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Assignment on Affirmation Action Roll No P122051 Vidit S.

Jain

1. The Central Government and State Government should not require affirmation action programme for private Organization 2. Affirmation action programmes have been very helpful to minorities and women. Private enterprise organization should have affirmation action programme. The debate on affirmative action in India is long and not always geared to the desired aim: creation of equality of opportunity. Just like Indian secularism, reservation system in India has always a different political aim to make the system more unequal than what it is. Indian secularism, rather than making the state independent of religion, is intended to provide special privileges to certain religious groups. Similarly Indian affirmative system is politically designed to provide restricted rights not equal rights to some chosen people. The affirmative action in India has started perhaps by Vice-Roy Curzon in 1905 by banning the employment of Hindu Bengalis in the government services; the official argument was that they were too advanced and taking away job opportunity from others particularly the Muslims. Later it was extended in the military services by giving preferential treatments for Muslims and Sikhs branding them as martial races. Reservations in government jobs were introduced in 1918 in Mysore in favour of a number of castes and communities that had little share in the administration. In 1909 and in 1919 similar reservation system was introduced for the Muslims in British India. In 1935, for pure political reason the British government has provided job reservation for the backward castes. The real idea was to divide the population of India into several warring groups along religious, ethnic and caste lines by giving special rights so that future India would be divided and weak. A number of prominent politicians had acted as the agents of the British Raj to implement that line of action; the most prominent of them was Dr BR Ambedkar. Although today he is considered to be one of the founding father of the Indian nation, writer of the constitution of India and the cult figure of the

backward castes with four universities named after him, during the preindependence years he took no part in the freedom movement. Instead just like E.V.R Perier of the Tamils, C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar of Kerala, Jinnah and Mohammed Iqbal, he was one of the staunch Empire Loyalists hand in glove with the British to divide up India along caste, religion and tribal line. The followers of the same person today include even the Indian communists, who, forgetting the essential of Marx-Lenin, are supporting job reservation along both castes and religious lines. Equality of opportunity is the basis of a true democracy and as such affirmative actions are needed to equalize the opportunities among the people who are endowed differently. Even in the US, affirmative actions were promoted first by President Johnson since 1974 to promote American blacks, who were deprived of most opportunities. However, it was not a success. The countries where it was most successful are Japan, the Soviet Union and other former socialist countries of East Europe along with Cuba and Vietnam. India should take a lesson from them to implement a proper affirmative action to equalize opportunity in our society. Affirmative action in India: In Indian situation, because of the reservation system based on caste, the state could not lift up those who are backward or poor, as they may not belong to the castes or tribes qualified to receive such aid from the state. That is the main reason for the demands for reservation for Muslims and Christians. Also, the reservation system has turned castes against each other, as they have to compete for the small social and economic benefit in a very poor country. The failure of the existing system of reservation based on caste and tribe is very obvious. The characteristics of this failed system are many. Reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC) in schools and government posts remain largely unfilled, whereas reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are generally filled to capacity. A 1997 study indicates that nationally preferential policies only benefit 6 percent of Dalit families. Moreover, the same study reported that "none of India's elite universities and engineering institutes had filled its quota for members of scheduled castes." People from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes continue to be absent from white collar positions. For the country as a whole, members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes -- combined -- did not receive as much as 3 percent of the degrees in engineering or medicine,

though together they add up to nearly one-fourth of the population of India, according to a study by Sowell(2004). The government provides scholarship to SC students to attend school, but that is not enough: "Even when the government provides primary schooling free of charge, the costs of books and supplies may not be affordable by very poor people. For secondary education, rural students especially may not always find a school nearby, so that those whose parents cannot afford the costs of commuting or relocating -- and paying for housing and boarding -- have little realistic prospect of attending, regardless of preferential admissions policies." Some Scheduled Castes do better than others with the system, raising the demand in some quarters for "quotas within the quota". A particular case in point are the Chamars, historically a leather-working (and therefore untouchable) caste. In the state of Maharashtra, the Chamars are among the most prosperous of the scheduled castes. A study found that they were 17 percent of the state"s population and 35 percent of its medical students. In the state of Haryana, the Chamars received 65 percent of the scholarships for the scheduled castes at the graduate level and 80 percent at the undergraduate level. Meanwhile 18 of the 37 untouchable groups in Haryana failed to get any of the preferential scholarships. In the state of Madhya Pradesh, Chamars were 53 percent of all the scheduled caste students in the schools of that state. In Bihar, just two of the 12 scheduled castes in that state--one being the Chamars-- supplied 61 percent of the scheduled class students in school and 74 percent of those in college. Conclusion: It is essential for the government to accept that the affirmative action policy based on unscientific criteria like caste or tribe, as introduced by Ambedkar and enhanced by V.P.Singh for pure political reason, has failed in India. However, the government and the political parties, even the communists, want not only to preserve this failed system but to intensify it by including religion in the equation. To solve the problem of unequal opportunity India should have reservations based on poverty and physical disability irrespective of religion, tribe or caste. Like in Europe, education must be free at all levels in both universities and specialized institutes of higher learning; all students should get automatic grants to cover their maintenance costs, as it is in Europe. Villages should be either consolidated or mobile schools should be set up for remote villages. Villages should have public libraries and reading room, as it was in the Soviet Union, so that poor students can have space to study. To remove linguistic discriminations and to have proper representations of all provinces an informal system of fair

representation or quota can be maintained regarding jobs in both public and private sector. That system exist in the United Nations offices and also in the United States. However, caste system must be abolished by law by making it illegal for anyone even to mention his or her caste.