Say NO to Housing Discrimination

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In the present times, the issue of housing discrimination in Indian metropolises has firmly established itself at the forefront of political and social debate. Through personal anecdotes and sociological analysis, it has become clear that housing discrimination works as a mechanism of social segregation and exclusion, whether practiced directly or indirectly, and whether by the majority or minorities. More importantly, housing discrimination is one aspect of a number of private discriminatory practices relating to employment, accommodation, and access to public goods, which by all accounts, continue to flourish in India. Private discrimination, therefore, is one of the significant civil rights issues of our time. And as a civil rights issue, it deserves some long-overdue attention by the legislature and the courts.

Societies across the country have been brazen about keeping out certain demography, flouting fundamental rights of tenants and flat owners.We have realized that we can no longer ignore the burgeoning number of societies who are sporting discriminatory boards or making legal threats and refusing to let apartments to these demographic profiles based on religion, caste, sex, eating habits or marital status, which is in direct contravention of basic rights of people.

Most people seem to have missed the point that such bans are not legal. The legal bodies and Law makers are also largely missing in action along with the citizens failing to contest these blatant discriminations by registering complaints that can set the wheels of justice rolling.Remarkably, even house owners seem ill-equipped to take on their societies. 

Probable Solutions for this Problem

  1. Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill: MP Shashi Tharoor has sought to remedy this parlous state of affairs by bringing in the Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill, 2016 — a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, which, if enacted into a statute, would go a long way in fostering diversity and pluralism in Indian society.Tharoor’s Bill is timely. One has to see if it finally manages to gather the total number of votes to be finally enacted into a law; but if it doesn’t, it would be a collective loss for society and polity.
  2. Writ Petition: A writ petition can be filed in the High Court (Article 226) or the Supreme Court (Article 32) of India when any of your fundamental rights are violated. The jurisdiction of the High Courts (Article 226) with regards to a writ petition is wider and extends to constitutional rights too.

 We thereby urge you to sign this petition so that this issue can be addressed at large.

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