Racial Profiling


Racial profiling has been a very ancient practice not only in India but in many other countries. The term means to suspect any individual by government authorities for any offence on the basis of their caste, religion, ethnicity or their place of origin. India is a very good example when it comes to visualizing diversity ranging from cuisines to arts and from religion to castes. It is today because of the country’s vibrant population; the country has suffered a significant setback due to high levels of crime.

The cases of racist abuse, hate crime, mob lynching, bigotry are on the rise, and is the product of ethnic, social, caste and gender identity among others. By encouraging racist discrimination and covering up hate crimes, not just the resident, but also those who have been granted the responsibility to administer law and order play a complicit role. Racial Profiling has not only been a problem in India but it’s an international problem.

Reasons for Racial Profiling

Racial discrimination for the other groups is the product of the latent views, attitudes and stereotypes of one category in society. All who at a specific time are the largest in a given position exert their control of power over those who are the least numerous. Contra minority group disproportionate surveillance and fining practices are often due to social and demographic factors that include age, employment and leisure activities. Furthermore, because of the absence of any anti-racism law, the one who commits it has no fear of any sanction. The Indian police trace their roots back to 1843 but fail to come to terms with the age, caste, gender, and religious diversity of India. As a consequence, the disadvantaged community is susceptible to Ethnic Discrimination. The major causes behind racial profiling are as follows: –

  • Exclusion of Minority Culture
  • Lack of training and awareness
  • Lack of technology
  •  Political Party Pressures

1.    Exclusion of Minority Culture:

For the efficiency of law enforcement agencies, equality, diversity and representation of members from diverse ethnic groups is critical. Police forces in countries such as Australia and the US have adopted measures such as the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2026. In India, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes identified in the Indian Constitution as different ethnic groups form 66.2% of the total population, but representation of these groups in the police force is 36.21%. Since these communities are not properly reflected in law enforcement agencies, their interests are sometimes ignored.

2.    Lack of training and awareness:

The Supreme Court in Tehseen Poonawala v. Union of India[1] gave the police and the Central Government certain guidelines. Legal sensitization also contained those instructions. But the fact is that the Indian police officer does not undergo adequate instruction on human rights issues, caste sensitivity and strategies for crime prevention. The study notes that in-service training has been provided for just 6.4 per cent of the police force in the past five years. Senior officers can often get in-service training but no such training is given to constabulary-level staff.

3.    Lack of technology:

Even police turn deaf ears to cases of mob-lynching or racial profiling perpetrated by the community on disadvantaged minority due to lack of exposure to electronic tools. So they don’t tell the police department about the accident, so they don’t get man power to monitor provocation activities. The study produced in over 22 states shows that 70 police stations do not have access to electronic networks, 224 police stations do not have access to telephones, and 24 police departments do not have access to internet or telephones.

4.    Political Party Pressures:

The hindrance created in the inquiry by the political forces just renders the police a passive witness to the commission of crime. While the police are not personally implicated in any cases of persecution of religious and ethnic minority communities, their non-interference gives them the justification for aggressive racial discrimination of citizens taking law into their own.

Impact of Racial Profiling

Citizens of every democratic country rely on their institutions and structures, such as social justice, law enforcement, and education, and this faith is the cornerstone of government, order, and a harmonious community. Each of these organizations demand that people cooperate with them in a constructive and productive way to optimize their effectiveness in carrying out their mandate. However, if a group of citizens is regarded as a suspect solely on the grounds of fear then this causes mistrust toward the state and the criminal justice system in their eyes, as police are the most recognizable power in the judicial system.

It also undermines their confidence in the government and makes them believe that the law functions with other people and not other people. This mistrust is generated not only by actual racial profiling experience but also by a common belief that such profiling occurs. The Government’s nonchalant actions in tackling this issue and eradicating it adds fuel to the flames. If a ethnic group is exposed to racist discrimination so their sense of identity with their country disappears. They forgo their sense of identity because of shame and inhumane treatment. When the mass community refuses them they either move or subside to the issue.

The wrong categorisation of some party or person as perpetrator prevents their chances. Given their innocence a stereotype gets stuck to them. This makes returning to the society ‘s mainstream and maintaining their lives impossible for them. Racial discrimination not only psychologically effects the victim but also physically influences them. The consequence of such racial discrimination is the upsurge of mob-lynching.

Mob lynching entails, on the basis of religious beliefs, a mob of angry people assaulting and lynching an individual or a group of people, amounting to hate crime. The people took law into their own hands when police were not taking action against them. In fact, the police themselves indulge in racial profiling and intimidation of minorities. And this is setting a negative precedent of society. Thus, not only by the actions of the military, but also by the actions of society, the racial and ethnic minorities are subject to physical violence.

Persistence of Racial Discrimination In India

Stop and Check became the most controversial part of the police / minority, racial group partnership. The police make widespread and unfair use of their authority against few classes. The groups which mostly become the focus in India are:

●      Muslims-

A report that was produced by police officers investigating shows that half of the police had serious prejudice towards the Muslims. In Indian Jails, many Indian Muslims languish because of unfair targeting and fake charges of terror. It is not the responsibility of the police alone to make such arrests and send muslims behind bars. This action is often assisted by those who remain above police personnel, i.e. government. In fact , the government often also exerts pressure on the police to make these arrests and incarceration happen.

●      Dalits-

Cast-violence and minority subjugation in India isn’t recent. A 2000 event in which police turned their backs and fled a Dalit untouchable village in India’s Bihar state when an upper caste mob stormed it and murdered thirty-four men , women and children in the lower caste.

●      Christian-

A spike in mob-lynching cases is the product of such bigotry that leads to prejudice against Muslim or Christian minorities that eventually leads to hate crime. And if the police are not interested in this, they turn deaf ear once they hear this. This can be confirmed by referring to a Christian in Jharkhand ‘s matter of mob-lynching. A forensic investigation has found that the murder may have been as much a product of the involvement of the officers as the angry crowd had.


To conclude, the legal status of an ethnic or religious minority group has burgeoned and legion regulations have been passed to protect their rights, racial harassment events are grinding the dignity of minorities into mud. This discrimination is unethical and has a detrimental impact on sensitive subject’s minds. It induces a sense of doubt in the system combined with an isolation. Not just that, such an act often interferes with people’s intellectual, social , and physical well-being. When police turns to racial discrimination the majority party still indulge in hate crimes against minorities as they have no fear of law.

Racial profiling also impedes national security and undermines the dignity of man. In fact, these activities are incompatible with the civil rights system. People who are subject to it are denied their dignity , privacy and equal legal protection. Arbitrary exercise of authority combined with malpractice leads to prejudice based on ethnicity, religion, class, creed or color. Both these breaches violate both the Legislative clause and the Concept of Human Rights.

Under the name of faith the different religions and ethnic groups are pitted against each other. Under these cases, police racial discrimination exacerbates a atmosphere of distrust for the victims and those who are affiliated with them. Police have the responsibility to discharge law and order, and to ensure conformity with the rules of legislation. Police must carry out their duty impartially and they must not discriminate against people depending on race and ethnicity. Officers must dedicate themselves to obeying the rules. We ought to recognize that their duty is to devote themselves to the rule of law and not simply a formality.

Cases Referred


  1. https://idsa.in/strategiccomments/RacialProfilingAnabsurddrama_AlokRashmiMukhopadhyay_240809
  2. https://blog.ipleaders.in/racial-profiling-vis-a-vis-police-bias/#Root_cause_for_Racial_Profiling
  3. https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200422092539828
  4. https://idsa.in/strategiccomments/RacialProfilingAnabsurddrama_AlokRashmiMukhopadhyay_240809


  1. What are the effects of Racial Profiling globally?
  2. What are the major causes behind racial profiling?
  3. What are some of the classes that have to face racial discrimination in India?
  4. How can we ensure that racial profiling can be prohibited from our society?
  5. How is racial profiling leading to a higher crime rate in India?

[1] “Tehseen S. Poonawalla v. Union Of India on 17 July, 2018.” 17 Jul. 2018, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/71965246/.

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