Article 17 of Indian constitution: Abolition of Untouchability. Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.
The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law.
Article 17: “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offense punishable in accordance with law
Parliament is authorized to make a law prescribing the punishment for the offence of untouchability under Article 17 of Indian constitution[Article 35], and in the exercise of this power parliament has enacted the Untouchability (Offence) Act 1955, which has been amended and renamed as the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955.
The Act declares certain acts as an offence , which done on the ground Untouchability and prescribes punishment thereof.
(a) Refusing admission to any person to a public institution such as hospitals, dispensaries, educational institutions.
(b) Preventing any person from worshipping or offering prayers in any place of public worship.
The sweep of this Act has been enlarged in 1976 by including within the offense of practicing Untouchability, the following
(i) Insulting a member of an SC on the ground of Untouchability
(ii) Preaching Untouchability directly or indirectly
(iii) Justifying untouchability on historical, philosophical or religious grounds or on the ground of tradition of the caste system.
History of Untouchability in India?
Untouchability is prevalent in Indian society since the Vedic Period time (1500 BC). During the Vedic period, Indian society was divided on the Verna system (Manusmirti). In which society was divided into four Verna called Brahmanis, Kshatriyas, Vaishya, and Shudra.
The last Verna called Shudra, in which mostly indigenous people were there faced the agony of untouchability. They were not allowed to bath on common well, bathing ghats, temples..etc. Other Verna’s did not use to allow them to enter their homes.
Since then this practice has continued in various forms. But after independence, the new Constitution of India has made special provisions for the abolition of this practice of untouchability, thanks to B.R.Ambedkar.
Untouchability in modern-day Indian society(Enforcement of Article 17)
Since independence, the gratitude of untouchability has definitely decreased. Since now untouchability in any form is a punishable offense, very little untouchability exists in overt form. But still to some extent untouchability exists in covert form and it is also decreasing.
The politicization of this issue has hampered the eradication process. The need is to enforce this law in real spirit.
It deals with the abolition of untouchability. It makes the untouchability on any form a criminal offense.
Civil Rights Protection Act 1955 makes the provision of punishment for the practice of untouchability.
It prohibits the practice of untouchability in any form.
It says” “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law. “