Social Discrimination and the Reservation Claims of Muslim and Christian Dalits

Zoya Hasan

in Politics of Inclusion

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780198076964
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080274 | DOI:
Social Discrimination and the Reservation Claims of Muslim and Christian Dalits

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This chapter examines the question of whether a Dalit or Muslim can be a Scheduled Caste (SC), in light of the claims and counter-claims made by Dalits in the Muslim and Christian communities for SC status. It looks at the response of various institutions of the state and political parties to these contentious claims. It is argued that the political will required for recognition of Dalits is absent. Since most of the claimants suffer from acute deprivation, inclusion in the SC list is of vital importance for them, as it affects their access to opportunities which reservations in education and government employment can facilitate. Entitlements of a particular group to benefits of special treatment are political decisions. Thus, the resolution of this problem lies in the political domain because political factors, and not principle or lack of evidence of social disabilities, stand behind the denial of SC status to Dalit.

Keywords: Dalits; Christians; Scheduled Caste; reservations; social inequality; religious minorities

Chapter.  11082 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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