Junior Faculty Forum for Indian Law Teachers | 2nd Monthy Workshop

The Junior Faculty Forum for Indian Law Teachers is pleased to announce their 2nd monthly workshop for a discussion on a paper by Mr. Surendra Kumar titled “Social Distancing before COVID-19: Interrogating the Universalisation of Caste-based Discrimination and its Horizontality in Race“. This paper will be discussed by Dr. Shreya Atrey, Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law & Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford.

The abstract has been reproduced below for ready reference:-

Caste has always infiltrated the public life and has been a constant social identifier. Caste has moved beyond occupation to social function. Two hundred million of India’s lowest castes have been subjugated to consistent discrimination. In this context, lakhs of Dalits have been forced to do manual scavenging, which is an egregious form of caste-based discrimination in labour. It is discrimination based on descent and is symptomatic of institutionalised social, legal, political and structural barriers. The contours of caste cross national borders as diasporic communities in the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) have shown direct signs of caste prejudices, thereby making it a global concern. There have been debates in the past whether caste can be correlated with other forms of discriminations, such as those based on race in countries like the UK and US. However, the result has been a long list of contested literature. In this paper, I argue that redressal of caste-based discrimination requires concerted international efforts by different countries, and a dialogue with the jurisprudential aspect of anti-racism agenda may add as a strong imperative against caste-based discrimination. Using the case studies of Safai Karamchari Andolan v Union of India (2014), Tirkey v Chandhok (2015) in the UK and ongoing Cisco case in the US (2020), the universalism of caste is emphasised upon and how it poses novel challenges for the equality regime. Recognition of caste as an aspect of the race on analogous ground of inherited unequal status would be a step forward towards the realisation of substantive equality. The experience of caste in India and the United Kingdom would be useful to understand caste in international law normatively and descriptively. I argue that while caste and race are conceptually different, they are axiomatic manifestations of an analogous system of inherited status. I propose that the interpretation of race as an entity subsuming discrimination arising out of caste will help nudge the governments to address it systematically and with full force beyond semantic sophistry in both India as well as United Kingdom.

Date and Time – 8th August 2020 at 4 PM IST
Last Date for Registration – 7th August 2020
You can register for the link by clicking here. The meeting link will be sent to only those who have registered.

All attendees are expected to read the paper beforehand – the paper will be assumed to have been read and will not be presented at the workshop. The workshop will begin with comments and critique from the discussant. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

LAOT’s Student Editors-in-Chief Dayaar Singla & Vishal Rakhecha recently had the pleasure to interview Prof. Tarunabh Khaitan on the motivations and the idea behind the JFF. Prof. Khaitan also talks about improving one’s academic writing and more! Watch/ Read the interview on our Blog here.

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