Appeasing the majority?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Appeasing the majority?

    Tahir Mahmood

    Pitched political battles are being waged between the votaries of secularism (the Congress) and those who complain about minority appeasement (the BJP). But neither of them discuss a third possibility : Indian-style secularism actually appeases the majority, at the expense of the country's two largest minorities — Muslims and Christians. It`s worth pointing out, in that regard, the religious provisions in the Constitution as well as the lopsided interpretation of secularism since the very beginning of the constitutional era.

    At the time of its adoption, the Constitution neither declared any state religion nor proclaimed India a secular state. By pronouncing 'equality before law and equal protection of laws' as fundamental rights, it mandated the state not to discriminate between the two 'on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them' in respect of public places and employment or appointment under the state.

    This was considered enough to make the country `secular` without a formal declaration to that effect. The principle of undeclared secularism was, however, countered by several community-specific provisions either initially incorporated into the Constitution or inserted by some early amendments to it. In the years to come, the state applied, and the courts interpreted, some general constitutional provisions in ways that benefited particular religious communities.

    Twenty-six years after its promulgation, the Preamble to the Constitution was amended to include the word `secular`, but all the religion-based provisions survived and remain in force to this day. The custodians of state authority have also continued to apply, and the courts of justice interpret, the general constitutional provisions the same way as before. Successive governments and the judiciary have consistently believed that these special constitutional provisions, administrative measures and judicial decisions detract nothing from the secularity of the state.

    Among the religious provisions in the original version of the Constitution, in the chapter on Directive Principles of State Policy, was Article 48 that mandated the state to protect by law the cow and its progeny. Interpreting the laws, the Supreme Court made it clear that the mandate was based on Hindu beliefs. In a later case, the court even said that secularity of the state would not be `relevant` for deciding whether an administrative action mitigating the rigidity of any such law on religious grounds was permissible.

    While another Article protected the religious right of the Sikhs to carry the kirpan, among the religious provisions introduced later by way of amendments was Article 290-A, directing the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to pay from their respective exchequers substantial annual annuities to dewasom temples.

    The word `only` in the non-discrimination provisions of the Constitution left room for according special favours to particular sections of citizens. Combining caste with social backwardness, the Constitution empowered the state to grant special favours to Scheduled Castes by way of protective discrimination, deciding which castes would be brought under the umbrella.

    Although social stratification has always been, and remains, a general phenomenon shared by all religious communities, a Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order was quickly promulgated, furnishing the initial list of `Scheduled Castes`, subject to a condition that only Hindu members of those castes would be covered by the list. Converts to Buddhism from castes named `neo-Buddhists` were to be excluded.

    While the Sikhs succeeded just six years later to get their lower castes included, the Buddhists had to wage a 40-year-long struggle to get relief. The Muslims and Christians, who also share those castes, are still struggling against this discriminatory provision. The theoretical egalitarianism of these global faiths is invariably cited to keep their followers out of the ambit of the privileged class of Scheduled Castes.

    If a Scheduled Caste Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh were to embrace Christianity or Islam, he would lose his SC status and all its attendant privileges. But should he ever return to his original faith, the privileges would be automatically restored. Although this is not made clear in the Constitution or the Scheduled Castes Order of 1950, this is how the apex court has interpreted the law, asserting it would `serve the interest of justice.`

    But no government or court has ever introduced the `interest of justice` principle in respect of any non-minority institution. On the contrary, recognition of `minority character` of even historic minority institutions has been a hard nut to crack. Despite constitutional provisions, state actions and judicial interpretations of a clearly religious nature, the state`s blanket secularity has always been claimed as an alibi to deny any form of `protective discrimination` to Muslims and Christians.

    Secularism has been developed on these clearly non-secular lines by political parties claiming to be absolutely secular and minority-friendly. How about parties who denounce their `pseudo-secularism` accusing them of `minority appeasement`? Will the policies hitherto followed to interpret state secularity entitle votaries of `cultural nationalism` to develop secularism to their liking? In view of the forthcoming possibility of change of guard this question merits serious consideration by all right-thinking citizens.

    The writer is a former chairman of the National Minorities Commission and an ex-member, Law Commission of India.

    Appeasing the majority? - The Times of India

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    If the so called lower caste Sikh and neo Buddhists can claim SC status, when it is claimed that there are no caste differentiation in their religion, then the so called lower caste who have converted to Islam and Christianity should get the same privileges and perks, even if Christianity and Islam claims that there are no castes, is what the author is advocating.

    And now you have the OBC also getting these privileges.

    An interesting question that requires an answer.
     
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  3. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Scheduled castes in India were historically treated badly by upper castes and deprived of education and other privileges. Hence reservation to overcome this social handicap, not economic one. So a relatively SC can avail of reservation whereas a poor Upper caste my not. Even then as planned by Ambedkar, it was to be for a period of 10 years only.

    Whereas Muslims and Christians suffered no such handicap. Muslims are among ruling classes everywhere in the country for many hundred years. Christians also as remnants of British and Portugese raj have access to their own educational institutions.

    Still most of the OBC and scheduled caste Muslim communities are covered under the caste reservations.
     
  4. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Scrap the reservation system, period. I don't wanna see some people now playing religious card to get their commission in this system.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    modi should lead the charge on this, afterall slogan is "appeasement to none" and i agree with it. He should implement it
     
  6. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    He might, actually - he is the only leader around who has the guts to take unpopular decisions !
     
  7. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    not might, he should otherwise what does "appeasement to none" mean just empty words ???
     
  8. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Have you ever heard Modi talking about caste in any speech of his, or has he ever spoken about his caste in a public rally?
     
  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cast based reservation is not going to anywhere for next 1000 years
     
  10. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    his motto is appeasement to none so one would logically conclude that he is against caste reservation and will remove it, why is he not doing so or saying he will do it. Else change motto/slogan/nara etc
     
  11. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    And you must stop being a douche because you know very well if he does something like this, your fellow idiot brothers would kill him. Have some reassurance that he won't increase like Congress,SP,BSP. So don't tell him to change slogan, you change your mindset and so we can have better government.


    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  12. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Let us be a little rational and fair here.

    You know what a powder-keg caste reservations in India are. As long as he doesn't make statements favouring more reservations and more divisions in society, be happy with that. Why such extreme and stringent expectations only from him?
     
  14. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Caste reservations is a genie that the Mandal Commission and VP Singh unleashed on the country.

    Now we have communities and sects in competition to go down the pecking order to get more benefits.

    Gujjars in Rajasthan were trying to prove they were so backward that they would be inducted in the ST hall of fame.

    It is going to be very difficult to put the genie back. Yesterday SC has given a judgement that quotas will not be applicable in super speciality courses/position-- this is a tacit admission that reservations cannot be at the cost of merit. Just wait for the backlash to come once the parties like BSP and DMK get the bit between their teeth.
     
  15. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    LoL, so who're you... ??? Cut the crap & keep your hatred with you.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  16. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Other politicians get called out on hypocracy so why not him ?

    I'd support his move to remove identity reservations.
     
  17. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    You have nothing constructive to say so keep out of the thread or discuss the point being raised.
     
  18. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    I was totally discussing the point being raised, be rational, Reservation can't be eliminated until this country see military rule. Everyone knows why but still you're trying to make an impression that if he does this, I would support him which is never gonna happen.

    And yeah, Thanx to congress for this. Don't vote it if you really care.

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  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    @The Messiah

    In Principle he might not agree, but why would he shoot himself in the foot. Caste Reservations are a tricky subject, and he wants to be the PM, not the Father of the Nation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  20. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    I doubt he opposes reservations. Modi is first and foremost an opportunist, and being of low caste himself, he has no reason to oppose something which benefits him and others like him.

    Besides, Modi grew out of the RSS and the RSS does not oppose caste based reservations, only religion based reservations (obviously because they are anti-Muslim to the core).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  21. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Almost all India Politicians are opportunists, aya ram gaya ram, alliances etc.

    Modi or BJP or anyone else for that matter will not change the status quo wrt sociopolitical landscape. Modi's election plank is BJP provides good governance and economic growth. Nor Modi nor BJP have ever claimed they will roll back any scheme of UPA like NREGA, FSB, RTE etc.
     

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