This working paper considers how different returns, both tangible and less tangible, are reflected in social discrimination involving individuals with the same entitlements but from different social groups. This paper suggests strategies to tackle India’s State-specific social classifications and manifestations, and the discrimination which has stemmed from people’s position in the class system, in caste/religious status groups, and in the gender hierarchy which identifies women as commanding a lower income. It explores links between these three impacts. It questions if the Indian state has fulfilled its democratic mandate and duty to protect its citizens from being categorised as being suitable for specific employment roles and economical value?
This paper suggests that ‘the state has allowed the rights of many citizens to be routinely infringed and sometimes blatantly violated so much so that their identity as a citizen is compromised’ and proposes a movement from Political Citizenship to Economic Citizenship as a way of reducing social discrimination and exclusion.
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