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Re: Now we should hammer out the reservation debate




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
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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
>
>
>
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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



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