Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Houses for Brahmins, Marrying Specially and Apolitical Politics

Three issues we like to track on this blog:

1. Housing discrimination: This advert has sparked some debate on the internet. It has an image of a billboard advertising flats 'only for Brahmins'. Regular readers will know that our country still shamefully permits housing discrimination on the grounds of religion. However, section 4(viii) of the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 prohibits the enforcement against any person of any disability with regard to 'the construction, acquisition, or occupation of any residential premises in any locality, whatsoever' on the grounds of untouchability. The problem is that while a housing society only for Brahmins may be inspired by untouchability, because it exlcudes not just dalits but also other 'touchable' castes, it may not be caught by this provision. From a plain reading of the statutory provision, our law seems to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of untouchability, but not caste or religion per se. Do readers know of any judgment which has expanded the scope of this provision?


2. Special Marriage Act: Arun had done a fantastic post on the problems with the Special Marriage Act, and how interfaith and irreligious couples find it difficult to navigate its bureaucratese. It seems the government may finally be moving to fix the problem and simplify the process. Let us keep our fingers crossed.


3. Apolotical Politics of Team Anna-Kejriwal: I have expressed sceptical views about the movement against corruption earlier on this blog. In this well-written piece, Mathew Idiculla explores the politics of being anti-political and the dangers it poses to democracy.
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