28 June 2006

Marginalised communities

My recent posts on this blog are not about any specific prejudice against Muslims in India or the African Americans (please read my previous posts for reference) by their government or the people around them. These examples are used to illustrate the point that, while the Muslims in India and the African Americans constitute a homogenous group – in fact, a substantially large community in numbers – social inequities exist against them despite their size.

In India, minority groups are far too many in number to be considered as a single homogeneous group. Matters are made worse as the ‘minority’ population is fragmented into many Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) groups and Other Backward Classes (OBC). These groups form a huge number of communities classified on religious, economic, social, linguistic, ethnic, regional and caste divisions. This classification may have been made formal now, but these divisions have existed for thousands of years.

Today, people from these communities, typically, make up the peasants, the landless labourers, the ‘untouchables’, the artisans and others belonging to many old-economy trades. With the advent of globalisation, new technologies, the changing economic scene and the corresponding liberal economic policies adopted by the government, these communities are further marginalised as their contribution is no longer perceived to be important to the economy.

Maybe they should be rehabilitated, setting aside reservations and quotas to create opportunities for them. Even then there is trouble. While seeking government relief, there are severe inequalities in the allocation and distribution of resources (most of which is consumed by the elite and the urban population), with the marginalised communities falling prey to, and succumbing at the feet of, our political leaders.

But who’s worried? India continues to forge ahead in the new economy, leaving its marginalised communities more and more demoralised.


camelpost said...

If you thought Reservations end with admissions in IIT, please read the following from Academics@ IIT Delhi http://www.iitd.ac.in/bsw/academic.htm
Department Change at IIT .. A student is eligible to apply for change of discipline at the end of first year only provided he/she satisfies the criteria: CGPA for the General Category students greater than or equal to 7.50 and CGPA for SC/ST category students greater than or equal to 6.50.

MHRD and the job reservation in private sector supporting UGC Chief must be working hard to set new standards for OBCs.
Let my country go to sleep, let my country go to sleep .......

runawaysun said...

Thank you 'camelpost' for visiting my blog and posting your comment about reservations in education.

I'm certain that minority groups in India need help as most of them are underprivileged - by birth. Reservations in education is only a small aspect of this giant problem. Eligibility to an IIT course is insignificant compared to the discriminations and prejudice 'the minority' face in India.