Dalit Reservations in Private Sector

Surinder Jodhka reviews a book on the debate on reservations for Dalits in the private sector.He points to the contradictions inherent in the debate against the reservations:

Reservations are being debated in India once again. However, the context/question this time is a little different, viz, should the provisions of reservations for the deprived communities be extended to employment in the private sector against the background of a growing trend towards privatisation and liberalisation of the Indian economy? Under the new regime, the state has begun to withdraw from the economic sector and private enterprise is allowed to expand into areas of economic activity that were hitherto not open to it. As a consequence employment avenues in the state sector have been shrinking, making reservation in employment virtually meaningless. The growing presence of private sector in technical and professional education may also mean the end of the quota system in higher education!

Further;

…Several papers in the volume show that invoking theoretical resources from the liberal theory and neoclassical economics could also make a case for reservations in private sector. Sukhadeo Thorat and Ashwini Deshpande refer to classical debates in the discipline of economics, which not only recognise the presence of discrimination in market economies but also underline the need for political interventions to remove such discriminations. Interestingly, these theoretical writings tend to also suggest that such interventions invariably help in making the markets more efficient and stable. In another well-argued paper Aryama argues against the popular view that divides “public” and “private” sectors of employment. There can be no justifiable ground for the private sector to claim immunity from democratic control and deliberation, she argues.

See also this post that presents an opposing point of view.

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bhupinder singh

reader, mainly and an occasional blogger

3 thoughts on “Dalit Reservations in Private Sector”

  1. I dont support reservations of backward classes in private sector because this would mean capable candidtes losing their share and hence leading more competitiveness and introducting new factors of discrimination

  2. The Struggle of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians for
    scheduled caste status
    There is no reason to not include Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians in the
    category of Scheduled Castes because these Dalits share the same socioeconomic
    status, and stigma also, as their counterparts in the Hindu
    community, concludes the report prepared by National Commission of
    Minorities (NCM).
    The report titled “Dalits in the Muslim and Christian Communities: A Status
    Report on Current Social Scientific Knowledge” reveals that economically and
    educationally, the condition of Dalit Muslims is generally poorer than other
    Dalits, and Dalit Christians too lag behind upper caste Christians on that
    front. The NCM thinks that the report is an important development in that the
    courts have been repeatedly asking for objective data for providing
    constitutional facilities to Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians also. And it
    rightly thinks so.
    Discussing the social conditions of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians, the
    report says, “There can be no doubt whatsoever that Dalit Muslims and Dalit
    Christians are socially known and treated as distinct groups within their own
    religious communities. Nor is there any room for disputing the fact that they
    are invariably regarded as ‘socially inferior’ communities by their coreligionists.
    In short, in most social contexts, Dalit Muslims and Dalit
    Christians are Dalits first and Muslims and Christians only second.”
    Some may argue the NCM conclusions, but there is no denying the fact that
    Dalits in Muslim and Christian communities are not taken socially at par with
    other castes in them.
    The report further says, “While the overall status imposed on Dalit Muslims
    and Dalit Christians is always that of an inferior group, the manner in which
    social distance or superiority is asserted by non-Dalits (and specially the
    ‘upper’ castes) varies both across Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians and also
    across regions and contexts. Such variation is present in all Dalit
    communities of all religions.” The report, however, admits that practices of
    discrimination and exclusion against Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians cannot
    be described as intensified.
    The report also talks about social, cultural and religious segregation faced by
    Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians. “Social segregation extends to the sphere
    of worship and religious rituals, with separate churches and priests being
    almost the norm among Dalit Christians and not uncommon among Dalit
    Muslims,” the report concludes. The report has found that occupational
    segregation, economic exploitation and untouchability, though not intense,
    are also prevalent in the communities.
    Equipped with the much-sought after study, the NCM would like to present
    the case of reservation for Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians before the
    government. But there are some legal hurdles in the way. Not only NCM but
    social and political pressure groups from the concerned communities will
    have to work extra time to remove these hurdles first.
    Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians cannot be included among Scheduled
    Castes, and thus they cannot be granted reservation, thanks to the
    Presidential Order of 1950. That order denies inclusion of Dalits of any
    community other than Hindu in the Scheduled Castes category. The third
    paragraph of the order says, “notwithstanding anything contained in para 2,
    no person who professes a religion different from Hinduism shall be deemed
    to be a member of the Scheduled Castes.”
    For announcing the Constitution Scheduled Castes Order 1950, paragraph 3
    as ultra virus and ultra motive against the secularism of our esteemed Indian
    constitution, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (Represented by former Law
    Minister of India and eminent Advocate Mr. Shanthi Bhushan and Advocate
    Mr. Prashant Bhushan) and Franklin Caesar Thomas had collectively filed the
    civil writ petition in the supreme court of India on 22.03.2004. This petition
    was filed by CPIL for getting the Scheduled Castes status to convert
    Christian, Muslim members of the enumerated castes people of India.
    Concerned with the above said civil write petition: 180, year 2004, Union of
    India had referred this matter to National Commission for Religious and
    Linguistic Minorities. NCRLM had positively recommended to Union of India
    for granting Scheduled Castes status to the above said people by deleting the
    paragraph 3 (as per the media report). After agreeing in the Supreme Court,
    based up on the NCRLM Report, Ministry of Social Justice had asked the
    National Commission for Scheduled Castes to give comment regarding the
    extension of Scheduled Castes privileges to these people by giving one set of
    the NCRLM report to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
    By accepting the Social, educational, economical and cultural backwardness
    of the Christians and Muslims of the Scheduled Castes origin people,
    Scheduled Castes Commission had asked the Union of India for granting
    them the Scheduled Castes status. As per the constitutional power of the
    Indian Constitution Article 338, sub division 9, National Commission for
    Scheduled Castes had accepted and recommended to grant Scheduled Castes
    status to these people.
    As per the above said recommendation, the above said Dalit Muslim and Dalit
    Chirtian people are facing and affected by the traditional practice of
    untouchability in the major civil society and in their religious society.
    As per the revised modalities of the Union of India for getting Scheduled
    Castes status to a particular community, state Governments should
    recommend to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Then Census
    Commissioner and the Registrar General of India should give
    recommendations for these communities to be treated as Scheduled Castes.
    Then finally, National Scheduled Castes Commission for Scheduled Castes
    should give positive recommendation regarding the proposal. Then the Group
    of Ministers or the Cabinet should pass resolution to bring bill in Parliament.
    In our issue, up to this time twelve state Governments and Union Territories
    had recommended to Union of India for granting the SC status to these
    people : in the year 2000, Bihar State Assembly had passed resolution for
    granting SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims; in the year 2006
    Uttar Pradesh State Assembly had passed resolution in the state assembly
    for granting the SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, in the year
    2009, Andra Pradesh state Government had passed resolution in its assembly
    for granting the SC status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims . Without
    referring the matter to the Registrar General of India, directly Union of India
    had asked the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to give comments,
    as per the Government’s desire, NCSC had asked the Union of India to grant
    SC status to these people. Scheduled Castes Commission’s entire
    recommendation was submitted in the Apex Court of India by the Additional
    Solicitor of India concerned with the above said Civil Writ petition No: 180,
    year 2004. On 23.01.2008, the Additional Solicitor General of India had
    asked the Apex Court to grant eight weeks time to take a decision in the
    Cabinet, Group of Ministers meeting for bringing reply to the Apex Court of
    India. But still Union of India did not file any reply in the Supreme Court of
    India as per their Commitment.
    With out proper evidences, materials, Union of India had granted Scheduled
    Castes status to Dalit Sikhs and Dalit Buddhist. If question is raised for
    granting the Scheduled Castes status to Dalit Buddhist and Dalit Sikhs, it is
    told that Sikhism and the Buddhism are the off shoot of Hinduism. If it was
    so, in the year 1950 itself these people would have been treated as
    Scheduled Castes, why did the Union of India separately added Sikhism in
    the year 1956 and the Buddhism in the year 1990, particularly in the
    Presidential Order 1950, paragraph 3.
    As per the National Commission of Minorities Act 1993, Buddhism and
    Sikhism are the separate religions from Hinduism. When the Sikhism and
    Buddhism do not recognize the untouchability and casteism, they had been
    given the Scheduled Castes status.
    For proving the social, educational, economical and cultural backwardness of
    Dalit Christians with Dalit Hindus, Union of India is having the Mandal
    Commission’s Recommendation, NCRLM Recommendation, National
    Commission for Minorities Recommendation, National Commission for
    Scheduled Castes recommendation, Detailed study done by Delhi University’s
    Professor Dr. Satish Despande (Financed by Union of India’s National
    Commission for Minorities), Sachar Committee (High Power Committee of the
    Prime Minister of India) Recommendations regarding the extension of
    Scheduled Castes privileges to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, Cabinet
    Note of the Year 1996 for granting the Scheduled Castes status to Christians
    of Scheduled Castes Origin and various state Governments’ state commission
    recommendations. The above said Commission Reports prove the traditional
    practice of untouchability which is faced by Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims
    in the civil society and in their religious society par with Hindu Scheduled
    Castes. Untouchability is a professional oriented discrimination in the society.
    We do not want reservation to the elite people among Christians and
    Muslims. But we want the Scheduled Castes reservation to the people whose
    castes names are there in the Schedule of the Union of India who are
    socially, educationally, economically and culturally backward par with Dalit
    Hindus. The only stumbling block, paragraph three of the Constitution
    Scheduled Castes Order 1950 should be deleted or amended to take the
    religious ban (by bringing bill in Parliament) Or it should be striked by the
    Apex Court of India as unconstitutional one.
    United Nations Human Rights Council’s Committee on the Elimination of
    Racial Discrimination had strongly recommended to Union of India in the year
    2007, March for granting the Scheduled Castes status to these people. United
    Nations Socio Economic Council and the Special Rapporteur on Religious
    Tolerance of U N Human Rights Council had stressed the Union of India for
    granting the Scheduled Castes status to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims
    based up on violation of Human Rights basis.
    Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims are not living in their worshipping places,
    but they dwell in the society where casteism prevails. Upper strata of the
    Christian, Muslim and Hindu high castes people are treating these people as
    untouchables, so Scheduled Castes reservation should be extended to these
    people forthwith.
    We are pleased to request Union of India to file reply in the Apex Court of
    India as soon as possible based up on the above said Union of India’s own
    documents.
    Shanmohamed inamdar
    TREASURER
    ALL INDIA MUSLIM BACKWARD COMMUNITY WELFARE TRUST(AIMBC) MUMBAI MAHARASHTRA shan7902gmail.com

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