Caste-hate speech: Addressing hate speech based on work and descent
22 March 2021
This report studying caste-based hate speech was published on March 22, 2021, by the International Dalit Solidarity Network – a collective of individuals and organisations from several countries. Its author is Murali Shanmugavelan – senior teaching fellow at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.Caste – an ancient form of social discrimination in South Asia – continues to exist through endogamous practices, rituals and cultural codes. Yet, it is not specifically recognised by any international instrument or treaty on human rights. The report discusses the ways in which ‘caste-hate speech’ is humiliating and dehumanising for those at the bottom of the social hierarchy, and studies such speech in the media and digital spaces. It also argues that such acts be recognised as a distinctive form of hate speech by international agencies like the United Nations.Along with a review of international human rights documents and media reports, the publication draws on qualitative interviews of over 35 activists, experts, representatives of civil society organisations and social media platforms, IT professionals and internet-rights activists, from across South Asia.The 35-page report contains nine chapters: Introduction (chapter I); Approach and Methodology (chapter II); Hate speech in a global context (chapter III); Caste-based discrimination (chapter IV); Legal recognition of caste-hate speech (chapter V); Manifestations of everyday caste-hate speech (chapter VI); Caste-hate speech in media and digital spaces (chapter VII); Recommendations on caste-hate speech (chapter VIII) and Conclusion (chapter IX).