Discrimination while buying home turning Indian cities into ghettos

Informal rules and discrimination by landlords to keep out religious minorities and single people are eroding the multicultural nature of Indian cities and dividing communities into ghettos, says a Reuters report.

Discrimination while buying home turning Indian cities into ghettos

Millions of Indians who try to rent or buy a home in cities face discrimination for reasons such as being single, eating meat, being of a certain caste or from a certain region, analysts say.

Informal rules and discrimination by landlords to keep out religious minorities and single people are eroding the multicultural nature of Indian cities and dividing communities into ghettos, says a Reuters report.


On the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, a real estate company ran an advertisement with the slogan 'Homes that don't discriminate', calling for an end to prejudice in India's housing market based on gender, religion or caste.

While the ad was unusual, the sentiment was familiar to millions of Indians.

"It's 2017 - and we're still encountering discrimination," said Rishi Dogra of NestAway Technologies that ran the ad.

"People should be able to move freely and find a living space anywhere in the country," said Dogra, marketing head for the company founded by four young male graduates after they had trouble finding a home in Bengaluru

Such discrimination has forced many people to the suburbs, making Indian city centres less diverse and cosmopolitan, with high rents already making them unaffordable to poorer workers.

A Facebook group called 'Indians Against Discrimination' was set up in 2015 after a young Muslim woman was asked to leave her flat a week after she moved in, because of her religion.

Local courts have ruled against discrimination by housing associations in several cases, but there have also been contradictory rulings.

In a 2005 case, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Parsi housing society in Ahmedabad, saying it could limit its membership to Parsis and not admit others. "The constitution guarantees our right to equality, but housing societies can still frame their own guidelines which may be discriminatory," said Vinod Sampat, a real estate lawyer.

A draft housing policy for Maharashtra has dropped a clause that prevents discrimination in housing. This may leave those looking to rent or buy property with fewer protections, Sampat said.

Government officials have said non-discrimination is already protected by the constitution, so there is no need for the clause.