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Faculty of Law


caste discrimination in Canada;caste marginalisation;caste-based private discrimination;critical caste theory;intersectionality in caste;private discrimination


Vasanthi Venkatesh



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


"Caste" is a rigid system of social hierarchy marked by deep-rooted divisions. These divisions are upheld through patriarchal and heteronormative practices, often enforced through the looming threats of social ostracism, economic boycotts, and physical violence, which also infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India. While numerous legal judgments and legislations have concentrated on mitigating caste-based discrimination by state authorities and individuals in public spaces, significantly less attention has been directed towards caste discrimination in private spheres, referred to as private discrimination. Despite explicit constitutional provisions that prohibit private discrimination and enable individuals to take legal action against others for such transgressions, the courts have demonstrated hesitance in enforcing fundamental rights against private individuals engaging in caste discrimination. Consequently, instances of private discrimination endured by Dalits and Other Backward Classes have remained mainly outside the scope of legal protection. This thesis employs a critical caste theory framework arguing for the regulation of caste discrimination pertaining to various aspects, such as employment, marriage, housing, dining, and general social interactions. To provide a comprehensive analysis of these issues in the Indian context, this thesis explores the anti-discrimination legal framework in Canada related to private discrimination.

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