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Pluralism and Democracy in IndiaDebating the Hindu Right$
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Wendy Doniger and Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394825.001.0001

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Tokenism or Empowerment? Policies and Institutions for Disadvantaged Communities

Tokenism or Empowerment? Policies and Institutions for Disadvantaged Communities

(p.174) 9 Tokenism or Empowerment? Policies and Institutions for Disadvantaged Communities
Pluralism and Democracy in India

Zoya Hasan

Oxford University Press

The creation of institutions was a distinctive feature of Indian democracy. This chapter examines two public institutions: the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). Created in 1992 as part of a network of institutions aimed at implementing constitutional protections against discrimination, the NCSC has been effective in promoting the political empowerment of Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes. But other areas, such as education and employment, show less improvement. The NCM, first launched in 1978 and achieving statutory status in 1992, has been relatively ineffective. The rise of the Hindu Right is the main reason why progress in securing equality and nondiscrimination for minorities has been stalled. A stronger policy framework for the NCM is needed, one that would ensure that improve its ability to protect the rights of minorities.

Keywords:   India, Indian democracy, public institutions, political empowerment, Hindu Right, equality, discrimination

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