Casteism-Racism – UPSC Ethics

Is there a difference between casteism and racism? Discuss.

In your opinion, examine why such discriminations are considered as immoral and unethical. (200 Words)
Casteism and Racism have many similarities despite conceptually being two different categories. Both are covered under the broader social rubric of identity. Both are ascribed and hereditary identity. While race emphasizes skin colour, the casteism create hierarchy based on birth with supposed religious and social justification. Their practice in daily life is reflected in differential treatment, discrimination and prejudice against people who do not form part of one’s coherent and homogeneous social groups/community (race or caste).
The caste and race based discrimination are considered immoral and unethical due to following reasons:
  1. It goes against the idea of universal brotherhood and equal treatment to all human being.
  2. It is against the human dignity where person is denied self-respect and to explore fuller potential of life. As practice of untouchability shows, it reduces human to sub-human.
  3. It led to parochial thinking and behaviour and reinforces the prejudices against the other groups.
  4. It incite hate and sometimes violence against the other groups (as reflected in race violence against African American in Europe and Caste violence in India)
  5. It vitiate social atmosphere and ultimately results in sub-optimal utilization of human assets in society.
The discrimination based on caste and race can be minimised by enactment and enforcement of equal opportunity and non-discrimination legislation, promoting  social harmony and imbibing attitude of tolerance and accommodation through liberal education.



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