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Race, Religion And The Law In The Post Pandemic World

Who could've thought that a virus originating in Wuhan could spread the world entirely? Covid changed everything and everyone. Lots of people are forced to stop working physically or attending classes in person. They're forced to do it online. My perception of doing everything online has been negative, especially with online education, because I find them useless. I'd rather play video games than sit around a computer and listen to some random boring lecture.

This pandemic also gave a lot of people a lot of free time. People mostly spend that time on the internet, and the internet that we all know is a cesspool of radioactive heaps. In other words, the pandemic brought the worst in people.

I've seen people on Twitter having their mini religious strife over whose religion is superior to the rest. On Instagram, Social Media Activists talk big about racism while at the same time, they were promoting fairness creams. These pointless internet feuds are also full of mob mentality, bhedchaal mentality, and outrage culture.

If this behavior persists while the pandemic is going on, I highly doubt the post-pandemic will change anything. The Sushant Case already made the law look like a joke. Another problem on the rise is the constant racial and religious profiling during the pandemic.

Racial Profilling during the Pandemic

We Indians are funny and hypocritical people. We get offended when a foreign YouTuber makes some jokes about India without even understanding the context. But when a person from North East was attacked because he "looks Chinese" that's when no one bats an eye.

In fact, during the T-Series vs. PewDiePie feud, we even brought patriotism cards all to support soulless corporations like T-Series just because PewDiePie joked about India. This isn't to say that the Bhedchaal mentality and Outrage culture played a huge role in this so-called patriotic sermon.

A North-East guy goes to a shop, gets profiled by shopkeepers and customers. All because he looks "Chinese." They call the guy names like "Chinki." When the guy tells the mob not to do so, he was met with violence. There wasn't any outrage, no patriotic sermon, no solidarity among people because this happens in everyday life.

When Wuhan brought the world to its knees through its virus, people stopped seeing the difference between the people who live in North-East and people who live in China. They think because look the same, so they thought they're responsible for this pandemic. Students in Kolkata were called "corona" by the people during the initial stages of the pandemic in India.

It's not just the North-Easterns that face this racial profiling. Biharis, people from South India, the Sikhs, the Muslims, the Hindus, SC/ST folks, have faced racism of some kind. It's a common practice among us Indians. But when racism against an Indian happens elsewhere outside India, It becomes a matter of national pride.

Do we all remember the George Floyd Protests? A man whose death by police brutality sparked protests in the Western World. We saw lots of people saying something and anything on Social Media. Even our celebrities gave their two cents on this matter. People like Priyanka Chopra, who used to promote fairness creams back in India.

But ever since her breakout in Hollywood, her stance had completely changed, and she started promoting the Black Lives Matter protests. People considered her opinion as a hypocritical stance.

Religious Profiling during the Pandemic

The mob went banshee mode when a rapper named M.C. Kode defiled the Hindu gods five years ago. But they put a YouTuber named Elvish Yadav on a pedestal because he's now speaking in favor of Hinduism. Even though Elvish defiled the Hindu gods too, like smoking a cigar in the name of Shivji, defiling Hanuman Chalisa in the name of content, and calling Hindu mantras "sexy-sexy."

M.C. Kode is no saint, but Elvish Yadav hasn't been held accountable for his actions yet. Religious profiling is very easy in a country like India. It's like a tutorial stage for being the most prejudiced person on the planet.

The blame game is pretty common when someone is religiously profiling someone post 9/11. Muslims are considered terrorists all because of their religion. On Twitter, I've seen people attacking a NASA intern for having Hindu Gods.

Both the Tabhliqi Jamaat and Kumbh Mela were considered Covid boosters. The New York Times sure did talk big about India's Covid situation while mentioning the Kumbh Mela playing the big part. At the same time, they forgot that Baishaki and Id were going on too.

Well, what do we expect from a media outlet that made half-baked reports during the Sri Lankan Civil War, and did hit-pieces on MrBeast and Elon Musk for trivial reasons? Those hit-pieces were made at the same time India was having a devastating second wave of Covid.
Religious profiling has exacerbated the situation for Indian secularism.

Our constitution guarantees that India's significant religions live in the concordance and collaborating. These little strict common conflicts are making things extremely hard for the Indian public.

The Love Jihad law in UP has placed a negative impression on everyone. Also that it abuses Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. Each opportunity news comes in with regards to Hindu-Muslim viciousness it's disheartening to see. On the off chance that things don't improve soon, Hindu-Muslim relations will be directed once again at the Partition-period hardships.

What does the law say?

Constitution: Fundamental Rights

  1. Everyone regardless of any grounds is equal under Article 14.
  2. Article 15 prohibits any discrimination on any grounds, especially in public places.
  3. Article 16 ensures equal opportunities in employment.
  4. Untouchability is an offense under Article 17 of the Constitution.
  5. Every citizen must have had the right to life, the right to personal liberty, and the right to dignity.
  6. Articles 25-28 ensure the right to practice any religion without being discriminated against.
  7. Articles 29 and 30 make sure that the minorities get educations and practice their culture without facing any discrimination.
  8. Article 32 ensures constitutional remedies in case of any violation of Fundamental Right

Constitution: Non Fundamental Rights

  1. Article 51(A)(e) connotes the obligation of each resident to the sensation of amicability and fraternity among every one of the residents of India and forsake the practices which are defamatory to the respect of ladies.
  2. Articles 243D(3) and 243T(3) provides 1/3rd seats to women, Scheduled Caste, and Scheduled Tribe in Panchayat and Municipality respectively.
  3. Article 300A ensures that every citizen has property rights.

IPC

  1. Defamation (Sections 499 and 500)- Punishment: 2 years and/or fine
  2. Criminal Intimidation (Section 503)
  3. Voyeurism (Section 354D)- Punishment: 3 years (First offense), 7 years (Multiple offenses)
  4. Insulting religious deities (Sections 295-298)
  5. Criminal Intimidation with anonymity (Section 507)- Punishment: will be extended to 2 years.
Conclusion
Like I already said, if the situation is this bad during the pandemic then the post-pandemic era might be bleak. Or worse, it could lead to a new crisis. India is a democracy, and we need to bring strategies that could sort out racial and religious tensions around the country. We also need to remember that laws won't make any difference unless we decide to do something to promote racial and religious harmony all over the country.

References:
  1. https://www.thebetterindia.com/229400/george-floyd-india-protests-fairness-cream-skin-whitener-celebrities-endorsement-ranbir-kapoor-tapsee-pannu-racism-black-lives-gop94/
  2. https://blog.ipleaders.in/all-about-racial-differences-india/
  3. https://blog.ipleaders.in/unfolding-reality-racism-india/#Racist_Abuse_and_Aggression_against_the_People_of_North-East_India
  4. https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2021/01/online-bandwagon-and-outrage-culture-in-india/
  5. https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2021/06/the-recent-issues-are-setting-a-dangerous-precedent-on-the-internet/
  6. https://www.theyouth.in/2020/06/10/film-stars-who-advertise-fairness-creams-for-money-today-saying-black-lives-matter/
  7. https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2021/05/the-pseudo-culture-is-harming-the-internet-and-india/
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5zZROoA3jo&t=1699s
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur7IRbTA4Fo&t=529s
  10. https://myvoice.opindia.com/2021/10/attention-india-the-celebrities-and-media-gave-their-opinions-beware-this-is-not-a-drill/
  11. https://www.opindia.com/2021/07/nasa-intern-hinduphobia-attacked-pratima-roy/
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/15/world/india-fake-coronavirus-covid-tests.html
  13. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mia-freaks-out-at-new-yor_n_592327
  14. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-uttar-pradeshs-love-jihad-law-and-why-it-could-be-implemented-vigorously-7066156/
  15. https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/uttar-pradesh-prohibition-of-unlawful-conversion-of-religion-ordinance-2020/
  16. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4342-autism-a-general-summary.html
  17. https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/fundamental-rights/
  18. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4082-online-harassment-and-the-rise-of-social-media-trial-and-online-witch-hunt.html

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