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Re: Now we should hammer out the reservation debate

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Dear Sanjeev: 

You have apparently spent lot of time discussing this topic, I subscribe to
your views given below to test it with larger group as you have desired. Henry

>Dear Puneet, Prof. Guptara, and Henry,>
>With the joining in of Henry, who had a rather strong statement
>regarding the caste system in his notes, we should now try to hammer out
>the 'best' consensus on reservations. This is such a difficult issue
>that Prof. Nirvikar Singh's notes did not quite help. I also notice a
>reluctance on the part of many others to discuss this. But that won't
>help anyone. So let us talk. Henry is not aware of the tentative
>consensus statement that I had tried to propose. However, I believe that
>if he reads the following (which includes my comments), he will be
>fairly update on this issue.
>On Tue, 22 Dec 1998, Puneet Singh, wrote:>> 
>> 1. I would like to have a more generic statement that cuts across
>> race, religion, region & sex.>
>The problem is that reservations in India are clearly based on religion
>and tribe (and now, perhaps, sex). How do you devise a statement that
>overcomes this?
>> 2. Address the people with need for an initial boost by a more
>> positive term than " Index of Backwardness"
>Prof. Guptara has proposed the "Disadvantage Index." How about that?
>> 3. Lets not refer to the caste system or internal workings of any
>> religion. As a matter of fact I'm insisting that government policies
>> be blind to such discriminatory ways.
>Not quite sure whether the rest of the people on this forum agree. When
>discussing the Muslim marriage code, when I suggested that it is none of
>our business what they do, so long as they follow their own laws, then
>there was a huge outcry about my lack of concern. In other words, if you
>agree that each religion MUST have its own civil code, then we can
>ignore any mention of caste (which is specific to Hinduism). We can all
>happily revert to whatever primitive conditions prevail/ have prevailed
>in society with respect to religion.
>If you and I actually mean non-discrimination in a postive sense (i.e.,
>comaptible with human dignity) then we have the obligation to state that
>clearly, and to request religious leaders to reconsider certain
>practices which are leading to certain conflicts with human rights and
>human dignity. In fact, even on the UCC, my view would be to put in a
>line requesting religious leaders of Islam to reconsider those laws
>which put women at a disadvantage. We would need to understand what is
>UCC first, of course. Some more work on that is needed.
>> 4. Explain the purpose to doing this, from a perspective that
>> captures both sides (those who get reservation today & those who
>> dont) i.e we want each one to do the best & reward accordingly. That
>> is the best way to provide growth to all of us.
>OK. That is a good point. I will attempt it in the next message. The
>rest of this message is being allowed to go thro' for the benefit of
>Henry. See you in the next msg! Sanjeev
>> Here is something I had written up for a grass root political
>> organization (BDP) you might like to pick points from:
>> Reservation
>> In line with BDP's fundamental belief in equality and growth across
>> all sections of the society, BDP believes that the role and shape of
>> reservation needs to be well understood and restructured to meet its
>> goals. While many have genuinely benefited from the policies that
>> have been followed to promote those with a historically economic
>> disadvantage, there is growing division in the current Indian state
>> based on religion, caste, sex, and region. Indeed, India today has
>> its electorate, its student bodies, and its working class fragmented
>> by this division that was once the seed of the "divide and rule"
>> planted by the colonial British empire. A society that is not deemed
>> fair by its majority is fundamentally flawed in its structure. There
>> is thus a need for a national consensus on where the state can
>> promote a certain sector and the policies that provide investment by
>> the government.
>> BDP believes in promoting the best people for all opportunities and
>> bringing out the best in each member of the society. In line with
>> this belief it considers all reservations of posts, positions or
>> seats as unfair and unhealthy for growth. Such policies have placed
>> inefficiency in critical paths of impact. It is of utmost importance
>> that a natural selection process based on talent, merit and skills
>> frame the structure of the backbone that builds India. BDP believes
>> that growth from such a structure will provide resources to heal and
>> promote the weaker sector of society.
>> Further, BDP believes in investing in areas that will have long term
>> impact on the weaker sectors. Such investments are primarily in
>> providing with skills and loaned resources that will boost self
>> sufficiency and sustainable growth. To ensure a smooth transition to
>> these new models of support a time structure will be framed to phase
>> out of the current policies of seat reservation. However,
>> investments that have long term impact will start from day one.
>> Further, in framing all policies BDP strongly believes in abiding by
>> most widely researched and accepted studies that model growth for
>> such sectors.
>> Puneet Singh
>> Sanjeev Sabhlok wrote:
>> > I propose the following para summarizing this short debate: > >
>> "Given the unfortunate persistance of social discrimination against
>> > certain citizens based on social status determined by birth, and
>> given > the ultimate goal of non-discrimination in a completely free
>> and > democratic society, there is a need to make a publicly
>> available Index > of Backwardness on the basis of which the relative
>> reservations for > certain sub-sections of citizens can continue
>> till necessary, being > phased every few years as per the progress
>> made both on the economic and > the social front. While it is not
>> the business of government to work > toward elimination of social
>> discrimation within religions, it might > perhaps be a good idea for
>> the concerned religious leaders to work > toward complete abolition
>> of the caste system, facilitating the early > elimination of this
>> compensatory discrimination." > > The details can be in the policy
>> framework, later. > > Please vet. > > Sanjeev
>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
Henry Thiagaraj
Managing Trustee, Dalit Liberation Education Trust
46 Main Butt Road, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai 600016, India
Phone +91- 44-2341146 / 2331199         Home phone 4421676
Fax +91-44-4913365 
email:  hremi@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in  
                         Website:  http://www.pcsadvt. com/dlet/ 
                                and    http://www.pcsadvt.com/dlet/thedelta.htm

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/