Politics of India Essay

2639 WordsOct 16, 201411 Pages
Warren Chang POLS 1280 paper #2 10/16/14 Affirmative Action in India: The Steps Towards An Equalitarian Society India is, after the United States, the second largest democracy in the world. With a population of around 1.2 billion people, India impresses her international counterparts for staying a stable democracy after the acquisition of its independence: a laudable achievement that remains rare among former colonies of Asia and Africa. Although democratic and free, India does suffer from a great socio-economic divide within its population as well as a high Gini coefficient, which indicates an important number of inequalities. In order to compensate caste-related social structure and establish social justice, the Indian government chose to implement affirmative action towards the lower-caste (categories called the Scheduled Castes, which will be referred to as SCs and Scheduled Tribes, STs) through propositions such as the Mandal Commission. According to my interpretation of the Mandal Commission, this document attempts to increase the number of reservations, or “reserved” government jobs to OBCs (Other Backward Castes) in order to give them an advantage in the “race” to socio-economic success. I do agree with the conclusion reached by the Commission and believe that the government should promote policies that implement affirmative action in order to remove its population from extreme poverty and reach their goal of “mitigating prevailing inequalities” (Galanter p.306). However, for those affirmative actions to be more efficient and take the shortest amount of time possible, preferential policies and affirmative actions should be followed by welfare policies for the whole population. Indeed, the biggest critique that the Mandal Commission gives to the Indian society is that the measures employed target “equality of opportunity” rather than “equality of

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