Article 17 of Indian Constitution and Abolishment of Untouchability

Abolition of untouchability has been included among fundamental rights under article 17. This is one of the few fundamental rights available against individuals. To make untouchability law further strong, parliament passed Untouchability (offences) Act in 1955 which came into force 1st June, 1955. This act was further amended and renamed in 1976 as Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955.

This act lays down that whatever is open to general public should be open to the members of the scheduled castes. No shopkeeper can refuse to sell them; no person may refuse to render any service to any person on the ground of untouchability. The act made provision for imprisonment and fine.

Abolition of Titles

Article 18 prevents the state from confirming any title except military and academic distinction. Article 18 prohibits the Indian citizens from receiving titles from any foreign state. The foreign nationals holding the office of profit under the state may accept titles from the foreign government with the consent of President. In a true democracy, there is no space for artificial distinctions among the same society. Titles such as Rai Bahadur, Sawai, Rai Sahab, Zamindar, taluqdar etc were prevalent in medieval and British India. All these titles were abolished by article 18 of the constitution.

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