This Working Paper by Stephen Thompson, Brigitte Rohwerder and Clement Arockiasamy, explores how intersecting identities in India (faith, class, gender, disability), influence the experience of inequality and marginalisation, with a particular focus on people with disabilities from minority religious backgrounds.
India has a unique and complex religious history, with faith and spirituality playing an important role in everyday life. Hinduism is the majority religion, and there are many minority religions. India also has a complicated class system and entrenched gender structures. Disability is another important identity. Many of these factors determine people’s experiences of social inclusion or exclusion.
The authors employed a participatory qualitative methodology in Chennai, India, to gather case studies that describe in-depth experiences of participants. Our findings show that many factors that make up a person’s identity intersect in India and impact how someone is included or excluded by society, with religious minority affiliation, caste, disability status, and gender all having the potential to add layers of marginalisation.
Thompson, S.; Rohwerder, B. and Arockiasamy, C.(2021) Freedom of Religious Belief and People with Disabilities: A Case Study of People with Disabilities from Religious Minorities in Chennai, India, CREID Working Paper 7, Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/CREID.2021.003