Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indian Affirmative Action

"India's ruling secular Congress party has joined hands with Hindu nationalist parties on a bill to guarantee 33% seats in the parliament and state legislatures to women. ... Although caste has declined in India's large, cosmopolitan cities, elsewhere this system still restricts social mobility for the country's 100 million dalits (untouchables). They are not only consigned to demeaning jobs they're not even allowed to pray in the same temples as upper castes. ... But then came the fatal leap. They created a list or 'schedule' of all the dalit sub-castes deserving preferential treatment and handed them 17.5% of the seats in the parliament and state legislatures. They also gave them 22.5% of all public-sector jobs and guaranteed spots in public or publicly funded universities. ... This body, charged with examining the plight of the poor and disenfranchised, concluded in its final report that the original list of scheduled castes was too short. ... The report caused an uproar. Hindu students from nonscheduled castes castes, particularly from modest backgrounds, exploded into riots. Already rubbed raw from the existing quota regime which allowed academically inferior, scheduled-caste candidates to breeze into the best universitites and land secure government jobs while they struggled, they took to the streets. A few immolated themselves, one big reason why the government collapsed in November 1990. But the quota system survived, and post-riot governments have slowly expanded it. ... In a few states with their own quotas, almost 70% of government jobs and university seats go to the reserved castes. ... In some states like Rajastan they have actually instituted quotas for the poor 'forward castes'--code for upper-caste Hindus. ... It would be tempting to blame the abuse of quotas on the degraded state of Indian politics. But, in reality, India is demonstrating the reductio ad absurdum of quotas", my emphasis, Shikha Dalmia at the WSJ, 1 May 2010, link:

Shades of Asians applying to UCLA or Cal Berkeley. What else would the body conclude, if not that the schedule was too short? California's negroes lost the "quota derby" to Hispanics. Se la guerre. Quotas never go away. See my comments about the "Freedom Budget", my 1 September 2008 post:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

IQ matters.