Centre’s anti-racism proposals receives cold response
The central government’s proposal to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with stricter anti-racist provisions has received cold response from states other than the north eastern states whose people are mostly the victims of racism in India.
The proposed amendment has provisions to punish those who are guilty of racist behavior with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and fine.
The proposal was made based on the recommendations of the Bezbaruah Committee, constituted by the Centre in February 2014 in the wake of a series of racial attacks on persons belonging to the northeast and particularly after the death of Nodo Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was attacked at Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.
The Bezbaruah Committee had made five key recommendations in its report. One, to make racist acts of varied nature punishable under law; Two, to have a strong and determined law enforcement agency to prevent such acts and to investigate such incidents quickly and professionally; Three, to have adequate support system for the victims; Four, to ensure an efficient system for delivery of justice fairly and quickly; and five, to introduce socio-economic and cultural initiatives to educate people and to remove their wrong perceptions.
Based on this, the union Home Ministry had sent letters to the states in February this year, i.e less than a month after a shocking video of north eastern girls being brutally beaten up by their landlord in Bengaluru went viral on internet.
However, according to a report in The Hindu, only four states have given their assent to the Centre’s proposal, out of which three are from the north east- Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Uttar Pradesh is the fourth and the only state from outside the north east which has supported the proposal. Three Union Territories — Andaman and Nicobar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshwadeep — have also agreed.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had stated in Rajya Sabha in July that the amendment was meant “to deal with the racially motivated crimes.”
(source: Outlook India)