Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of ancestry or physical or cultural characteristics associated with a certain race, such as skin color, hair texture or styles, or certain facial features.

Many cases of visible racism have been noted against Indians around the world for their brown skin. But racism is also visible in our country among the Indian communities. The impact of racism is seen both on the individuals who experience it as well as the wider community. It results in reduced productivity, poor physical health, and mental distress. It also opposes economic and social participation which can in turn cause social exclusion. It has a physiological and psychological impact on the person. 

Politicians think racism is not always about the color factor racism, there are many kinds of racial discrimination practiced in India even today like — skin color, the shape of lips, hair, etc. However, it is also true that skin color became a dominant factor from the 18th century onwards.

India is a country of diverse and varied, Awareness about all cultures and regions is not possible at all. This ignorance gives rise to racial discrimination, it can have grave consequences.

Types of Racial Discrimination in India

Direct discrimination: This happens when somebody treats you more regrettably than someone else in a comparable circumstance in view of your race.

For illustration – if a letting organization would not let a level to you in view of your race, this would be immediate race separation

Indirect discrimination: This happens when an association has a specific approach or method for working that puts individuals of your racial gathering at a disadvantage.

For illustration – a hairdresser declines to appoint a stylist that covers their own particular hair. This would put any Muslim ladies or Sikh men who cover their hair off guard while applying for a position as a stylist.

In some cases, indirect race segregation can be allowed if the association or manager can show to demonstrate that there is a justifiable reason purpose behind the separation. This is known as target support.

In case, a Somalian refugee searcher tries to open a ledger however the bank expresses that so as to be qualified you need to be an occupant in the UK for a year and have a lasting location. The Somalian man can’t open a ledger. The bank would need to demonstrate that its approach was essential for business reasons, (for example, to avoid misrepresentation) and that there was no viable option.

Harassment: Harassment happens when somebody makes you feel humiliated, annoyed or corrupted.

For illustration – a youthful British Asian man at work continues being known as a bigot name by associates. His associates say it is simply chit-chat, yet the representative is offended and humiliated by it. Provocation can never be legitimized. However if an association or boss can demonstrate that it did all that it could do to prevent individuals who work in it, you won’t have the capacity to make a claim for harassment against it.


This is the point at which you are treated very badly on the grounds that you have complained about the racial discrimination faced under the Equality To act or likewise happen in the case when you are supporting somebody who has made a protest of race-related separation.

For illustration – the young fellow in the case above needs to make a formal protestation about his treatment. His chief debilitates to sack him unless he drops the objection.

Whom to report the instances of racial discrimination?

Filing a police complaint

The person facing discrimination can report the instance to the police directly by filing an FIR. The police will then take the necessary actions as provided under Criminal Procedure Code.

  1. If you have been a victim of racial discrimination, you should directly approach the police for this. A criminal case can be filed as per the procedure laid down.
  2. First of all, one can file an FIR at the police station about the instances of the crime. The police officer will prepare a detailed document upon the information received.
  3. After hearing and noting the information, he can direct you to the District Magistrate for further action.
  4. FIR can be filed by the victim himself or anyone who has knowledge of the crime.
  5. Filing of FIR requires no charges to be paid. So, any information regarding the offence can be filed with the police

Filing a complaint with NGO

There are many NGOs in India that works against racial discrimination and protect the interest of the victims who face racism in India. If the police do not take any actions, it can also be filed with an NGO which works to remove such type of issues. It does not charge any fee so, anyone can freely move there for help.

A benefit of making a complaint to an NGO is that it does not charge any fee for resolving the issue of racism which will encourage the poor and needy to make a complaint who usually never file a complaint in a legal procedure as that would cost a lot for them.

Online as well as offline facilities are available for filing complaints. A proper form has to be filled out regarding the details of the victim, incident, relief, etc. secrecy is maintained by the NGOs so anyone can file a complaint without any fear. Without involving so much legal procedure one can save time and money. It contains certain details which are necessary to be filled in for complaining against Racism;

  • Complainant details
  • Victim’s details
  • Incident details
  • Relief details

Filing a complaint with National Human Rights Commission

The complaint can also be filed with State or National Human Rights Commission. They work for violation of any kind of human rights. A detailed procedure has been laid down for filing the complaint. A victim or any person on his behalf can file a complaint.

  1. It can be filed by post, addressing National Human Rights Commission Manav Adhikar Bhawan Block-C, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi-110023.
  2. Through email, covdnhrc@nic.in (general)/ jrlaw@nic.in (for complaints). through fax (011) 23386521 or any other mode.
  3. One can also contact by phone on the number +91 9810298900.

Racism law

The Constitution of India under Article 14 guarantees the right to equality for every citizen of India. Article 15 clearly states that no discrimination should be done on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Article 16 gives the power to make special reservations for the people of backward classes.

A bill introduced by Shashi Tharoor i.e. Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill 2016, aims to ensure equal protection against all such discrimination that exists in our society. It basically broadens the scope of discrimination to protect individuals and groups whose rights are being violated on the ground of discrimination. The bill if passed can affect the lives of thousands of people in a positive manner.

The Delhi High Court was asked by the Ministry of Home Affairs to regulate and strengthen the laws which deal with racial discrimination. For this, it has been thought to insert new section 153(A) in the Indian Penal Code which punishes discrimination on the ground of race, color, caste, etc. the scope of this section has been widened and punishes the promotion of disharmony, ill-will or feelings of hatred towards any religious groups and provides for punishment up to three years, or with fine, or both.

Law Commission of India’s 267th report has been submitted about “hate speech.” According to the Law Commission of India, hate speech incites the public to hatred against a group of persons on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious belief. It can be through any word written, spoken, or signs or representation. It has also suggested introducing new sections in regard to addressing such issues.

“Section 153(C) to prohibit incitement leading to hatred on the grounds of religion, caste, sex, place of birth, residence, language, disability or tribe. If any grave threatening words by any means either spoken, written or signed is used and lead to violence shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and a fine up to INR 5000, or with both.

Section 505(A) deals with intentionally using words or writings or displaying any representation which provokes the use of unlawful violence against the person or group. The punishment extends to one year and/or fine up to 5000, or both”.

International Conventions on racial discrimination

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is an international human rights treaty that was adopted by the United Nations to eliminate racial discrimination at every level. It widely covers the rights of all people and tends to eliminate discrimination on the ground of color, descent, race, and origin.




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