Chapter 2. Diversity and Discrimination

Prejudice and Stereotypes
• Prejudice means to judge other people negatively or see them as inferior. We can be prejudiced about many things such as people’s religious beliefs, skin colour, region they come from, accent they speak in, clothes they wear.
• Stereotype means we fix people into one image – for example, when people say that boys do not cry, it is an image that is fixed for boys.
• Stereotyped people look at each person as a unique individual with his or her own special qualities and skills that are different from others.

Inequality and Discrimination
• Discrimination happens when people act on their prejudices or stereotypes.
• Discrimination can take place because of several reasons such as economic background, region, religion.
• People are discriminated against with kind of work with which they are associated.
• group of people who do work like cleaning, cutting hair, washing. are considered dirty or impure. This belief gives rise to caste system.
• groups who did low-profile jobs were considered untouchables.
• Dalits are people who are untouchables and [those who have been ‘broken’, and] government refers to these as Scheduled Castes [SC].
• Caste-based discrimination not only limits people from undertaking certain economic activities but denies them respect and dignity given to others.

Dr. BhimRao Ramji Ambedkar
• Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, who lived from 1891 to 1956, is known as “father” of Indian Constitution. He was also leader of Scheduled Caste. He fought for rights of people in Scheduled Caste group. He was born into Mahar caste, which was a group that was not allowed to touch. He was first person from his caste to finish college and become a lawyer in England. He became a Buddhist because he wanted to find a religion where everyone was treated same.

Features of Indian Constitution
• leaders who wrote our Constitution set some goals in Constitution to ensure that all people of India were considered equal.
• Constitution provides equality for all persons; and it is seen as a key value that unites us all as Indians.
• Today, everyone has equal rights and opportunities.
• Untouchability is seen as a crime and has been legally abolished by law.
• People are free to choose kind of work they wish to do.
• Government jobs are open to all people.
• writers of Constitution said that respect for diversity was a significant element in ensuring equality. They felt that people must have freedom to follow their religion, speak their language, celebrate their festivals, and express themselves freely.
• No language, religion or festival should become compulsory for all to follow.
• government must treat all religions equally.
• India became a secular country where people of different religions and faiths have freedom to practise and follow their religion without any fear of discrimination.

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