skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 126965 Find in a Library
Title: Discrimination Against Harijans and Dowry Deaths: Examples of Ongoing Victimization in India (From The Victimology Handbook: Research Findings, Treatment, and Public Policy, P 197-216, 1990, Emilio Viano, ed. -- See NCJ-126951)
Author(s): B Pandya
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines two major forms of victimization in India that have existed for centuries and still persist despite laws to counter them: discrimination against Harijans and dowry deaths.
Abstract: Discrimination against Harijans (the poor in India) stems from antiquated notions of the divine origin of caste hierarchy in Hindu Indian society. Under this system, members of the lowest rung of the social ladder are viewed as "untouchables" by the higher castes. Harijans must live in separate settlements away from the main villages. Discrimination often consists of unmerited or excessive punishment in juristic and administrative procedures; extra-legal actions against Harijans include lynching, murder, rape, and arson. Various economic injustices are also perpetrated against them. Such discrimination persists in spite of a constitution and legislation that outlaws it. Dowry deaths are based in the ancient custom of having a bride's family pay a dowry of valuable items and sometimes cash to the bridegroom for selecting the bride as his wife. This custom fosters two forms of family homicide: the murder of female infants by their parents because they cannot bear the expense of a future dowry and the murder of wives by their husbands after they have obtained the dowry.
Main Term(s): Class discrimination; Domestic violence causes
Index Term(s): India; Victimization
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.