MYTH AND REALITY OF PROTECTION OF CIVIL RIGHTS LAW:
A Case Study of Untouchability in Rural India
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© HPC 1987
In 1955, India's Protection of Civil Rights Act went into effect. Some gains have been made under it, but, in most of rural India where the majority of Untouchables live, its promise remains largely unfulfilled. The reasons for this legislative failure are the subject of the inquiry undertaken by Professor Khosla in this brilliant, unique book.
Professor Khosla is convinced that positive changes have taken place, but he believes that the most important are operating at subterranean psychological levels. They may be attributed less to the intervention of legal processes and more to the diffusion of certain ideas associated with the legislation and the activation of latent demands for human dignity and equality. There are many lessons to be learned from this study by lawyers everywhere, for virtually every community on our planet is involved in process of social and psychopersonal change under governmental stimulus.
Despite the human misery it must explore, this is an optimistic book. For all of its meticulous method and scrupulous use of data, this is a romantic book. It is animated by a deep belief in the inherent dignity of all people and their unceasing demand for systems of public order which permit that dignity to flourish. It believes that law, taught and applied in an appropriate jurisprudential frame, can make a difference. Dr. Khosla has made a contribution to the literature of a scientific and policy-directed study of law. At the same time, he has offered us a luminous testament of the abiding quest of individual human beings for dignity and freedom.
From Foreword by Myres S. McDougal and W. Michael Reisman
DINESH KHOSLA received his LL.M. from Delhi University and M. Phil. (Sociology) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and J.S.D. in Law from Yale University. Professor Khosla taught a the Faculty of Law, Delhi University for some time and now teaches at the City University of New York Law School at Queens College.