By Marc Galanter
Can a democratic society pursue a coverage of compensatory discrimination with out leaving behind equality or sliding right into a process of team quotas? For over thirty years, India has been engaged in an immense attempt to combine "untouchables" and different oppressed peoples into the mainstream of Indian existence. This e-book is the 1st finished research of the Indian event with rules of systematic preferential therapy. Galanter contains a dialogue of the relation of the courts to public coverage in his research of the alternatives and tensions within the Indian rules of compensatory choice.
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Additional info for Competing equalities
While each caste enjoys certain precedence and is subject to certain disabilities, the "untouchable" castes are subject to more extensive and severe disabilities and enjoy few privileges. It is instead a catalog of the disabilities which have in one place or another been typically associated with untouchability: Denial or restriction of access to public facilities, such as wells, schools, roads, post offices, and courts. Untouchables and Sudras were ineligible to become sanyasis (holy men) and forbidden to learn the Vedas (the earliest and most sacred books of orthodox Hinduism).
24. For the moment it suffices to note that there is no other general term for the practice of setting apart a segment at a lower end of the caste order and that "untouchability" has been adopted as a salient category for public policy: the Constitution declares its abolition, and successive governments have promised to end it summarily. Something like it has existed for at least a millennium, 25. and many of its features were present more than a millennium earlier than that. 26. They were restricted to certain occupations, forbidden to learn the veda, and enjoined to be deferential and subservient to their betters.
The first efforts to assist the low castes had come at midcentury under the auspices of a Poona reformer, Jyotirao Phule, who united a program of education and selfhelp with a thoroughgoing attack on caste, 15. from missionaries who proffered conversion as a solution, 16. and from Hindu religious reformers like Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, who preached a purified varna and attacked caste exclusiveness (in its existing degenerate form). 17. Lynch 1969: 6769; Hardgrave 1969: 13032.