Caste based discrimination and it’s legal provisions
Fastest News Nepal, Hetauda, Makawanpur- Caste can be defined as a hereditary system of social grouping distinguished by degrees of purity, social status and exclusiveness. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. A caste may be defined as a collaboration of families or groups of families bearing a common name which usually denotes or is associated with specific occupation claiming common descent from a mythical ancestors, human or divine, protesting to follow the same professional calling and are regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as formed a single and homogeneous community. Dalits are diverse group, yet easily identifiable through the names, place of origin, residence, occupation and accent. Each person shall have rights against untouchability and discrimination. Everyone has right to have equal treatment from the court or other judicial body, equal access to public services Right to equal participation in cultural activities, right to marry and choose the bride or bridegroom, right to have equal salary for an equal work, right to get prompt judicial remedies and appropriate compensation against untouchability and discrimination.
We can see different effects of untouchability existing in Nepalese society. Nepal is one of many such states that continue to retain its archaic system of caste. Caste based discrimination, including the practice of untouchability is still very prevalent in Nepal and exclusionary state practices continue to maintain the historical divides between communities resulting in a great lack of trust in civic institutions. The notion of caste is also widely believed to be rooted in one of the oldest known Vedic Sanskrit texts known as the Rigveda (The knowledge of verses), which is one of four canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas ( sacred writings of wisdom/knowledge).Untouchability leads to conflicts between upper caste and lower caste in a society which eventually damages social harmony due to many caste-based discrimination’s in Nepal the government of Nepal has legally abolished the caste-system and criminalized any caste-based discrimination, including untouchability. Till now these castes have been suffering from various social and political disabilities.
Rules and laws in Nepal
The following punishment shall be imposed on a person who commits the offences below:
A person committing the offence preventing, controlling or restricting anyone in a way from entering, attending or participating, social exclusion, discrimination or any kind of intolerant behavior, deprives person from using or enjoying public services or prohibiting any one to carry on profession or business and deprives others to perform any religious act on the basis of caste, origin, race, decent then they shall be liable to the punishment of imprisonment for a term up to 3 years or a fine of 30 thousand rupees or both.
A person who cause to prevent anyone from producing, selling, distributing goods or services on the basis of cast or if services and goods is distributed only to the person belonging to particular caste and preventing some specific caste from purchasing is done and if anyone excludes other from entering into house or evict him/her from house/village or compel them to leave the house is considered punishable. Person disseminating, publishing or exhibiting any audio-visual material, picture, poster, book or by way of electronic means, denote hierarchical supremacy of any person or community on the ground of origin caste, race, untouchability or transmit the views based on untouchability then they shall be liable to the punishment of imprisonment for a term from 2 months to 2 years and a fine from 20 thousand to 1 lakh rupees for any above mentioned offense.
A person, who aids, abets or instigates anyone to commit untouchability or discrimination or attempts to do such act shall be liable to half the punishment prescribed to the principal offender.
If any person commits, or causes to be committed, any act mentioned above on the basis of ground of custom, tradition, religion, culture, rituals, origin, caste, race, descent, community, occupation or business or physical condition shall be deemed to have committed untouchability and discrimination. Even though the law has covered the most of the acts which is discrimination on the basis of the caste as the offence and the punishment for such offence and the compensation for the victim also until and unless people are not aware or change their mindset that the caste based discrimination and untouchability can’t end totally. Despite a legal ban on caste-based discrimination, experts say that prejudice is still rampant in Nepalese society. Hence every castes should be aware about their rights.