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Politics of InclusionCastes, Minorities, and Affirmative Action$
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Zoya Hassan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198076964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198076964.001.0001

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Reservation, Minority Rights, and the Making of the Constitution

Reservation, Minority Rights, and the Making of the Constitution

(p.18) 2 Reservation, Minority Rights, and the Making of the Constitution
Politics of Inclusion

Zoya Hasan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the political framework for the protection of disadvantaged groups and the differentiated forms it has taken with regard to lower castes and religious minorities in the historical context of debates in the Constituent Assembly on these issues. The deep commitment of the Indian nation-state to the idea of equal participation of all its constituents was the rationale for enacting substantive and comprehensive social justice measures, and by extension, the recognition of the problem of social and educational backwardness of lower-caste groups by providing reservations for them in these arenas. The chapter highlights the differentiated manner in which the Assembly approached the issue of cultural diversity and historical discrimination in the policy discourse, and the implications of this for the inclusion of both groups.

Keywords:   lower castes, religious minorities, Constituent Assembly, equal participation, social justice, cultural diversity, discrimination, inclusion, political discourse

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