Unequal Worlds: Democracy and Social Inequality in Modern India

(ed.)
New Delhi: (2015)

Authors
Vidhu Verma
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Abstract
The book is involved in tracking the trajectory of group justice from the colonial period to the present to examine how it informs ideas, practices and debates on discrimination, disadvantage and backwardness today. Historically there has always been interest in a model of group justice in India as opposed to the individual justice model that relies mostly on the anti-discrimination principle. After outlining the historical context for reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes that began under British colonial rule the book examines the legal and moral strands of demands raised by newer groups since 1990.It examines policies of affirmative action in an era of the triumph of market ideology that includes privatization and liberalization policies. As India emerges a global power the government faces demands of disadvantaged groups that are ignored by conventional reservation policies or the welfare politics that accompany them. The author devotes a chapter each to describe the recent proliferation of quota demands for reservations in higher education, private sector and for women and religious minorities in legislative assemblies. The main argument is that while proliferation of demands address unequal incidence of poverty, deprivation and inequalities across social groups and communities care has to be taken to ensure that existing justifications for quotas for discriminated groups due to caste hierarchies are not undermined.
Keywords discrimination  social justice  affirmative action
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